What is it?
Barrier is software that mimics the functionality of a KVM switch, which historically would allow you to use a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers by physically turning a dial on the box to switch the machine you're controlling at any given moment. Barrier does this in software, allowing you to tell it which machine to control by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen, or by using a keypress to switch focus to a different system.
Barrier was forked from Symless's Synergy 1.9 codebase. Synergy was a commercialized reimplementation of the original CosmoSynergy written by Chris Schoeneman.
At the moment, barrier is not compatible with synergy. Barrier needs to be installed on all machines that will share keyboard and mouse.
+1 for Barrier KVM. It was a bit fiddly for me setting up, but operationally it's rock solid and cross platform. I run it across 4 systems, and if any of my laptops is closed at the time, it's cleanly skipped over.
You can try the free Synergy fork, barrier. https://github.com/debauchee/barrier Been using version 2.1 for awhile and while not quite as polished as Multiplicity or Synergy the functionality is there.
Most of the solutions people have been offering are 1080p options. They're gonna look terrible.
If you're lucky, some 4k TVs have 2x2 multiview built into them. If not, you'll need a 4k multiviewer.
As for multi computer control, barrier is what I would suggest.
I do something similar, but I use Barrier to share my desktop's mouse and keyboard to my work Mac. It makes using my laptop act as though my laptop is just a second screen, it's quite nice!
Arbeitslaptop in Dockingstation und an den selben Monitoren wie mein privater Rechner. Dann halt an den Monitoren die Eingänge switchen.
Maus und Tastatur sind am privaten Rechner angeschlossen und dann mittels ~~Synergy~~ Barrier zwischen beiden System geteilt.
Allerdings die meiste Zeit via SSH vom privaten Rechner auf dem Arbeitslaptop unterwegs. Oder vom privaten Laptop aus #Bedoffice
I have my work computer and personal computer setup side by side. I use a kvm software to do the switching between them.
It is seamless, like you are using two monitors together. That way you can use both computers at the same time without violating their rules.
There used to be synergy, a foss multiplatfoem tool to control multiple PCs with one master (saying computer x is left of y etc)
Apparently, it became paid sw
Ah, there is a fork
I use barrier, an open source fork of synergy. The server you mention for both barrier and synergy is running on your own computer and does not send any data outside of your network, so in that sense it is safe. Barrier does end-to-end encryption for free, while synergy requires the more expensive 'pro' version. Without encryption there is a danger that someone on your network could snoop on your keypresses or even take control of your system, but with encryption enabled you should be safe.
Yep. I used Synergy back when it was free and now use Barrier. I've used them both at work and at home with a mix of Linux, Mac and Windows.
The feature I'm most impressed with is the ability to copy & paste text between different operating systems. I'd be even more impressed if they fixed the UTF-8 issues though. At the moment, copying text from Linux to MacOS works fine. However, if I do it in the other direction all non-ASCII characters are turned into question marks. My native language is Swedish and I need my Å, Ä and Ö!
Haven't tried doing anything with CL specifically, but I have a Raspberry Pi 400 and it works pretty well for basically everything except browsing. I mean, browsing's fine, but that's the area where the ARM SoC starts to show it's a lower-spec device. The Pi 400 has 4GB of RAM and four cores at something like 1.8GHz, so most normal development stuff likeusing emacs, compiling OCaml code, running interpreted languages, and so on is just fine with it. No problems with video, I can run Xorg locally plus also have a second one running for remote desktop use, and more without any issues at all.
But browsers just suck the performance out of everything. To be fair, browsing's still mostly fine too; it's just where the limitations really stand out. Basically everything else is fine.
That said, that's the Pi 400, which uses a slightly newer chipset than the 4B, so it's clocked slightly higher out of the box (1.8GHz vs 1.5GHz, respectively). Also supposed to be easier to overclock due to most of its internal space being taken up by a massive heatsink, whereas with the 4B you have to consider cooling if you want to avoid throttling for sustained use at max speed. Though the Pi 4B can have twice as much RAM if you buy the 8GB model, so there's that in favour of the 4B.
Also, if you use one alongside your macbook, you can install barrier on both and use one keyboard/mouse between both devices. Give the Pi its own display and just swap back and forth seamlessly, making the macbook do all the browser stuff.
Anyway, TL;DR: yes, you could absolutely use it for what you want. It's a pretty snappy little computer that only really seems to bog down with browsing, because browsers suck.
It is possible, through a combination of USB pass-through, multiple GPUs and software like Barrier.
Another possible solution (if you don't need GPU horsepower), might be to install debian w/gui, then Proxmox, then set up the Triple Monitor SPICE displays on the right VMs.
Barrier is a fork of synergy which is a free version. Haven't used in in production but found it stable for office work.
https://github.com/debauchee/barrier/releases -- download link is at the bottom of the page.
At least few years ago you could use Synergy for free, alas without some features like encryption. Now you have a direct fork of Synergy - Barrier(https://github.com/debauchee/barrier).
Don't use Synergy, it's a piece of crap. Try Mouse Without Borders first or for more advanced solution, Barrier.
I have two monitors with both GPUs plugged into both monitors, so I can mix and match them, and I use Barrier for sharing the mouse/keyboard between VMs (one VM owns them and shares them to the other).
You can share the keyboard and mouse across the two pretty easily. Install the Barrier server on the linux machine and then use the windows machine as a client. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k39fUC8r6hQ
Check Piper for button customization.
Flow from one pc to another works best with the open source version of Synergy: Barrier
There are software solutions like these if I understood your request properly.
Using the windows machine as master should prevent input lag while gaming I guess.
Can't remember if you can lock the cursor to one screen though.
Story: I'm a dev that loves his linux machine. But clients always give you a machine of their own so that they have "control" over their endpoints. Fair. But that doesn't mean I want to work 8h a day on their machine. So I use Barrier on my linux to connect their machine to my system. Now I can use my favorite hardware and tools on my machine while easily using their outlook / corporate tools.
you could just do it with software using Barrier server and client. Move the mouse across the screens and it would detect and switch mouse&keyboard to another machine
I'm using barrier to share mouse+keyboard
it allows more sophisticated sharing than a hardware solution. So, you can exit from one screen to enter the other computer, etc.
I have had the same problem, and figured that real good KVMs are pretty expensive so I went with a software solution instead. There are KVM apps that act as client/server and they work pretty well with multi-monitor / multi-computer setups
This app works pretty well and is fairly simple: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
This is a fork of the well-known Synergy app which used to be open-source but is now a paid app.
Install the server version to your always-on PC (desktop) and the client to your macbook pro
Note that this will not share the USB devices though, this is just for Keyboard / Mouse. Not sure how to share other USB devices.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUWYvANbcbw or www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpf2VbsGPfA
for simplicity you can assume "server" = computer to which the M&KB is connected and "client" = computer you want to control
better to download from github, it's at the bottom called "BarrierSetup..."
I recommend you check out Barrier, which is a free and open source solution for serving the keyboard mouse and clipboard from one computer to many others. Works great over Ethernet, still works well over Wifi.
Te recomiendo barrier por si usas 2 mouses para 2 pc, con ese soft podés compartir teclado y mouse para 2 pc via red, lo uso en mi oficina siempre. Lindo set up <3
Yes, thanks. I did search (using the name, not the USB ID but I did not understand the result. I have used a "virtual KVM" called barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier) but could not relate it to my server.
Barrier for the multiplatform - keyboard mouse k~~v~~m/sharing (should be km instead of kvm in that case i guess :D)
As for the software screen KVM hmmm only thing that comes to my mind is proprietary software from the monitor manufacturer (if they provide any) that will help with PIP/PBP
So I’m a developer by day (who uses both windows and Mac in my dev environment) and I’ve found to just have one keyboard and mouse I can use a piece of software called Barrier that allows me to go across my two windows screens and my one Mac screen using one keyboard and mouse. It’s not a perfect solution but I feel it’s 95% solid. Might help you with managing a desktop full of peripherals.
I don't know much about input director but someone else has mentioned synergy already.
There is an open source version of synergy called barrier.
I've not tried it myself as I had already bought synergy I don't know if it would work any better.
How are you viewing the W10 VM on linux, via a VNC client or other streamed client? Does each monitor & vm have its own dedicated GPU?
My setup has 2 GPUs/monitors, one for windows VM, one for Linux VM (I can also use dual monitor for either VM by changing monitor input sources). But I also have separate keyboard & mouse for each VM.
If I want one k/m to work with both VMs, I've used barrier software -- and it works, plus I believe there are ways to lock/unlock the cursor onto a screen -- but i usually just use separate k/m so i don't have to worry about that.
So... not so much a K*V*M but a KM. Interesting product I didn't know was out there. For others there are multiple software options to achieve ~~the same~~ a very similar thing for free with Barrier https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
To everybody recommending Synergy... unless you actually own the software, stop recommending it.
I actually bought it and it's not that great if you're constantly switching between two devices. The biggest issue with it (between two Windows 10 machines) is that the mouse icon on the client PC goes invisible. I've already tried the DPI scaling fix and it doesn't work. And no, I'm not disabling clipboard sharing... it's one of the reasons I paid for the software to begin with.
There's nothing worse than trying to move from one machine to another, only to have the mouse cursor be completely invisible and trying to guess where it is.
If you want to recommend a network based KB/M sharing software, recommend Mouse without Borders from the Microsoft Garage. It's developed by Microsoft employees and is designed to work in Windows.
It's also free.
Honorable mentions also go out to Input Director and Barrier (which is just a fork of Synergy, but free).
Random docker I found on the internet.
You probably can't multiplex your mouse, and keyboard with this setup, unless you add a KVM switch to it.
If you are ok with using the two systems simultaneously, but not being able to move things across displays look into mouse withouth borders or barrier
Barrier does have some issues so if any of them are important to you I'd recommend using virtio+evdev for very low-latency keyboard/mouse sharing, by default you switch between host/guest with LCtrl+RCtrl.
Man, I hope you get help with that, because that'd be an amazing feature to have.
A possible hackaround would be to use barrier KVM and ssh -X for X11 tunneling/forwarding.
I've had issues with barrier being reliable in the past. It'd be worth a try, though.
P.S., what's a dummy plug?
Check out barrier, I use it on my laptop and desktop running Arch and it's pretty awesome
For keyboard/mouse I actually have them always attached to my macOS VM by USB controller passthrough. When I want to use other VMs simultaneously, I'm either looking at them using Proxmox's Web interface from macOS, so I can just click on the VM window and the keyboard/mouse will get sent through. Or else if the other VM is also using its own passthrough video card and its own monitor, I share the single keyboard and mouse between them using Barrier:
This way I can just move the mouse pointer out the right side of one monitor and it appears over on the other VM's monitor.
you can use scroll lock to stay in one screen. I would also suggest that you use barrier instead of synergy as 1.x synergy stopped being updated and barrier has a lot of updates and encryption: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier/releases
<strong>Barrier (Synergy Fork)</strong>
It's a full-featured (including Synergy Pro's features) open-source fork of Synergy, whose developers only added DRM features in the last versions, without touching the code. They added stuff like "always-on", only to verify the license, while the core code-base is opensource.
I still believe it is better to do it your way, passthrough everything and, if you need, use something to access the linux from the windows box.
While I am not running VFIO anymore on my main box, I still need to use a Linux server that is hooked up on my right monitor. I am using a fork of synergy, called barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier). It works very well and it is really free (with SSL!).
The main challenge was sound, and I've found a solution that would work for one windows and multiple Linux: my headset/speakers are connected to the windows box and I have been using jack to transport sound from the Linux system to my windows. On the Linux side, it uses pulseaduio to call jack and works perfecly, I can even use the microphone from my windows box and have it as an input on my Linux.
I do like your approach to the interrupts, I might do it if I remember when I rebuild my passthrough.
I would recommend Barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier) and open source fork version of Synergy. Allows you to share you keyboard and mouse on another computer over a local network.
Barrier works like a dream for me. I use it across 2 Macs, a Windows, and a Debian machine. The Debian machine was the only one that took some finagling to configure
Okay now that I found out the reason why rotation wasn't working, I'll admit that I'm actually an stupid. So the problem is, I'm using Barrier (a program which basically let you use a single keyboard and mouse to control another computer) to control my laptop from my desktop (I had to play on my laptop because my desktop doesn't have a graphics card). For some reason when I try rotating it doesn't work but everything else was working just fine. After messing around I tried to move the camera using my laptop trackpad instead and it worked!
I'll leave this here if anyone is having the same problem as me but I guess no one is having the same setup as mine lol
TL;DR: Barrier doesn't work when I try to rotate with my mouse so I use my laptop trackpad and it worked, maybe I'll get a seperate mouse later.
You could use a kvm device, that is the best way, some pc displays have one integrated
or a software solution if you are on the same network, might not work if you are using a VPN on the work PC
I use my mac mini as my primary and started using my windows machine because i need to use an app thats windows only. I’ve been using this for the past week with success. Although, it does stutter at times, but my windows tasks aren’t speed critical (like gaming) https://github.com/debauchee/barrier for the past week.
Steam's going to be your best bet for game streaming in your home network. Also nothing stops you from just hooking up other applications into Steam to stream them aswell.
If they are both next to each other and you want to consolidate your mouse and keyboard for using both machines there's also stuff like Barrier for using both side-by-side, although with no monitor sharing or a full on KVM-switch (hardware) which would give you a button-toggle between the two
I recently learned about Barrier, which is open source software that uses mouse position as an automatic switcher between computers on the same network. works super well, no physical kvm required, cross platform
For everyone with multiple computers and multiple monitors, check out Barrier. It allows you to use one mouse and keyboard with multiple machines. When you move the mouse to a different monitor, control to that computer automatically moves.
It's pretty awesome to have 4 or five monitors, 3 machines, and one keyboard and mouse, and everything works like it's one machine. You can even copy/paste between machines.
Sorry, my text got deleted in my original post..
Anyone know how to install the latest version of Barrier (2.4.0) on mint ?
The Linux mint app store has version that is too old.
My Linux skills are limited and I've been trying for an hour.
Wildly depends on what you use. There's so many gotchas when it comes to X11 vs. Wayland, you really have to try it for yourself and ensure that whatever programs or setup you have work.
For example, I just got a Lenovo E580 thinkpad. I was happy to use Wayland (Fedora 35) on it, until I installed the Barrier KVM to control my laptop from my PC, and wasted an hour trying to figure out why my client/server was running fine, but my mouse wouldn't move on my laptop. Turns out, Barrier doesn't work with Wayland, only X11. Of course, there is no error, and only a slight mention on the GitHub home page, so this has probably burnt a lot of people as well.
Another example is that on my PC, again running Fedora 35 but with the latest NVIDIA drivers, Wayland is incredibly buggy/glitchy with a lot of jitter and programs failing to open/display content. Instead I just get a white window of failure. I don't know if it's because I have a triple monitor setup, each with different resolutions and refresh rates (isn't Wayland supposed to address this?), but I simply gave up dual-booting Linux/W10 on my gaming PC. I like Linux for my dev work and software development in general, as well as the ability to own/do what I want with it. But at the end of the day, I just need my damn computer to work, and when I sit to play games, I want to just play games.
So now, I simply use W10 on my gaming PC, and I ssh/use Barrier from my gaming PC to use my laptop for coding. Works for me, since this is the simplest way for my personal use-case to get the best of both worlds.
Point being, in typical Linux fashion, there are many pitfalls that you will not discover until you try it yourself.
Hopefully, Wayland works great for you though. Good luck! :)
You might want to start with providing more info: e.g. what model is this 49” screen that has built-in KVM, how you’re planning to lay it all out, etc.
I highly recommend Barrier for folks without hardware KVM and who can leave screens attached to their respective computers…
I am genuinely curious how you intend to mount these four. Are you expecting to be three feet back from the screens?
Look into Barrier which is the open source fork of Synergy.
Synergy is technically open source, but they stopped providing binaries and also made building the source for all platforms rather difficult, effectively making the software closed source.
Both Barrier and Synergy are far superior as they work on Linux, macOS, and Windows. And they are not restricted to an artificial limit of 4 screens.
I have a very similar situation, except I only need it for like 1% of my work, the best solutions I've found are using the Google Chrome remote desktop (as I find it much smoother than VNC and other Remote Desktops), or using another monitor connected to the Mac while using Barrier as a software KVM, I switch between then depending on what I'm doing, but most of the time I go the Chrome Remote Desktop route
look at barrier. https://github.com/debauchee/barrier but that's assuming you have a monitor plugged into each machine. if you're worried about latency, i would recommend you put the server on the machine you want to have no latency....
The Thinkpad tablet runs Windows right? You can seamlessly share mouse and keyboard between computers over WiFi using Synergy (paid), or Barrier, its open-source fork.
i don't think so, not as a straight-up monitor that you could plug in.
the only thing that comes to my mind for this would be implementing what is essentially a software version of a KVM switch, which controls multiple machines using one keyboard and mouse.
there's different products which do this.
you could go with something comprehensive like synergy, which works cross-platform.
synergy -- https://symless.com/synergy
if you have microsoft windows on both machines, microsoft has a free product called mouse without borders that will do the same thing.
mouse without borders -- https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35460
and lastly a foss alternative.
barrier -- https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
Good idea. There is also Barrier which is cross platform and open source so you can run light weight linux distro and still control your Windows and Mac devices.
Instead of having two keyboards, you should check out Barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier). It's an open source KVM utility that you run on both computers. It will let you share one mouse and keyboard across many computers. Not an ad, I just like the software.
I've been using Barrier to hook my personal mouse/keyboard to my work laptop, it's been pretty good. Setup every morning is just plug monitor into MacBook, switch PC to "second screen only" with Win+P, and done. Got a keyboard shortcut to switch mouse and keyboard between machines.
If you can install software on the job laptops, you can also try Barrier. Barrier is a virtual KVM, letting you control multiple machines from one.
For example, you can set up your desktop as the server, and your laptops on either side of your desktop monitor. Move your mouse to the left and you be on one left, all the way to the right you're on the other laptop. It's like multiple monitors except each monitor is another PC.
Wie andere schon sagten KVM Switch ODER aber könnte auch die Software Lösung via zum Beispiel Synergy oder dem Fork Barrier was für dich sein.
Da würdest du dann auf jeden Fall auf Grund von Latency den Gaming PC als main-device nutzen wollen.
A KVM will do what you want, but personally I would use something like Barrier or Synergy. Think of it as a software based KVM.
Barrier is free, Synergy is paid.
If they are both Macs Monterey has something for that, Universal Control I think?
There's also software KVMs like https://github.com/debauchee/barrier and Synergy you could try. I don't know about their support for audio and visual though, I think those two focus on mouse/keyboard.
Why are you using two keyboards and two mice on the same desk? There are applications that will make two different machines use the same keyboard/mouse. They even work with different OSs.
Barrier is one of them.
I use Barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier) as a free software KVM that shares the mouse and keyboard hooked up to one computer to another over the network.
With a software KVM you just move your mouse cursor to the edge of the screen and it "jumps" to the other computer and the keyboard input follows. There are also hotkeys to swap between computers or lock the input to the current computer.
If they're network connected I can recommend github.com/debauchee/barrier (It's a fork of Symless Synergy 1.9)
Supports Windows, Mac, most Linux distros and also in a snap or flatpak package.
Keyboard + Mouse computer is server, extra computers and their screens are clients.
You could use a software kvm if you can connect all the PCs to the monitors and a common network. HDMI for the older PCs, and DisplayPort for the gaming PC. You'll only get dual monitor on your main PC, but you won't have to deal with extra cables. Then you just change the source on the monitor to switch.
I use Barrier for keyboard and mouse sharing. (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier)
It's fairly easy to setup, and allows you to create keyboard shortcuts to switch between machines too.
If you want to run two separate computers like that, you can use Barrier to seamlessly move between the two with one keyboard and mouse. I use it on my ultrawide to control my gaming PC and my work PC with each taking up half the monitor when I work from home.
My experience is the exact opposite from other posts. I have a Threadripper Pro 3955WX with two GPUs for desktop VMs (linux and macOS). I pass through 8 cores, 36gb of ram and a secondhand RX 460 from eBay to the mac VM. Performance is flawless running at 3840x2160. I run a barrier server in my Linux VM and the mac is running the client. Moving the cursor from monitor to monitor and having it work is a magical experience!
Happy to answer any questions! I work in the distributed build systems space (focus on iOS) so I actually run many macOS VMs (most without GPU passthrough) in my homelab. They're spread across a couple Xeon E3 servers and and one EPYC 3251 SoC.
They build software much faster than my expensive, modern Macs at work. Then again, those all have endpoint security software chewing up cores and memory, triggering thermal throttling and generally crushing build performance.
Barrier is a good way to access your laptop with the mouse and keyboard from the desktop. It's very similar to Synergy, but it's free.
Basically, it's an app that runs on both computers and allows you to use the mouse and keyboard on one computer to control another computer.
RK being budget isn't a dealbreaker; I was seriously considering a Logitech, Razer, or Corsair board if it got me where I needed to be. The biggest negatives of the RK board is that the layout is only acceptable rather than fantastic, the backlighting is 'meh', and it can't be disassembled to add internal sound isolation. Low-priorities for me. And, yea for $80 not a bad gamble.
If I was using a display per host, I would just use barrier instead of jumping through all of these hoops w/ hardware (not to mention the only KVM that exists that can do 3840x1600@144Hz without breaking gsync was hella pricy).
My setup is a 38" LG UW (3840x1600) for primary display shared between personal machine and work pc, w\ portrait 32" 1440p display driven by a third host. The 'sidecar' machine runs two instances of the barrier client, and each 'primary' machine runs a barrier server. KVM switches the primary screen and the inputs, and barrier allows pretty seamless input sharing regardless of which is in focus.
I just.. really don't want to put a hole in my desk.
I use Barrier KVM - https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
I use Mac as main, and control my Windows and KDE Neon desktops...
Can't move apps thou...only files and clipboards
PiP in those ultra-wide monitors is implemented in hardware. OS does not even see it - that monitor just pretends two be two smaller monitors to the graphics cards.
If you want software support, you should install https://github.com/debauchee/barrier - it's software KVM, your mouse will flow between those two Pip screens as if they were connected to the same computer.
If you just open different things on each device, e.g. a PDF on your tablet and a word processor on your desktop, then Barrier lets you use the same mouse and keyboard across both devices.
I use this: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
Works pretty well, crossplatform even, and the latency isn't too bad. I don't know how well it would work between two games, but you could probably figure something out.
What’s the second (wireless) mouse for? Your other computer?
Take a peek at this, unless you cannot install software on the second computer. In that case, maybe a normal USB switch?
I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for.
Some possible setups:
By the way, all these solutions work with almost any combination of operating systems - in the case of Deskreen you could even use a tablet or phone as a screen.
Synergy used to be free open source software. When it flipped to a paid license the community continued the free version under a new name: Barrier. I've been using Barrier between multiple PCs and a Macbook with no problems.
For what it’s worth I’d personally avoid just grabbing random binaries from forked repos on GitHub. I guarantee you there’s at least one or two that have malware inserted in the fork. I did a project on this in grad school (cyber security) and found that popular projects like this with tens or dozens of forks just about always have malware in at least one or more forks. The thing with open source is that yes, it does allow the source to be easily audited but, the vast majority of people aren’t capable of understanding the source even if there are a lot of eyes on it. Just some friendly advice.
I’d recommend this fork… https://github.com/debauchee/barrier
It’s a fork that doesn’t have any features behind a paywall like the newest version of synergy and it’s safe too. You shouldn’t have any issues with that fork.
I’ve done this sort of thing with a virtual screen and VNC but you’re likely better off using a virtual KVM to just use both computers at the same time.
I use Barrier daily with my Mac mini as the server and my MacBook as client.
Ah, okay. Then I think you are out of luck. Both synergy and barrier are working on it. According to the feature request barrier is looking for donations before they start.
Synergy is pretty much dead since the creator went off and tried to rip off everyone with half-assed products with spyware bundled in. Development is pretty well dead, and it is no longer the aame trustworthy product. However, check out Barrier it is an open source continuation of the original open source synergy base, without the fuckery, and development is full steam ahead.
Gesture "button" does NOT work without software. Also scrolling speed is out of whack without SW (especially on linux). So it works as a bad 5 button mouse...
If i'm switching between notebook/PC/phone, i have to lift the mouse up and press the button. Now theoretically this could work on v3 if i ran Windows/macos where mouse jumps from one device to the other via their SW, but... i'm 95% linux, so i have to click the button... (sometimes i use https://github.com/debauchee/barrier , but it has it's limitations)
It CHARGES via wire. But does not work as a mouse via wire. You still have to have unify receiver or BLE connection to the device. Sometimes it would be nice to quickly connect to a random PC i get, without fishing my dongle from behind the desk... This last one, i know it's niche... But if i loose my unify receiver, i can't even BT pair if i don't have another mouse around...
Check out Barrier. It's a free open source fork of Synergy. You start up the server on one machine, the client on the other machine receives input from the server.
I used it for a while. It can be a bit clunky at times, but it gets the job done. You'll be able to seamlessly transition from one machine to the other.
I previously used Barrier to share my kb+m between my mac and Windows. Dunno if it'll work like how you want it to but I guess it will since it focuses inputs onto the screen where your mouse cursor is.
It works flawlessly for switching between Windows and Linux machine, it has Mac support but I don't know how well it works. The only problem is the main computer where keyboard and mouse are connected need to be running.
For mouse and keyboard you could use Synergy (https://symless.com/synergy ) or barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier ).
> so I guess I'm doing something wrong.
Gnome very much likes hardware acceleration for animations etc. , so it works about as well as windows games via rdp, i.e. not well.
Finally, rule 2 exists for good reason.
Just jumping into say: use Barrier over Synergy. I know OP already mentioned they can't install software, but for other users looking at software KVMs Barrier is the way to go.
It's a regularly maintained FOSS fork of OG Synergy from back before they close sourced Synergy. I use it daily and it's truly phenomenal :)
Just to throw another in the mix, Synery was built on an open source core called Barrier, which is still well maintained...
Like the comment above, I would recommend Barrier instead since its free and uses the same base software as Synergy. It has been working well for me to switch between work and personal PC's using the same monitors.
I use: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier with my Macbook "16 and my Windows gaming PC.
I have the server on my Windows PC, where the mouse and keyboard are connected and my macbook as client. You can seamlessly switch between the devices by simply moving the mouse to the other screens.
I have 1 Mac & 1 PC (with 2 monitors) = 3 total
I use Loopback to loop audio from my mac to my PC and I've used Sharemouse and Barrier with no issues.
May want to try barrier: https://github.com/debauchee/barrier/releases
It's a pain to configure but not that bad.
When I was in a similar situation I used two machines, one running Linux and one running Windows each with their own monitor, but each running Barrier to share keyboard and mouse and it worked great.
As far as I know you are correct: both the Caldigit TS2 and the newer TS3 have no KVM switch. I still use the TS2 with a £30 adapter that converts TB3 to TB2.
Some new keyboards (Logitech come to mind) have multi-point pairing allowing you to switch from one PC to the other by pressing a button on the keyboard, but you'd still need to get the screen connected to both (possible since most support multiple input sources). I always thought it'd be a really killer feature if monitors provided an interface for software to switch the active input source.
There's a nifty little software KVM called barrier which allows you to use any keyboard to control multiple machines (switching with hotkey or simply when moving to screen edge) that would be completely awesome combined with a monitor that can switch between two inputs driven by a software signal from barrier.
My work setup also has me sharing a mouse and keyboard. Not sure how technical you are but you can achieve ditch the KVM using free software https://github.com/debauchee/barrier if that interests you.
"When you're playing games with the mouse, you should disable screen switching with the mouse by pressing scroll lock."
At any rate, it's also possible to write a script to monitor the processes or maybe the X11 focus and switch Barrier automatically.
If you don't already have a good solution, I recommend barrier as a virtual KVM for your different devices. Has cross platform, it's open source, and it doesn't use third party servers like Synergy. It also has E2E encryption. I use it for my laptop that I have positioned similar to yours.
ohh… pc without a keyboard is a weird concept…
I guess you just don't have password in your Windows installation.
If you have other device (like a laptop) running either Linux or Windows check out kvm barrier.
More information? Not really; it's pretty straightforward. The unifying receiver is pretty great and works with quite a few pieces of hardware.
If you want to test it out, get the MX Keys (my fav between the two) and connect with the Logitech Options.
If you want to try it out without dropping $100, check out the M525 or the M510 and connect it with the Logitech Unifying Software - same concept for around $20.
tbh, I'm considering returning the MX Master 3 in favor of the M525. Might be personal preference, but I'm not seeing myself use the MXM3 as heavily as I thought, but the MX Keys is a solid choice for a wireless keyboard. I paired it with my phone for laughs, and it jumps back and forth between the two fairly quickly with the touch of a button.
However. If your goal is to effectively use your setup as a single desktop with 2 machines, consider the free/open source solution - Barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier). Barrier works like a dream between my Win 10/Debian desktop and Debian laptop.