For questions about selecting KVM switches (Keyboard, Video and Mouse) used to share a single set of inputs and display devices between multiple outputs.

Keyboard, Video and Mouse (KVM) switches allow a single set of peripherals (now usually including other devices via shared USB hubs) to be shared by multiple machines. They have existed for quite some time and have supported many different keyboard, mouse and video standards.

Some KVM implementations are based on simple electronic switches. Others abstract the switching to the network and can be managed remotely. Most will provide the option to switch inputs based on keyboard strokes as well as physical knobs and switches.

Key things which differentiate KVM switches are:

  • Number of ports
  • Maximum video resolution supported
  • Manageability (remote or local only)
  • Input technology – for example:
    • VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort for video
    • Serial/PS2/USB for keyboard and mouse
    • Stereo 3.5mm/HDMI for audio
    • Shared USB hub for other devices
  • Cabling (captive or modular)