I found similar questions both here and on Super User. The closest question that comes to my question that I could find is Why can't I use two or more keyboards/mice at the same time on one computer?, but the question was focused on Windows (also, it dates from 2010, and things may have changed since).

I'm wondering whether I can hook up two keyboards simultaneously on my Linux machine. I've recently been working on my desktop again instead of my laptop, but my Cherry MC Blue keycaps actually wakes up my SO. (She's in a different room to me, but Blues are loud).

I could use a USB-PS/2 + USB setup if that would work and two USB keyboard input devices won't work.

I don't wish to simply replace my Blues, as I can use them during the day without bothering her and I rather like that keyboard.

For what it matters, I mostly use Ubuntu.

Considering that I don't tend to actually use them simultaneously, I am aware that I could just unplug the Blues and plug in the Browns at night, and reverse it again in the morning. I'm just being lazy and don't want to go through that daily.

  • 1
    The linked question is rather oddly worded but refers to doing differerent things with two sets of input hardware. On XP I tested two mice; moving them towards each other very evenly the cursor stayed in the same place with a single pixel vibration. Even ctrl+alt+del worked with one key on each of 3 keyboards. Back to Linux I used to keep two mice plugged in as my primary could only be configured in windows and once I'd fired up my windows VM I couldn't use it in the host Xubuntu. A laptop with an external keyboard/mouse is another common working example
    – Chris H
    Oct 11, 2016 at 12:11
  • @ChrisH Can't believe I actually didn't think of the fact that laptops kind of do this. Of course the keyboard on the laptop itself wouldn't necessarily interfere like two usb-keyboards would. But yeah, I should have thought of that :-) Thanks for sharing your experience :) Oct 11, 2016 at 12:24
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    Seriously? You asked this as a question instead of just trying it? Or did you just want to talk about your keyboard and how cool you are?
    – Sam
    Oct 11, 2016 at 13:56
  • @Sam shouldn't really reply to someone trolling but anyway to state the (really) obvious: don't have a second keyboard available to me and didn't feel like going to the shops to buy one and test it.. ;-) Oct 11, 2016 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can connect any number of keyboards simultanously (as long as it's physically possible with your hardware). The "X Input" extension manages multiple input devices, you can use the xinput commandline tool to configure them, and you can also assign them to different "seats" (combinations of keyboard/monitor) or use them alternatively with one monitor.

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    You can connect multiple mice also. Great for pair programming.
    – h22
    Oct 11, 2016 at 13:58

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