Wednesday, February 25, 2009

KVM Switch Helps in Switch to Linux.

Let's say you really want to try Linux, but still need to run Windows due to a proprietary software requirement for home or business. And, let's say you don't want to risk partitioning your hard drive and setting up your computer as a dual boot system.

And let's also say you don't want to have to buy a new monitor, mouse or keyboard.

Well, there's another way to get Linux and still have access to your Windows system without touching your Windows hard drive. You can keep your Linux and Windows systems separate but have instant access to each.

It involves installing Linux on a separate computer box and simply hooking your monitor, keyboard, and mouse to both machines. You can then toggle between Windows and Linux.

You can do this quite easily by using a KVM Switch.

The above video shows a KVM Switch in action. By way of a simple keyboard command, the switch brings up either Windows or Linux. And the keyboard and mouse work with either operating system happening to appear on the monitor.

A KVM Switch with Cables is quite affordable costing no more than $20.00 to $30.00.

So, you can now dust off that old computer box, install Linux, and hook it up to your current Windows set up. With a simple touch of the keyboard, you can be running Linux and still have access to Windows. My guess is, once you do something like this, you'll be running Linux a lot more than Windows.

Get Linux.

(My thanks to Matt at Kiowa Linux for the information and inspriation for this blog post.)


Corvus Albus said...

This is a GREAT idea - but NOT necessarily good advice. A KVM switch is NOT just a "dumb" mechanical device - data is passed back and forth from mice and/or video to your computer. Example, google for KVM switches and PS/2 mice - problems happen. Or, video (start with DCC / noDCC). A kvm switch can leave your Linux completely locked, which happens to be very discouraging for learning and growth, ya?

MSzorady said...

I've had a minor issue on another system set up. but not a lock up as you describe.

The KVM switch toggles between Windows and Linux. The switch has, on three occasions, gone nutty and neither system was able to access keyboard or mouse.

But it was a simple matter of unplugging both and plugging them back in. In less than two minutes, all was well again.:)

Given my experience with it, I know what to expect. I'll be purchasing a new Linux box sometime in the near future and I'll be setting it up with a KVM switch so I can access my current box.:)

I'm not saying a lockup can happen, it just has hasn't to me. And if it does lock up, there's always REISUB. See