iconSynergy lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers on your desk, and it's Free and Open Source. Just move your mouse off the edge of one computer's screen on to another. You can even share all of your clipboards. All you need is a network connection. Synergy is cross-platform (works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

synergy-monitors-demo

Synergy Server and Client

In synergy, the computer with keyboard and mouse you want to share is called server. I choose whichever computer has the best keyboard software as the server. In this case a Windows 8 machine is the server.

Now I can add as many clients as I want which will connect to the Windows 8 server. I like to have Macs and Linux boxes run the client.

Local Hosts Setup

First determine the IP addresses and host names for each machine you want to use with synergy and make sure each has a correct entry in each machines hosts file.

Hosts File Locations

192.168.1.220      alienlinux.localdomain         alienlinux
192.168.1.240      win8devil.localdomain          win8devil
Note: Check that the clients can reach each other by pinging both the IP, the alias (alienlinux) and the FQDN (alienlinux.localdomain).

Starting Synergy Client on Linux

The place that makes the most sense to start the synergy client is in your $HOME/.xinitrc file. That file is run by X on startup. You should stick this above the part of the file where the window manager is execed. Like above 'exec kde4'.

This uses the pidof command to test if synergyc is already running. If it is not already running it starts synergyc in the background.

/bin/pidof synergyc &>/dev/null || ( ( /usr/bin/synergyc -f --debug ERROR --name alienlinux --restart win8devil:24800 ) & )

Configuration for Windows Server

synergy.sgc

section: screens
  win8devil:
    halfDuplexCapsLock = false
    halfDuplexNumLock = false
    halfDuplexScrollLock = false
    xtestIsXineramaUnaware = false
    switchCornerSize = 20
  alienlinux:
    halfDuplexCapsLock = false
    halfDuplexNumLock = false
    halfDuplexScrollLock = false
    xtestIsXineramaUnaware = false
    switchCornerSize = 20
end

section: aliases
  win8devil:
    win8devil.localdomain
  alienlinux:
    alienlinux.localdomain
end

section: links
  win8devil:
    left = alienlinux
  alienlinux:
    right = win8devil
end

section: options
  heartbeat = 5000
  relativeMouseMoves = false
  screenSaverSync = false
  win32KeepForeground = false
  switchCorners = none 
  switchCornerSize = 0
end

Synergy Links

Software keyboard linux Mac mouse Synergy Windows

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