ahoekman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:06 pm

Multi-use computer Lab

Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:54 pm

Hello Group!
I am reaching out and hoping that I can get some help on a setup for a multi-use computer lab. I have a special lab that is used for Cisco CCNA classes. I have Dell 9020's running an i7 process and Windows 7 pro. These are our daily use machines that have general lab software like PacketTracer, MS Office, the network printer, Internet access, etc. I also have another round of similiar pc's on the floor that we use for our Linux classes, OS classes, and hardware classes to install os's on and then each person in the class has their own computer to use in a classroom environment to do labs etc. We now are using Raspberry Pi's in Linux classes, as well as Python classes and to do out reach with local schools. They typically interface Arduinos with either the Windows pc's or the Pi's if they are more advanced. I really want to be able to use a KVM switch to be able to switch between all the different pc's and the Pi's, but have not had much luck. We are using VGA KVM 4-port switches with a VGA to HDMI splitter. The biggest issue is that I can switch between devices, but then either video won't display properly with the Pi or the keyboard and mouse won't be recognized with the pc's. We also want the ability for our students (school groups who own their own) with their own Pi's to be able to come into the lab and use the keyboards, mice and monitors. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice would be really appreciative. Would like feedback before I spend a ton of money moving to another room with more hardware or replacing my KVM switches.

Thanks,
Annie

ejolson
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Multi-use computer Lab

Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:58 am

ahoekman wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:54 pm
I really want to be able to use a KVM switch to be able to switch between all the different pc's and the Pi's, but have not had much luck. We are using VGA KVM 4-port switches with a VGA to HDMI splitter. The biggest issue is that I can switch between devices, but then either video won't display properly with the Pi or the keyboard and mouse won't be recognized with the pc's.
It is unclear how things are connected from your discription. Did you mean a VGA to HDMI splitter or a HDMI to VGA splitter? I'm currently working in a similar room with two computers per monitor connected through KVM switchs and a seemingly random array of HDMI, display port, VGA and DVI converters. One set of PCs are apparently used to teach a course on computer security while the others are for regular use. My students use a bootable USB stick to load a network image of Linux on any of the computers and run diskless after that. It helps to make sure the KVM switch is set for the correct computer before booting so the keyboard, mouse and monitor get detected correctly. Switch the KVM to the other computer before booting the other one and so forth.

If you force the Raspberry Pi video output to HDMI at a particular resolution as a boot option, this may help solve your problem. Set hdmi_force_hotplug, hdmi_group and hdmi_mode as appropriate for your monitor in the config.txt file on your sdcard.

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