Wouldn't it be brilliant if you could use the mouse and keyboard on one computer to control others? Wouldn't it be even better if you could copy and paste between them? Using synergy this can be easily done.

Basically you set up one computer as the synergy server. This is the computer that has the mouse and keyboard you wish to control multiple computers with.

The computers that are to be controlled are the synergy clients.

Install synergy from source :

Or use the package manager to download and install using the command:

  • sudo aptitude install synergy

Make sure to install synergy on all computers (server and clients)!

Synergy Server Instructions

Use Vim or your favorite text editor to create ~/.synergy.conf

This is what mine looks like:

section: screens
section: links
                right = tokra
                left = thor


Under the section screens just list the hostnames of the server and all the clients.

Under the section links we describe how we wish to switch between screens.

      right = tokra

The above means that if the mouse pointer is on the screen belonging to thor, if we move the the mouse pointer off the right hand side of the monitor we will now be controlling the screen belonging to tokra. So describe which direction will result in which screen for the server and each client. Keep in mind you can use up = and down = also.

Save the file once you are done editing.

Now run the command :

  • synergys

Synergy Client Instructions

On each client do the following:

  • synergyc <ip address of server>

If all goes well you can now move the mouse belonging to the synergy server off the screen in various directions (specified in synergy.conf) to start controlling other machines.

When to use Synergy

  • When you wish to share a mouse and keyboard with computers running different OS's. (eg: windows/linux)

Synergy alternatives

  • If you just wish to share a mouse/keyboard between 2 or more machines running linux, then x2x may be more appropriate.
  • You also have the option of sharing a mouse/keyboard via vnc. If this interests you, check out an app called x2vnc