Can I use a Plugable multi-monitor adapter with a KVM?

Can I use a Plugable multi-monitor adapter with a KVM? I’m intending to buy this one (, but am open to suggestions.

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your post about USB Graphics and a KVM setup. Can you provide a little more detail about your intended setup? Here are two basic scenarios we’ve seen:

  1. Using a USB Graphics Adapter to connect a non-VGA able computer to a VGA only KVM. In this case the USB Graphics Adapter is between one computer and the KVM.

  2. Using a USB Graphics Adapter to enable switching a dual monitor setup between multiple computers.

While in some cases it is possible to use USB graphics with a KVM, it often is not. The problem is that KVMs do not all behave the same and many do not pass the EDID (extended display information data) and/or the USB ports may not fully support the USB spec.

Based on other customer reviews it looks like the KVM you’re looking at won’t be a good fit for USB Graphics. Sorry I don’t have better news.

Thank you very much,

Plugable Technologies

Hi, Jerome! I appreciate your reply. Here’s what I want to do: I have (or will have) an XP Toshiba laptop, a Windows Vista custom-built desktop, a Windows 7 Acer laptop, and a Mac Mini (latest version). The Win 7 Acer is actually my main machine. Initially I was going to set up a “simple” KVM scenario and share a single monitor, keyboard and mouse with all 4 machines through the KVM. But I’ve really grown accustomed to using dual monitors (actually the Acer’s built-in display + an additional monitor plugged into the Acer’s VGA output). I didn’t know how I could use multiple monitors when also using a KVM. Then I came across your product and wondered: instead of having the “Console” VGA connection go straight to a monitor, could I have it go through a multi-monitor adapter that was connected to TWO monitors? Regardless of which computer is elected on the KVM, the signal going through the Console connection SHOULD look like a “normal” signal to the multi-monitor adapter (I’d think). But as I talk this through, I think I’m seeing the problem. The Plugable adapter doesn’t create a multi-screen display from a single VGA input (which is what I think I need). Rather, the Plugable adapter simply allows a USB port on a computer to essentially be transformed into a second VGA output port. Right?

So… do you know of anything that does what I need to do: drive multiple monitors from a single VGA input?


Scott <>

Hi Scott,

You are correct!
Our adapters essentially allow a USB port to function as a graphics output.

For your setup you’ll need to find a KVM that either supports dual monitors natively (a little pricey) or possibly look at an all USB solution, ie: a USB switch and USB Graphics Adapters. The limits there though, are that the USB Graphics Adapters require drivers to function so the display won’t be working until after Windows boots and the loads the drivers. This presents it’s own set of quirks…

I hope this helps with your decision!

Plugable Technologies.