Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Simple Solution for Sharing UNIX and Windows Environments

The solutions for using UNIX and Windows together discussed here are designed to give you a clearer picture of the variety of ways that you can share these two environments. Many of them depend on software additions to one platform or the other.

If you decide-after reading that you want to keep your UNIX software environment separate from your Windows software environment, there is a very simple way to access them simultaneously Say you have just invested in two separate machines that run the latest operating system environments, for instance, Fedora Core 5 Linux on one machine and Windows XP on the other. You like to work in both environments, and-at times-like to switch back and forth to perform tasks on one machine while the other is running a long process.

A simple way to accomplish this is to use a common keyboard, video display monitor, and mouse connected to each machine’s CPU through a device called a KVM switch (for Keyboard, Video, and Mouse). A KVM switch has connections on it that allow multiple input and output options. Your connections from a common keyboard and mouse go into the switch and connect to the input ports of both of your CPUs. The video output ports of both of your CPUs go back through the switch to a common video monitor. After booting up one machine using the switch setting associated with it (say A), you can boot the other machine using its associated switch setting (say B). From this point on, you can switch back and forth between the two machine environments and perform the tasks you need to.

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