Synergy: software keyboard sharing

Wednesday 25 May 2005

Synergy is software that does the Keyboard and Mouse part of KVM. The idea is that you have a bunch of computers, each with their own screen. But you want to use only one keyboard and mouse. Install Synergy server on the machine with the keyboard, and install Synergy clients on the other machines. Now all the screens act as a single unified desktop, and you switch where the input is going simply by moving the mouse off the edge of one screen onto another. And it works on multiple operating systems!

I haven’t tried it, but it sounds damn handy.


Josh Barratt 1:09 PM on 25 May 2005

I've used it, as well as using x2x and x2vnc for doing similar things in linux-only land and linux->windows. Unbeleivably great! I like it most because I can take my 'persistent' things (email apps, IM apps, etc) on my laptop wherever I go, and then my work/home computers keep the things they "need." Since I run linux on my laptop, adding in a cygwin x server on windows means I can run apps from my laptop over there too transparently -- to be honest, it does get a bit confusing at times :)

David Chen 1:27 PM on 25 May 2005

It works very well. I use it at work between a Mac and a PC for browser compatibility testing, as well as gaining an extra screen. It shares the clipboard as well. Very useful and open source!

Paul Randall 2:42 PM on 25 May 2005

You just blew my mind.

Mike Watkins 4:14 PM on 25 May 2005

I use it every day; you can even do a cut and paste of text between OS's - its simply fabulous and not that difficult to setup.

It also lives in FreeBSD's ports system.

The only issue I run into from time to time is my control key occasionally "appears" stuck down when I make my Windows machine "active" - when I note this depressing control and/or alt (happens on alt sometimes as well) once or twice usually resets things. I have
synergy set to load when I start up an X session in my Autostart folder via a script (I run XFCE4 myself as a window manager)

Sylvain Galineau 4:39 PM on 25 May 2005

Weird things from a PC server to an OS X clients (the client often stops) but otherwise very cool.

Nate Finch 5:53 PM on 25 May 2005

That's damn cool.

Mike Watkins 8:47 PM on 25 May 2005

I run the server on my unix box; client on Windows. Its easy to configure; the sample conf file has sufficient comments I think you'll find your first attempt works.

Benji York 6:33 AM on 26 May 2005

I used synergy for a while, but found it to be too buggy for extended use. I've been using x2x and x2vnc for a while and they're terrific. At home I use my Linux laptop as the "main" computer with a Linux box and a dual head Windows box. 3 machines, 4 monitors, very fun.

Mike Watkins 8:03 AM on 27 May 2005

Have been using synergy for at least a year, perhaps longer. Couldn't work without it; I also found it used far less by way of resources than x2vnc which was my primary reason for using it.

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