Topic: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

When I installed freebsd years back it would not work with my kvm switch. Or rather, the keyboard would work at boot and then not come back after I switched away and back. Since the freebsd docs recommand not hotplugging USB keyboards, I suspect it's not going to work to use freebsd with a USB kvm switch. Do you know?

I did have luck running netbsd on a ppc mac with my usb kvm switch, but I want to install a bsd on a x86 machine now.

So, do you know if any of the bsds other than darwin will be usable with a usb kvm switch on x86?

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

That's a really good question.  I have a KVM and recently got a new machine with a PCI express video slot.  It wouldn't boot into X. The only thing that worked was PCLinuxOS and Windows, both with proprietary drivers.
So...
I tried three other lowend KVMs, both PS/2 and USB, so far without success. 

However, in my case, I don't think it's FreeBSD that's the issue.  On my old machine, with a standard AGP card, a PS/2 lowend KVM was fine. 

There was a point where the mouse would stop working after switching back and forth--that was a few years ago and seems to have been fixed.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

I have a USB KVM and I never had a problem with the keyboard, but I could not get the usb mouse to be detected. I haven't tried it with 7.0 since it's release at all though.

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

The USB mouse worked on one of the two mahines.   (Through the KVM).  On the other one, it worked sporadically.

My cynical advice after a few weeks of aggravation is by it from some place with a good return policy.  My first one was from RadioShack and I just took it back.  The second one was similar, and much cheaper, even with shipping, from NewEgg.  However, when I wanted to return it, it was going to be something like $7.00 for shipping plus a $3.00 or so restocking charge, so I just gave it away--total original cost was under $25, including shipping, and I would have only gotten back something like $12.00.   (That's not a putdown or criticism of NewEgg--the reason it wasn't worth it was because they'd had it on sale and it was so inexpensive.  Had it been a $50.00 switch, it would have been worth it.)

The third one was from Amazon--they give you free shipping for returns, though they might deduct its cost in the end.  As they do it through the post office, it takes longer to get everything done.

Keep us posted, as I'm following this thread before going through yet another failure.  smile

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

The issue seems to be USB mice -- any issues with PS/2 mice?  And what would cause problems with the USB ones?

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

Never had a problem using PS/2 KVMs with FreeBSD, Debian Linux, and Windows XP/Server 2003.  Even when using an inexpensive Belkin 2-port at home.  Never tried any of the USB-based ones, though.

I think it comes down to the KVM and whether or not it correctly keeps the connection "alive" when you switch away from one machine.  Some of the lower-end USB ones don't seem to keep the connection to the inactive system alive, and simulate a plug/unplug event.  Those ones will have issues.

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

I would think it should be possible for a device to look like an active keyboard and mouse to all of the computers it is connected to, but I couldn't find any such thing when I bought my KVM switch.

My iomega miniview 4 port KVM was also the only one I found that was capable of transmitting a sufficiently high frequency to my monitor, to be usable with X.

The ad for a current iomega miniview 4 port KVM says it has "keyboard and mouse emulation". So maybe that means it looks like an active mouse and keyboard to the computers it is attached to.

Last edited by queshaw (2008-04-11 19:16:54)

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

For what it's worth, after my trials and tribulations with KVMs recently, I finally found one that worked. It's the ioview mini, but it's a PS/2. 
As I said, the last two cheap ones I got didn't work with my mouse, which is a USB stuck in one of those green USB to PS/2 adapters.  However, this one seems to work well, and is also a space saver.
I didn't have the nerve to try the USB version though. smile 

I had never had trouble with KVM's before--I don't know if it is that the ones I had were old and the PCI-E thing is new, or what.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

iogear, scottro, not ioview.

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

Whatever.   smile

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

I hooked my KVM backup and it works with FreeBSD 7. Mine if a Cables To Go KVM model #35555. I got it from newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a … 6817810007

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

Ahhh-that's the one I was going to buy if this one hadn't worked, though I would probably have gone for a two port. I'm glad this one worked though, as I lost the receipt on the way home.  smile

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

Which brings up the subject of x2x.  Greg Lehey uses it.

Re: Will a USB KVM switch work on x86 on any of the bsds?

I installed openbsd 4.3 today and am so far having no trouble switching between computers with my ancient iogear miniview 4 port USB KVM switch (G-CS104U).