What are some of the best KVM setups for 13" unibody Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by djrobsd, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    At home I want to be able to switch back and forth from my desktop PC to my Macbook Pro. I am eventually going to transition off the desktop machine and only use my laptop, but until then, I want to be able to switch back and forth without having to unplug a bunch of wires.

    Here is my setup:

    -21.5 inch Samsung widescreen monitor with both DVI and VGA connectors on it
    -USB Microsoft Natural Keyboard (WISH I could use the new bluetooth Mac keyboard but after you use an ergo board for several years, you will never even want to touch a regular keyboard again)
    -USB Logitech Trackman marble (again.. Used this for 10 years, and it's just awesome - wouldn't consider going back to a mouse)
    -USB HP Officejet printer (2009 model - forget the #)
    -Headphones & Speakers, using a Y adaptor so I don't have to plug and unplug wires, i just switch my speakers off when I want to listen via headphones

    Based on the above, I'm wondering what kind of setup I should look at buying for a reliable switch back and forth. Know a lot of people have had issues with KVM devices. It would be nice if someone made a USB one that just plugged right into my MBP (one or two wires max) and I didn't have to plug a bunch of stuff in. ;)

    Thanks for your suggestions in advance!
  2. moral-hazard macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    KVM's and USB don't really play that well. I wouldn't recommend doing it.

    I have my ubuntu machine under my desk, hooked up to two dell monitors via VGA, and with a usb keyboard/mouse. I also have the macbook pro hooked up to the same monitors and an apple bluetooth wireless keyboard / another usb mouse to go with that. I have to switch the input on the monitors to change between the two...but that's the best I could come up with. KVMs tend to be a pain.
  3. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Hmm... Is it the PC side or the Mac side that doesn't handle the KVM well, or both?
  4. iCheddar macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2007
    South Dakota
    Have you considered using teleport? It allows you to control another machine over a network.

    You just mouse over to the other machine as if it were just a 2nd display, and you control the keyboard and mousing actions of the 2nd machine.

    If you don't want to use the laptop's display, you could run that to your main display, and just switch inputs on that. Then you're only spending money on a video cable, and doing the rest through software.
  5. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Hmm, that Teleport idea sounds good. I don't know how well it would work, a Mac controlling a PC desktop, but I could give it a shot. The worst thing in the past that I've hated about remote desktops is that the resolution on your screen does not match the resolution of the work station you are remoting into. ;)

    Another option is that my monitor does have dual inputs, one dvi, and one vga, so I could run my PC in DVI and the MBP in VGA, and just get the wireless keyboard and mouse for the MBP and put my PC one away when I'm not using the PC...

    So many choices... Any other ideas? My main thing is I hate plugging and unplugging a bunch of wires!
  6. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I am currently trying to do something similar. My Dell Ultrasharp has plenty of inputs and my desktop mouse and keyboard are usb, so my thought has been to acquire a 2 usb port 2 computer switch such as this or this. Then you would have only one usb and the minidisplayport to plug into the MacBook.
  7. iCheddar macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2007
    South Dakota
    Nooo no. Teleport (which I think is Macs only) or Synergy (which is cross platform) only control the keyboard and mouse of the client machine.

    It isn't remote desktop at all.
  8. Ben- macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm actually in the same situation as the OP.
    I have a Logitech cordless Wave Pro (wireless usb kb/mouse) plugged into my PC that I would like to share with my Macbook Pro.
    After searching around, it seems like people have Synergy installed on their PC and SynergyKM on the Mac.
    I've just tried setting up both of these programs on my computers but I can't seem to get them to sync.

    [edit] Weirdly, after re-installing Synergy on the PC side, everything works perfectly now.

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