KVM + keyboard/mouse combo
June 17, 2007 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Help me redesign my nest of cables and create a decent KVM+ system, with just the right kind of keyboard/mouse combo.

The background: I will be getting a bunch of nearly identical small form factor boxen I'd like to just line up and control via a single keyboard and mouse, and see with just one monitor. They'll be off to the side on a shelf, with the keyboard in my lap and perhaps an LCD monitor mounted on a swing arm off of the shelf.

My current Linksys KVM isn't cutting it: I have little problems like my CentOS box not picking up that I have a mouse when I boot; for some reason, I have to install CentOS (a RHEL clone) with the mouse plugged right in. Probably due to having a passive KVM. Plus, the KVM I have doesn't do audio, so I have a lot of speakers everywhere.

I'm looking for a KVM:

- That can do DVI video (optional, doing both VGA and DVI would be awesome)
- Can support four to six machines.
- Use keystrokes to switch between KVMs (optional)
- The ability to do audio (optional, would be a huge bonus)
- Works with the second part of the question below ...
- Is not an expensive rackmount (optional)

I'm not looking for a software solution. No VNC or Synergy.

I thought about breaking this out into a separate question, but they're too inter-related. I'd like to replace my current PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 mouse with some kind of unified keyboard with a mouse built into the keyboard. I don't know what the special term for these is. I can't deal with the little scratchpad mice, so I am thinking a decent-sized trackball might be better. I find the, uh, "nubbin mice" (there are less delicate, more accurate terms) to be awkward.

I would hopefully find this combination that would be:

- Be compatible with the KVM listed above
- Use some kind of standard drivers, so I can depend on it working in Windows 2000, Windows XP, CentOS, OpenBSD, whatever
- Be wired, not wireless. Perhaps USB?

More importantly, I'm looking for your experiences - what have you liked, what would you suggest I avoid, what have I failed to consider. I can use Google, but it doesn't come with the advice of seasoned pros. The already extant AskMe threads are several degrees off from the course I'm charting. I'm not even sure what I'm looking for is reasonable.
posted by adipocere to Computers & Internet (1 answer total)
When my company moves into its new digs, I'm going to KVM over IP. My former emplyer used it and it was awesome. One flat-panel, keyboard, and mouse controlled an entire aisle of servers (not just a single rack) and cabling was minimal. Very, very slick.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:36 AM on June 17, 2007

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