How To Use One Keyboard & Mouse For Two Computers (Windows)
It’s your friendly neighborhood admin with a solution to a common computer problem around my house.
Chances are if you have one computer in your household you have more than one computer in your household. It’s just a fact. More and more homes have servers, media centers and multiple desktops/laptops.
Some people use KVM‘s to control multiple machines. These KVM’s are a simple switch that lets you switch control to another physically connected machine. A for the server, B for the desktop and C for your media center. This is OK but not the best setup.
Let’s say I want to copy information from my desktop to my server. I can VNC, AAMMY or any number of remote control programs. But what if I want to be able to view both machines at the same time? What if I want to use one keyboard and mouse for two computers.
If you have two or more machines in your home with monitors attached you can now control multiple computers from one single mouse and keyboard. It gets better because you can also share clipboards and wait, Input Director is FREE!.
Input Director’s Website breaks it down like this:
Before kicking off the installation and configuration of Input Director it’s important to first explain the master/slave terminology used throughout the documentation and application.
The master system is the computer that has the mouse/keyboard that you be using to control it and the other system(s). A slave system is one that can receive input (keyboard and mouse) from a master.
The quick start guide will run though setting up two computers, one as the master, the other as a slave. You need to decide now which computer you will use as the master – that is, which one has the keyboard/mouse that you want to use to control it and the other system (the slave).
For the remainder of the quick start guide, the two Windows systems that Input Director will be installed onto will be referred to as the master and the slave.
Your main machine with the keyboard and mouse that you want to use will be called the MASTER and other machines that you will remote control are your SLAVES.
This application is installed on each computer and you are give a bunch of security options like what computers can control your slave and neat hotkeys to make switching machines a breeze. You can setup a situation similar to multiple monitors with remote machines. You can move your mouse off your screen and right onto the next machine (basically, have multiple computers on one monitor). Even if you have multiple monitors this will still work.
I have used other programs that claim to do what Input Director does – but hands down this is the easiest to make work. It is really easy and if this fits a need that you have I highly recommend it!
Let’s take a look at it.
You first run the setup on the master machine and simply set it as the master machine like seen here:
Then you setup the client machine. Come on back over to the Master machine and tell it where your Slave machine is.
You can now go and configure hotkeys and other goodies but that’s it. You are ready to manage multiple machines from one keyboard and mouse. Next step world domination!
Update: Also see, Synergy- Multiple Computers On One Mouse & Keyboard .
Do you use something similar? Let us know in the comments!