This can be done using open source software called Synergy. This application allows you to connect the keyboard and mouse to one computer which acts as a server for those devices. The setup is intended to have multiple computers connected to multiple displays but only to have one keyboard and mouse. This is not to be confused with the use of KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) switches which allow someone to have one monitor with multiple PC’s connected to it and via a button or dial you can switch between them. KVM switches have been used to connected only the keyboard and mouse while still having multiple displays. Synergy is more for moving between the devices without having to click a button. The software has not been developed on for a long time however there is support for Windows XP and Unix/Linux. I ended up not going with the Synergy solution because I decided I could just manage the Linux servers at my house from a shell but wanted to write about it in case others had the need to share a wireless keyboard and mouse in this scenario. Read below about installing Synergy.
1. First down Synergy: here
2. Install Synergy: rpm -Uhv synergy-1.3.1-1.i386.rpm
3. Create a Config: vi /etc/synergy.conf
right = screen2
left = screen1
Change screen1 and screen2 to the hostnames if the two computers that will be sharing the keyboard and mouse.
4. Start Synergy on Host: synergys -f –config /etc/synergy.conf
5. Start Synergy on Client: synergys -c <hostname of host>
I was missing a couple items during installation of the RPM.
[root@narfonix src]# rpm -Uhv synergy-1.3.1-1.i386.rpm
error: Failed dependencies:
libXtst.so.6 is needed by synergy-1.3.1-1.i386
libstdc++-libc6.2-2.so.3 is needed by synergy-1.3.1-1.i386
libXtst.so.6 can be installed via yum like so: yum install libX11-devel libXtst
libstdc++-libc6.2-2.so.3 can be installed via yum like so: yum install compat-libstdc++-296.i386
It really is pretty simple and a really neat little application. More information can be obtained from Synergy’s sourceforge page. A KVM switch is still very useful for multiple computers connected to one monitor but Synergy is great for multiple computers connected to multiple monitors. There are also some applications that cost money that do this these days so if you require more support then paying for an application might not be a bad idea.