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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Share mouse keyboard between Mac and Windows without KVM

Here's a problem that really got me flustered for some time. I was using a Mac OSX Ventura (13.x) from work and also a personal Windows 11 but I wanted to use them at the same time - when I'm taking a break from work - for example. However I wasn't aware of how to get my input streamed to both of them and switch between then whenever I like. After a lot of research I was able to find something that worked and that was free and open source!

I could have bought a KVM switch, but why spend money when technology and FOSS can solve my problem.

Okay, so without delaying any further, here's the magic word - Barrier. It works across all major open / closed source Operating Systems and you can find the project here on Github - https://github.com/debauchee/barrier.

I've assumed both the computers are connected via a common LAN network. You could just insert an ethernet cable between the two for doing that.

A one time setup is needed to create the SSL fingerprint but that is pretty straightforward. Then configure the client with the IP of the server (the machine with the keyboard and mouse attached).

And the server can be configured interactively. Just add the name of the client on the server and we are good to go!

Note that there are a few bugs and for some time development on the project is stagnant, if you have any other better suggestions feel free to leave a comment. Thanks.

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