Question Basic questions for dual monitor KVM setup

srclakejake

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Feb 20, 2011
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Hello,

I am looking to get a KVM switch for my home office, where I would like to set up new dual monitors. I have a Ubuntu desktop, and a Windows laptop I would like to hook up through the KVM. I don't need password protection for any of the machines I'll be connecting. The machines will all be within five feet of each other, and within five feet of the keyboard, mouse, and monitors. The keyboard and mouse both use USB-A connectors. I don't need remote access to any of the machines I'll be connecting.

After reading through lots of materials on KVM switches, I have a few questions I'm hoping you'll be able to help with:

- My existing desktop video card has one HDMI port, and one VGA port. Do I need to use an HDMI cable between that desktop machine and the KVM switch? Or, can I use a VGA connector between the desktop and the KVM switch and run HDMI from the KVM switch to the monitors? Do I need two ports of the same type on the video card at the desktop machine to use two monitors? Or, can I connect a single port on that video card to the KVM switch, and then use the KVM switch to split out to the two monitors?

- The Windows laptop has one HDMI port. Can I use a single HDMI cable from that machine to the KVM switch to enable use of both monitors, the keyboard, and mouse?

- Can USB mouse and keyboard connect to KVM switch using their separate cables, but then KVM switch connect to computer using a single USB cable so that both keyboard and mouse work on it?

- Can you recommend any specific KVM switches for my desired setup?

Thanks very much. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Have a good day -
Jake
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
What cables you use to the KVM switch depends on what connections it has, and if you need to buy any adapters for that for your video card. There are some that support both HDMI and VGA. KVM switches are a one to one, if you only have one video output, that will just output to a single monitor.

Sounds like you need an HDMI KVM for your systems but you may need to get a VGA to HDMI converter to use on the desktop like this one if you want to use it with an HDMI dual KVM https://www.amazon.com/GANA-Converter-Adapter-Computer-Projector/dp/B01N53IESF/ref=asc_df_B01N53IESF/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309807187084&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10152363387016494063&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001809&hvtargid=pla-493054403985&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Extended-Computers-Monitors-Keyboard-Switcher/dp/B083J4NMZM/ref=asc_df_B083J4NMZM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416652333997&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11227357378097388651&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001809&hvtargid=pla-953773719117&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=100759324064&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=416652333997&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11227357378097388651&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001809&hvtargid=pla-953773719117

This one has both HDMI and VGA but looks like you need one of the monitors to have VGA as well https://www.amazon.com/Extended-Switching-Selector-Switcher-Computers/dp/B08MYPH8HC/ref=asc_df_B08MYPH8HC/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=507477922458&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17075579222531406839&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001809&hvtargid=pla-1267026691671&psc=1
 

srclakejake

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Feb 20, 2011
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Thanks for your reply. A couple follow-up questions:

You mentioned that I may need to get a VGI to HDMI converter for my desktop if I want to use it with an HDMI dual KVM (which I do). Is this required in order to get the desktop machine to display on both monitors? If so, wouldn't the laptop require two video outputs going to the KVM switch? Or, am I missing something?

Can USB mouse and keyboard connect to KVM switch using their separate cables, but then KVM switch connect to I/O ports on each computer using a single USB cable so that both keyboard and mouse work on them?

Much appreciated
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for your reply. A couple follow-up questions:

You mentioned that I may need to get a VGI to HDMI converter for my desktop if I want to use it with an HDMI dual KVM (which I do). Is this required in order to get the desktop machine to display on both monitors? If so, wouldn't the laptop require two video outputs going to the KVM switch? Or, am I missing something?

Can USB mouse and keyboard connect to KVM switch using their separate cables, but then KVM switch connect to I/O ports on each computer using a single USB cable so that both keyboard and mouse work on them?

Much appreciated
The KVM switch had HDMI ports on it, so yet if you want to use two monitors you will need the type of connection the KVM uses, which is HDMI. If you only have on HDMI port, then you need an converter for the other port.

For the laptop, if you want it to have dual displays then yes you will need to separate video outputs from it to the KVM or only one screen will work.

The mouse and keyboard connector, that is the whole point of the KVM, a single set connected to the KVM and then from that the connections go to the two, or more, computers. Just look at the KVM you will see exactly how it's connected.
 

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