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Scott McAllister
Scott McAllister

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This Old Box: Setting Up the KVM Switch

Welcome back to my series where I am building my own application server out of an old 2014 Mac mini.

In my last post, I reformatted the hard drive of my retired 2014 Mac mini so I could start with a clean system. My family's current Mac mini is still running on the same desk. So, with two Mac minis running in a limited space I needed a solution for having both machines sharing the same peripheral hardware--monitor, keyboard, and mouse--without the need of unplugging cables between the machines.

To make the switching between machines easy, we purchased this KVM Switch.


We picked this one because it appeared easy to set up to accomplish what we needed. Looking at the picture below, you can see the clearly labeled spots for Blue and Green. Those are the HDMI and USB ports for each of the machines you'll be switching between. Those cables come with the KVM switch, which was nice.

The cables coming out of the bottom are the HDMI cable going to my monitor and the USB cable going to my USB hub. The 4-port hub (not pictured) is where I connect the keyboard and mouse to be used by both machines.

Switching between machines only requires a push of the round button ringed by colored light. The color changes depending on which machine you're currently using. To keep things straight, we put Post-It notes on each box listing the color and either "New" or "Old".

The setup of the switch was relatively straight forward, without a lot of hiccups. However, if you have any issues or questions please post them in the comments. We'd love to help!

In our next post, we'll talk about all the software we installed on our server to run and serve our web applications.

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