Fedora Core KVM Issues

Album Cover: Begin To Hope

"On the radio, you hear November Rain. That solo's awful long, but it's a good refrain."
Regina Spektor / On The Radio

Posted on January 03, 2005 2:51 PM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

One of the most frustrating things about using Fedora Core Linux with a KVM switch is that it almost always wigs out when you switch back from another machine. I've run into the problem using a Belkin switch, but from what I've read around the Web, the problem isn't necessarily limited to just that type of switch.

The good news for Fedora users is that this is a known issue. The even better news is that there is a pretty simple workaround. If you're willing to give up the middle scrollwheel on your mouse (which, to me at least, is a small price to pay for sane mouse movement and UI control), all you have to do is tweak your grub.conf file.

The following is based on information I found in a mailing list, but is a little more specific for those who, like me, sometimes need a little more guidance to get things done on Linux:

First, open a command prompt and make sure you have root privileges (e.g. use the command su -). Type vi /boot/grub/grub.conf and edit the line in the file that starts with kernel so that it contains the argument psmouse.proto=bare. For example, mine now reads (on a single line):

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 psmouse.proto=bare rhgb quiet

If you need a quick vi refresher, check out Mastering the VI editor. Once you've saved your changes, simply restart your machine running Fedora Core, and you shouldn't see any strange mouse behavior (at least related to your KVM switch) any more.

I don't, and I couldn't be happier.


Ryan on January 03, 2005 at 11:04 PM:

I have a coworker who ran into a similar problem with RedHat... he actaully hacked away at the code so that if the sync was lost it would try to connect back up - this made it work, but he thought the hack was too rough to distribute. Might be able to get you in touch with him, though, if you want.


John Walker on December 14, 2008 at 1:15 AM:

Thanks very much - the advice to disable the additional mouse functionality worked well for me, and remains valid 4 years after it was first given. (Valid for Fedora Core 10)


Post Comments

If you feel like commenting on the above item, use the form below. Your email address will be used for personal contact reasons only, and will not be shown on this website.


Email Address:



Check this box if you hate spam.