I operate a two-computer setup with multiple displays and a plethora of USB devices. I have a pretty excellent KVM switch, that I'm generally very happy with; but I often need to switch the keyboard/mouse separately from the monitor. (i.e., I don't actually use the ‘K’ and ‘M’ in my KVM 🤣.)
At the moment, I have a four-port USB-switch that I'm using to augment that. In particular, it has:
- Separate power-supply (weirdly, also over USB; but hey, whatever),
- Four output ports,
- USB-3.0 support,
- and a wired remote, so I can control it from the front of my desk.
The problem I'm still suffering, though, is a subset thereof: right now, my shared display has independent control through the KVM; but my keyboard, mouse, DAC/speakers, and smartcard authentication setup (
<3 Yubikey!) are all linked together. This means that anytime I want to type some text into my PC, I hit the remote's button under my desk, and … my music cuts out, my Mac locks itself (because I've ‘removed’ my smartcard), and Windows beeps a bajillion times as it briefly recognizes new devices.
So, what I really want, I've belatedly realized, is a USB switch with:
- At least two host-side USB 3.0 connections,
- at least four individually-switchable USB 3.0 ports for devices,
- if possible, an independent power-supply, not bus power,
- if possible, maintained power to the switched devices, regardless of what they're currently connected to,
- and if possible, some sort of remote head — or most preferably, software control from the hosts (I'd love to be able to hack together a key combination that switches devices!), so I can keep the dang thing hidden away behind my desk.
Cost is no object, this is for my primary workstation.