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Community faq

I can't get the KVM KB to work on my ZeroW!

Make sure that you did NOT modify your config.txt file, this is the default:

# See /boot/overlays/README for all available options
initramfs initramfs-linux.img followkernel
hdmi_force_hotplug=1
gpu_mem=64
enable_uart=1
dtoverlay=tc358743,i2c_pins_28_29=1
dtoverlay=disable-bt
dtoverlay=dwc2,dr_mode=peripheral
Ensure that you have the cable(Needs to support both power/data) plugged into the right port, the one closest to the mini HDMI is the correct port

Can I use a KB on my ZeroW?

  • Yes but kb/mouse passthrough will not work. Its one or the other - This is especially true if you use an addon that requires the below to change.
  • edit /boot/config.txt
  • Host mode - Comment out dtoverlay=dwc2
  • Passthrough mode - Uncomment out dtoverlay=dwc2

Can you have the pikvm(RPi4) connected along with a monitor?

  • A community member has had success with the following: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DQWLXF1
  • Some Alternitives
  • If you have two outputs, you may be able to use screen mirroring from the OS but not BIOS
  • If you have one output or need access from both a local monitor or PiKVM at boot time, one of the following options may work:
  • Passthrough HDMI capture devices (sometimes referred to as a loop capture device). The Elgato and Avermedia devices DO NOT WORK! Look for Linux OS support when choosing a device, the expected price range is about $35-$70 US.
  • Depending on your capture device, an HDMI splitter may work but will need what is called an EDID (Extended Device ID) generator, the monitor and capture device both generate EDID so the splitter must produce its own separate EDID for the host.
  • Look for HDMI splitters - although there have been reports that these are not stable
    • Please use the search function in Discord, some users have had sucess in getting this to work but your mileage may vary
  • The better solution is to capture the stream in a dir and then use VLC to stream to that capture on another computer. This will result in fps loss.

Wouldn't it be good to have different hostnames for your multitude of pikvms?

Yes! And it's easy to do! Using a SSH session or the web terminal: - Make sure you're root, if you're not root use the su command to become root - Enter read write mode of the PiKVM by executing the rw command - Execute: hostnamectl set-hostname yournewhostname.domain - Optional: Edit /etc/kvmd/meta.yaml to alter the displayed hostname in the web UI - Reboot the pikvm

  • It's recommended that you review Arch documents related to what you want to do, while there are several folks in discord who can help, there is no obligation...they do it for the feels. So if you don't get an answer within the time frame you are looking for, it's advised you start google searching for what you want.

Can this be used in any other distro’s like Rasbian? Run this in a Docker?

  • Officially, no. Unofficially yes and totally #unsupported. Please DM @srepac on discord for the directions.
  • Docker image is available, search the docker hub but this is #unsupported and #unofficial and not updated.

Can you switch from USB to CSI or from CSI to USB?

  • Officially, no. You would be advised to make 2 seperate SD cards and swap them when needed. Unofficially yes and totally NOT supported. Please DM @srepac on discord for the script and directions.

Help! I ran out of space aka room! What now?

(This ONLY applies to the older flashed images and is no longer nessessary as the newer images had the main partition increased, as a result, the MSD partition was shrunk) - You’ve cached package updates you no longer need. - Enter read/write mode by executing rw as root - Execute the following as root to clear the package cache

rm -rf /var/cache/pacman/pkg/*
- Exit read/write mode by executing ro as root - You can also use gparted to resize partitions without "losing data", although there is a chance this may delete all of your data

Can you connect a camera to this and still make pikvm functional?

  • Yes, any cheapo webcam can be used in place of the usb dongle, please use the usb image
  • A PiCam will NOT work

HELP!! Something isn't working!!

  • What was the last thing or most recent thing you did? Did you undo it?
  • Did you change a file? Did you back it up before changing it?
  • Did you hook this to anything else? If not why not?
  • Did you try different cables?

Things to do after initial install:

  • Fix date: 'timedatectl list-timezones' then 'timedatectl set-timezone America/Los_Angeles' (Change to your location)
  • Update PiKVM, follow #news on Discord for instructions
  • Setup a NFS share to give read/write storage on the read only pikvm
  • Note: this does assume you already have an NFS server on your network and accessible to pikvm
  • Source https://linuxhint.com/install_configure_nfs/
    pacman -S nfs-utils
    showmount -e 192.168.1.XXX
    mount -t nfs 192.168.1.XXX:/volume1/Data /mnt/Data
    nano /etc/fstab
    
    Add To the bottom of the file
    192.168.1.XXX:/volume1/Data /mnt/Data nfs      auto,rw,soft    0 0
    

Troubleshooting

  • :exclamation:It is expected that you are aware of basic networking while working on this project and that you have read up on the project prior to going to Discord:exclamation:
  • Do you know the IP?
  • Can you ping the IP?
  • Did you swap cables?
  • Did you swap the eth port to a known working eth port?
  • Do you have access to another router or switch?
  • Did you change ports on the router/switch?
  • RPi4 - Did you hook up a monitor? Once logged in, can you ping to your gateway? Other IP's on the same network?
  • Did you connect a monitor to the target? Does it work?
  • Did you connect the PIKVM to the target directly? Does it work?

  • Reboot target

  • Try default image, do not update and test

-copy/paste into a file, call it pi-info.sh, chmod +x pi-info.sh, ./pi-info.sh Same script is located here

#!/bin/bash
uptime
TMPFILE="/tmp/pacmanquery"; /bin/rm -f $TMPFILE
pacman -Q | awk '{print $2, $1}' > $TMPFILE
chmod go+w $TMPFILE

pistat && echo

printf "%-18s\t%s\n" "Version" "Package-Name" "----------------------" "-----------------------------"

PACKAGES="firmware bootloader kvmd ustreamer nginx wpa wireless"
for PKG in $( echo $PACKAGES ); do
        printf "%-18s\t%s\n" $(grep $PKG $TMPFILE | sed 's/-[1-9]//g')
done
dmesg | grep tc35 - CSI

dmesg | egrep '1-1.[245]|uvc' - USB

systemctl status kvmd

systemctl status kvmd-otg

  • hint: look at kvmd-platform line of the output... make sure it matches the image they expect for the capture device and platform

  • Keyboard/Mouse icons orange? Try a different cable (ALLOT are power only), try a different usb port

  • Should see the following if everything is in place ls -l /dev/kvmd

    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 5 Apr  5 21:33 /dev/kvmd-hid-keyboard -> hidg0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 5 Apr  5 21:33 /dev/kvmd-hid-mouse -> hidg1
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 6 Mar 15 09:07 /dev/kvmd-video -> video0
    

Common Commands for troubleshooting PiKVM

  • journalctl -u kvmd
  • journalctl -u kvmd-vnc
  • journalctl -u kvmd-ipmi

Bootup/power issues

  • PiKVM won’t boot past “rainbow” screen
  • Are you plugged into the right HDMI port? Needs to be the one next to the power for RPI4
  • Have you reflashed your SD card?

USB Video Capture Issues

  • Make sure this is a capture card and not an adapter (HDMI->USB)

HDMI-CSI Capture issues

  • Have you reset the Target PC?
  • Are you sure it's a bridge and not an extender? There is a difference
  • Did you make sure it's plugged into the right port? It needs to say Camera NOT Display
  • Did you try another ribbon cable?
  • Did you reseat the ribbon cable?
  • Is the ribbon cable facing the right way? Needs to be towards the PCB (Green or Black)
  • If you are getting snow looking screen, you need to make sure you select 50hz OR select anything below 1080p, like 720p60
  • If you are getting an Indian looking screen, please clear the browser cache or use private/incog window

Misc stuff

  • Fully working example of a Pi4 USB-HDMI KVM attached to AIMOS 4-port HDMI KVM switch (8 port is on AliExpress), with keyboard hotkey switching between inputs, and mass storage media emulation on a Pi Zero W
  • PiKVM that mitigates HDMI backpower and requires no splitter board here
  • VERY useful scripts that enhance the PiKVM's functionality - Please DM @srepac on discord to gain access

As of March 2021, Below are frequently out of Stock or hard to get items, all have exceptionally LONG shipping dates

Ezcoo KVM - Goes out of stock frequently
CSI2-HDMI bridge w/ TC358743XBG chip - Goes out of stock freqently 
Alternative names for the same devices:
Tiamu       Sling           Yazan           Ningwang    Essenc      Geekworm
Fauge       Haudang     AKAT            Docoop          Katigan     Lyusa (recommended by mdevaev)
LNIMI       cherrypop   Lopbinte    Uang            Tuneway     Mustwell
Facibom     Binchil     Cobeky      Ctzrzyt         Davitu  
  • Community recommended USB capture card
  • Community recommended Loop device that allows Monitor+PiKVM