KVM for PPC & Intel

Since this forum is populated by such a knowledgeable membership thought I would post here. I am using an old G5 PPC and Mac Pro running High Sierra. Dual monitors. The PPC uses DVI, the Pro uses display port adaptors into HDMI.

Anyone recommend KVM switch that would allow me to switch easily between machines so that I can use keyboard and both monitors on either the PPC or PRO? Appreciate any suggestions.

Currently unplug keyboard and switch keyboard, then switch input display settings on each display.

Since I am switching back and forth about every 30 minutes is somewhat tedious.

To be honest, unless it’s prohibitive, I’d use Screens from the newer machine to access the older machine via VNC

Much cheaper than hardware and can be used for multiple computers

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Will check it out - thanks.

+1 for this. I did it back in the day, using VNC to control an old PowerMac G3 I was using as an MP3 device connected to my home stereo.

Today I use Jump Desktop with a headless Intel Mac mini from my Mac Studio. Easy to set up and easy to use. I have the Mini set in its own space so it’s as if I’m just on that system when in that space.

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I’ve just realised even better, you could use Screens and have the older computer in a window on one monitor, and your newer computer native on the other monitor at the same time. Therefore you can keep an eye on something happening on the older computer if you wish while working on the new computer.

I have a similar but somewhat more challenging question.

My main computer is a desktop Mac Pro with multiple monitors. At times I need to access a Windows laptop which is locked down such that I cannot install any new software. The laptop was issued by a client who is extremely security conscious and I want to honor their software security policies; I am however permitted (in fact encouraged) to connect their laptop to an external monitor via HDMI and/or an external keyboard via USB-A or USB-C. I can add anything I want to the Mac Pro (which is mine) via software, Thunderbolt, USB, or even installing a hardware card in the Mac Pro if needed.

I would prefer not to have to use two separate sets of keyboards/monitors to access the two computers.

What would be a good solution so that I can access the Windows laptop within my office while the two computers are physically in the same room so that I can use my Mac keyboard to control both computers and so the Windows laptop shows up as a Space on one of my Mac monitors (or - less ideal - so that one of my multiple monitors is dedicated only to the Windows computer).

I have a similar situation with my work laptop and personal Mac. I cannot install software on the work machine.

A Bluetooth keyboard that can pair to multiple computers could work for you, if you can pair based on the client’s security settings. Likewise for a mouse. The downside is having to switch.

I share one of my monitors via an HDMI switch. Set to the work laptop while working, to the Mac when not.

I have never used it but you could try RDP from the Mac to the Windows machine. This could give you Windows in a Mac space.

Barrier is a software KVM that has been mentioned on this forum, but it would require that you install software on the Windows machine. So rereading your requirements means that’s a no go.

Good luck and I hope you find a suitable solution.

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Is there some special reason, you have to use the clients Laptop, or could you use Windows also as a VM on your Mac?

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Great shout, or could they provide a cloud based Windows image? Then they can have their hardware back.

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The client uses hardware security to permit access only from their issued computer; among other security features, the laptop has a built-in card reader to verify the physical presence of an ID card they issue. Connection to their VPN is only permitted from a computer with the ID card physically inserted; I cannot login using a virtual Windows PC or any other PC except the one they issued.

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From a device with a security level like that, I am surprised that they allow an external Keyboard (possible Keylogger) and an external Monitor (possible recording device).

I have had a look at Screens - currently use Jump but I need to have access to both displays whilst using G5 PPC and ditto with the Mac Pro so mouse just tracks across displays.

I use Jump occasionally but due to being limited to one display bit of a pain. I know I can switch screens but still limited to a single physical display. I have a rough sketch showing on one display with CAD on the other. So need side by side from same machine when working.

That is why I considered KVM switch.

I do use Jump for VPN on Windows so is good for that. Honestly - should have moth balled G5 years ago but still runs without crashes or maintenance and new software costs are a bit steep.

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A perhaps too expensive solution would be to get a widescreen display to replace your current two displays.

Their security concerns are (a) Vendors should keep documents and work products only on the laptop or its VPN and not on their own device; and (b) If a vendor loses the laptop then it would be useless to anyone who finds it.

Their security meets those criteria well.

That response was to @MichaelTzu.