Synergy: Share Your Keyboard and Mouse Across Multiple Platforms

Synergy: Share Your Keyboard and Mouse Across Multiple Platforms:

By Brady Forrest

synergy in action

With the news that even Microsoft is supporting cross-platform development more people are going to have multiple systems at their desks. That’s where Synergy comes in. It’s a small piece of open-source software that allows you to share one keyboard and mouse across multiple screens hooked up to different computers. The computers can be running Windows, Mac, or Linux. It also lets you copy and paste across the computers and run a single screensaver across all of the screens. There is no drag-n-drop just yet.

The primary computer (the one with the keyboard and mouse) will run the Synergy server. All of the other machines will run the Synergy client. The server communicates with the clients via TCP/IP. There is currently no encryption or authentication and all data is passed to all of the connected clients. The clients only need to the server name to connect so you should only run Synergy on a trusted network. If desired you can install an SSH server (such as OpenSSH) on the primary computer separately to address any security worries.

I haven’t tried Synergy yet (I’m on the road currently). My friend Stuart Updegrave (who told me about it) is using it daily across machines running Windows XP and Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and is really impressed. Have you used it?

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