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KVM to Laptop via USB

2007-02-19 04:25:13.421706+00 by ebradway 13 comments

I did a brief search but I don't think anyone actually makes this... I want a cable that I plug into a USB port on my laptop and, at the other end, plug into a USB port (or PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports) AND VGA port on a headless box that I want to work on. Then I run an app on the laptop that gives me an RDP-like session on that box. Why doesn't anyone make one of these?!?

[ related topics: Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 13:51:37.018781+00 by: meuon

I have to admit.. I've thought about it when working on servers in a colo.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 14:52:30.892599+00 by: aiworks

Not USB, but Avocent has an Ethernet version of this: http://www.avocent.com/web/en.nsf/Content/learnmoreKVMoverIP

As I recall, this exposes the target machine as VNC.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 16:34:44.709189+00 by: meuon

But if you are needing a keyboard and monitor to a *nix machine, as well as most M$-servers.. It's cause you can't connect via the 'net.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 18:36:15.489102+00 by: ebradway

KVMoverIP is kind of close. But I'm looking for a way to essentially plug my laptop directly into a headless box and use the keyboard, mouse and monitor built-into the laptop to operate the machine. And this might be in a situation like installing an OS on a machine (which KVMoverIP would work) or configuring a datalogger in a remote location (which KVMoverIP wouldn't work if there was no network).

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 22:03:22.079717+00 by: aiworks [edit history]

In both of these cases, isn't this just the Avocent box and a cross-over Ethernet cable to your laptop? That would be KVM on one side and direct connection to your laptop (with a patch cable) on the other.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 01:29:07.182113+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Encoding VGA to USB, even USB2, would swamp the connection w/o significant compression. Can't you run VNC?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 03:09:16.081637+00 by: aiworks

I just found this (Google ad for KVM USB Laptop): http://www.epiphan.com/product...gclid=CLPWlej7u4oCFQImUAodVUsXPg

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 03:49:03.402086+00 by: ebradway

Kool. That would be it. I'm surprised they don't compress the video more though. You don't need every pixel to admin a box.

And no, the idea is you can't run VNC. For instance, I've been trying to install a new hard drive in my normally headless server at home. I had to drag out a keyboard and monitor to go through the process. You can't install a hard drive over VNC.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-21 22:39:23.539744+00 by: aiworks

Hey Eric

On that avocent box, vnc client would run on your laptop, not the server. You could certainly install a hard drive with it as the only connection to the server would be keyboard video and mouse.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-21 23:05:21.771657+00 by: ebradway

Yes. The Avocent box with a cross-over would do the job but it's $949 and it uses it's own client - not VNC. It also requires external power and would tie up your ethernet port on the laptop. So you need to carry the Avocent box, a power supply, and a cross-over cable, as well as the keyboard, video and mouse cables. The Epiphan is one piece that you can throw into your laptop bag. You can also run more than one at a time.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-21 23:13:11.931976+00 by: aiworks

Avocent DSView is actually VNC underneath (or at least it used to be). And, they make boxes that you can connect to many servers simultaneously.

But, they are expensive.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 00:55:26.28493+00 by: Dave Goodman

Have you played with Synergy? http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 02:15:02.559959+00 by: Dan Lyke

My Dad uses Synergy between Linux and Windows, and says it rocks, but now I hear complaints like "Skype sucks. When you try to cut-and-paste the text is garbled", and it takes a few questions to get that he means that every other app seamlessly cuts from Windows and pastes in to Linux just by swiping the mouse from one monitor to the other...

Back when I was a kid we used to ssh into the other computer and paste that way, but noooooo... Parents these days...

But I don't think that matches Eric's needs 'cause he wanted no monitor on the secondary machine.