KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by Kent Jan » Thu, 08 Nov 2001 00:57:20



I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
Office/Technician/Production Environment.

Thanks,
Kent

 
 
 

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by Michael Meissne » Thu, 08 Nov 2001 04:11:50



> I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
> a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
> both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
> Office/Technician/Production Environment.

The KVM generally operates at a level below the OS, so it doesn't matter what
OS is used.

In the past, I've used a 4 port Cybex Autoview KVM and currently use a 8 port
Compucable Power Reach KVM.

I found the attention sequence on the Cybex (control-control) to irritate RSI
problems somewhat.  On the other hand, the Power Reach attention sequence
(scroll-lock scroll-lock) can't be typed with your hands on the home row.

The Cybex could switch my mouse from wheel mode to PS/2 mode based on the
screen, while the Power Reach seems to leave the mouse in whatever mode it is
in (this shows up mostly when installing OSes, since they always just put the
mouse into standard PS/2 mode).  Under Linux, you could switch to another
virtual screen and back, and Linux would reset the mouse.  The Cybex also has a
key sequence to forcibly reset the mouse.

One of the reasons I switched from Cybex to Power Reach is the Cybex didn't
seem to pass plug and play through through, and it was messing up my laptop
when it was housed in the docking station with an external monitor used on one
of the Windows OSes.

--
Michael Meissner, Red Hat, Inc.  (GCC group)
PMB 198, 174 Littleton Road #3, Westford, Massachusetts 01886, USA



 
 
 

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by Lucius Chiaravigl » Fri, 16 Nov 2001 18:49:40



>I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
>a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
>both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
>Office/Technician/Production Environment.

        DON'T buy Belkin or ByteLAN KVM switches!  At work, we have had
terrible problems with all of them.

        The ones I have tried are old and old 6-port Belkin KVM switches
(also 4-port ByteLAN switches of close to the same vintage), 3 new 2-console
8-port Belkin OmniView Matrix 2X8 KVM switches (actually 5 units due to RMA
necessity), 2 Belkin KVM extenders (F1D084?), and 4 slightly older 1-console
8-port Belkin OmniView 1X8 KVM switches (can't remember the model number).
All have been bad.  The old KVM switches frequently crash so that neither the
hot-key sequence nor the front panel button will switch them, and one has to
cycle the power to get them out of this state.  The front panel buttons also
have definite reliability problems -- they are flaky on the Belkin units (and
dead on a ByteLAN unit (although the lower right corner of the button on the
ByteLAN unit used to work for a while).  Strangely, the ByteLAN unit has had
much less tendency to crash once the front panel button quit working
altogether.

        The OmniView Matrix 2X8 KVM switches do not crash as often, but when
they crash or otherwise mess up (such as getting 2 ports selected on the same
console instead of switching from one to the other, or the LED's going out for
reasons other than electrical failure), they are often very hard to reset.
Sometimes, the front panel reset button sequence will actually reset them, but
often resetting them requires cycling the power.  This is much harder than on
the old units, because they pull enough current out of the keyboard, mouse, or
video ports of connected computers that even 1 connected port of any type will
keep the remaining LED's going and maintain the bad internal state.  Thus, it
is necessary to power off or disconnect EVERYTHING.  Some of these units also
frequently freeze the mouse when one switches away from a computer and then
back to it (and occasionally even when one does not do this).  Under Linux,
one can fix this by using the "gpm -k" and "gpm -t ps2" commands, but under
Windows, it is necessary to reboot to fix this (at least, I haven't found
another way to fix it -- I'm pretty sure I tried restarting the mouse device
or service in the Control Panel of Windows NT, but it didn't help; Windows
2000 doesn't seem to have a way to restart a device, or at least I haven't
found this feature in its Device Manager).  These units also frequently freeze
the keyboard under VxWorks and occasionally do this under Windows NT/2000 --
you can still ping the affected machine or even telnet to it, but the keyboard
is totally locked up.  This doesn't seem to happen to Linux, but it does give
occasional console error messages about keyboard noise.  Furthermore, these
units give smeared video (unusable at refresh rates > 71 Hz at 1024 * 768
pixel resolution), and each console's video output gets horrible crosstalk
from the other (resulting in a very visible ghost of the other console if the
refresh rates match).  Finally, although we have 3 of these units, we had to
order 5 and return 2 because they went bad -- one of them developed a failure
on the upper 4 input port sets that caused them to give video for one of the
lower 4 ports instead of their own; its replacement had its console A status
LED's quit working 10 minutes after installation.

        The Belkin 1X8 units have no video crosstalk problems and do not seem
to crash, but they do get into a state in which the hot-key sequence does not
work until one uses the front panel buttons to switch to another port.  This
is a real pain due to the very slow response of the front panel buttons --
you can only get an effect by pressing a front panel button if you wait ~1
second after the last time you pressed one.  Also, with the front panel
buttons on these units, you can only increment the port or bank number -- this
is the same as the old Belkin and ByteLAN units, but different from the 2X8
units (which have a pair of buttons for each input port).  One of the four
Belkin 1X8 units has a serious problem with one of its daisy-chain connectors:
you have to pull up * it continuously to get a decent video transmission
through it (otherwise your anything on your display that is not black turns
dark purple or black).

        The Belkin KVM extender seemed to work better, except that it wouldn't
work reliably (and often not at all) in conjunction with the Belkin OmniView
2X8 KVM switches, although oddly enough getting slightly less unreliable if
put on the tail end of a 25' or 50' KVM extension cable set.  We ended up
giving this to MIS, which was able to get it to work with a 4-port Belkin KVM
switch of recent vintage.

        People at other job sites have recommended NTI KVM switches, but we
have not tried these at the site at which I work -- after we got the Belkin
junk to try to save money and because we didn't know any better, spending
freezes went into effect :-(.

--
Lucius Chiaraviglio

To get the exact address:                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Replace indicated characters with common 4-letter word meaning the same thing
and remove underscores (Spambots of Doom, take that!).

 
 
 

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by William C Curtis » Sat, 17 Nov 2001 09:46:28


I have 4-port Cybex SwithView and the only problem I ever had with it was
using with just one computer on, if that computer has a PS/2 keyboard, then
the mouse would be erratic. I deduced that this was because the unit is
powered through the keyboard connector, and just one computer doesn't supply
enough current. I know have an older computer (running Linux) with an AT
keyboard connector to the KVM, and that supplies enough power. It's always
on, so I've never had a problem since. You can also key an external power
supply, but with two computers or more, it should not be necessary.

Wm.



> >I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
> >a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
> >both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
> >Office/Technician/Production Environment.

> DON'T buy Belkin or ByteLAN KVM switches!  At work, we have had
> terrible problems with all of them.

>         The ones I have tried are old and old 6-port Belkin KVM switches
> (also 4-port ByteLAN switches of close to the same vintage), 3 new
2-console
> 8-port Belkin OmniView Matrix 2X8 KVM switches (actually 5 units due to
RMA
> necessity), 2 Belkin KVM extenders (F1D084?), and 4 slightly older
1-console
> 8-port Belkin OmniView 1X8 KVM switches (can't remember the model number).
> All have been bad.  The old KVM switches frequently crash so that neither
the
> hot-key sequence nor the front panel button will switch them, and one has
to
> cycle the power to get them out of this state.  The front panel buttons
also
> have definite reliability problems -- they are flaky on the Belkin units
(and
> dead on a ByteLAN unit (although the lower right corner of the button on
the
> ByteLAN unit used to work for a while).  Strangely, the ByteLAN unit has
had
> much less tendency to crash once the front panel button quit working
> altogether.

>         The OmniView Matrix 2X8 KVM switches do not crash as often, but
when
> they crash or otherwise mess up (such as getting 2 ports selected on the
same
> console instead of switching from one to the other, or the LED's going out
for
> reasons other than electrical failure), they are often very hard to reset.
> Sometimes, the front panel reset button sequence will actually reset them,
but
> often resetting them requires cycling the power.  This is much harder than
on
> the old units, because they pull enough current out of the keyboard,
mouse, or
> video ports of connected computers that even 1 connected port of any type
will
> keep the remaining LED's going and maintain the bad internal state.  Thus,
it
> is necessary to power off or disconnect EVERYTHING.  Some of these units
also
> frequently freeze the mouse when one switches away from a computer and
then
> back to it (and occasionally even when one does not do this).  Under
Linux,
> one can fix this by using the "gpm -k" and "gpm -t ps2" commands, but
under
> Windows, it is necessary to reboot to fix this (at least, I haven't found
> another way to fix it -- I'm pretty sure I tried restarting the mouse
device
> or service in the Control Panel of Windows NT, but it didn't help; Windows
> 2000 doesn't seem to have a way to restart a device, or at least I haven't
> found this feature in its Device Manager).  These units also frequently
freeze
> the keyboard under VxWorks and occasionally do this under Windows
NT/2000 --
> you can still ping the affected machine or even telnet to it, but the
keyboard
> is totally locked up.  This doesn't seem to happen to Linux, but it does
give
> occasional console error messages about keyboard noise.  Furthermore,
these
> units give smeared video (unusable at refresh rates > 71 Hz at 1024 * 768
> pixel resolution), and each console's video output gets horrible crosstalk
> from the other (resulting in a very visible ghost of the other console if
the
> refresh rates match).  Finally, although we have 3 of these units, we had
to
> order 5 and return 2 because they went bad -- one of them developed a
failure
> on the upper 4 input port sets that caused them to give video for one of
the
> lower 4 ports instead of their own; its replacement had its console A
status
> LED's quit working 10 minutes after installation.

> The Belkin 1X8 units have no video crosstalk problems and do not seem
> to crash, but they do get into a state in which the hot-key sequence does
not
> work until one uses the front panel buttons to switch to another port.
This
> is a real pain due to the very slow response of the front panel buttons --
> you can only get an effect by pressing a front panel button if you wait ~1
> second after the last time you pressed one.  Also, with the front panel
> buttons on these units, you can only increment the port or bank number --
this
> is the same as the old Belkin and ByteLAN units, but different from the
2X8
> units (which have a pair of buttons for each input port).  One of the four
> Belkin 1X8 units has a serious problem with one of its daisy-chain
connectors:
> you have to pull up * it continuously to get a decent video
transmission
> through it (otherwise your anything on your display that is not black
turns
> dark purple or black).

>         The Belkin KVM extender seemed to work better, except that it
wouldn't
> work reliably (and often not at all) in conjunction with the Belkin
OmniView
> 2X8 KVM switches, although oddly enough getting slightly less unreliable
if
> put on the tail end of a 25' or 50' KVM extension cable set.  We ended up
> giving this to MIS, which was able to get it to work with a 4-port Belkin
KVM
> switch of recent vintage.

> People at other job sites have recommended NTI KVM switches, but we
> have not tried these at the site at which I work -- after we got the
Belkin
> junk to try to save money and because we didn't know any better, spending
> freezes went into effect :-(.

> --
> Lucius Chiaraviglio

> To get the exact address:                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Replace indicated characters with common 4-letter word meaning the same
thing
> and remove underscores (Spambots of Doom, take that!).

 
 
 

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by ..owned by chinese » Sat, 17 Nov 2001 15:19:22



> I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
> a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
> both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
> Office/Technician/Production Environment.

I have a Belkin 4 port OmniView that works fine.  I also have a
Tripp Lite 4 port USB that I really like.

Mark
--
markshadley at yahoo dot com

 
 
 

KVM Switches for Linux and Windows

Post by Barry Keene » Tue, 20 Nov 2001 14:50:52




:> I'm looking for some recommendations for a 4-port KVM switch and
:> a 8-port KVM switch.  I need these switches to be compatible with
:> both Windows and Linux.  These are going to be used in a
:> Office/Technician/Production Environment.

: I have a Belkin 4 port OmniView that works fine.  I also have a
: Tripp Lite 4 port USB that I really like.

   I also have a Belkin, OmniCube 4-port, works great. I've got
it hooked up to my Sun ultra 10, linux pc, W2k (yuck, but I need
it for work) and whatever pc I'm working on.

--
Barry Keeney
Chaos Consulting

"Rap is Square Dancing gone terribly, terribly Wrong...."
  - Barry Keeney

 
 
 

1. HELP: Problems with Mouse using Belkin KVM Switch Under Windows XP

Greetings. This has been a really odd problem.

I'm using a Belkin KVM switch (http://tinyurl.com/3ayms). The switch
works very well except for one problem: since it has a PS/2 mouse port,
I have to use a USB-to-PS/2 adapter to plug in to it.

Windows XP simply will not "see' this setup. It acts as though I have no
mouse. This is true, even when I've tried a large variety of different
mice, and even different connectors. And it's a WinXP problem, because
the other box I am using is Fedora Linux, and it has NO problems.

These are both "home-built" computers.

The video and keyboard have no problem except, when I'm in WinXP, if I
go about ten second or more without using the keyboard, the first
keystroke is "ignored" and causes a system beep. After that initial
keystroke, it's as if the system "woke up" and I have no problem using
the keyboard as long as I continue to type without long pauses.

Now the really weird thing is that my current setup is a Microsoft
cordless keyboard/mouse combo. You'd think with the "weirdness" of
having to connect the transmitter to the input ports on the KVM that it
might not work, but it works just great!

Again, since the mouse works just fine under Linux, it's not that the
mouse connection is the problem. It's strictly a "Windows XP thing."

Does anyone have any insights? Couldn't find a thing on the Belkin
website or doing a Google search.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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