Synergy – Many Computers, one Keyboard

Some days ago I saw some colleagues using more than >2 computers with one keyboard and one mouse, dragging the mouse across multiple screens with different operating systems and using the clipboard accross them. Wow!

This is done with a tool named Synergy. Here is my setup with Windows XP and Mac OSX:

4 Screens, 2 Operating Systems connected via Synergy

I did the following to make it work:

  • I installed Synergy on my windows box (the 2 screens on the left) .
  • Started Synergy and started it as the ‘server’.
  • I configured the server with screens named like the IP-Addresses of the machines I wanted to use and defined which machine with its screens are on the left and which ones are on the right. This defines where the mouse cursor transfers to the next screen. I also used alias names for the screens.
  • Started Synergy on the server (Windows).
  • Then I downloaded Synergy for Mac OSX.
  • My MacBook is also attached to a 2nd Mac-screen (no. 3 in the picture). In this setup this one is optional. I had it lying around, so I used it.
  • The configuration has to be saved manually in the file synergy.conf. I used some aliases in order to avoid trouble.
  • Now I started the Synergy-client on the MacBook with “/Users/Shared/synergy-1.3.1/synergyc -f mmm” from the command line.
  • Problems with the connection are shown on the server and on the client and can easily be fixed with the documentation on the synergy website.

You will find all you need to know on http://synergy2.sourceforge.net

A good tutorial: http://www.elsniwiki.de/index.php/Main/SynergyKonfigurieren

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