Syngergy-plus for sharing inputs

Date November 29, 2009

Way back in the dark ages (May of 2008), I talked about synergy, and excellent piece of software that allows you to have multiple computers controlled by one central keyboard and mouse. Each computer needs its own screen, but it's ideal for multiple laptops or a combination of laptop and desktop.

Today I saw that there was a fork of this project, called synergy-plus. This is extremely handy, because the synergy code itself hasn't been changed in a long time, and there are a few bugs, especially when disconnecting/reconnecting Mac laptops.

Synergy has been a life saver for me and some others at my company. If you don't use it and you're tired of moving your hands from keyboard to keyboard, give it a shot!

  • http://geek-of-all-work.com/ Chuck Burkins

    Hmmmm, I have been working around those Mac bugs for a while myself. I'll give this a try on Monday. Have you tried the program yet? How does it run?

  • http://nsrd.wordpress.com/ Preston de Guise

    Just set this up between my Mac Pro and my Mac Book Pro. Works like a charm. The only bug I'm immediately spotting is an occasional tendency for shift or control to stick on the client, but this just tapping the affected key will resolve that.

    It would be great if it tied in the clipboard as well, but I'll continue to use clipboard sharing tools for that in the interim...

  • Steve

    I must be doing something wrong. I can get it to work between a Vista (server) and XP =once=. By "once", I mean I can move the mouse from the Vista monitor to the XP monitor but then it stops at the edge of the XP monitor when I try to return to the Vista monitor. :(

  • http://geek-of-all-work.com/ Chuck Burkins

    It's working for me. YAY!

    @Steve: I think that happened to me when I didn't have both sides of the links set up. Here's that section of my config:

    section: links
    chas.local:
    right=D7KN0Y91
    D7KN0Y91:
    left=chas.local

    From my mac, chas.local you go right to my dell, D7KN...
    From my dell, you go left to my mac.

    I'm not positive that's what's up, but I recall those symptoms and that solution.
    Hope this helps!

  • http://bitfieldconsulting.com John Arundel

    Great to see some love for Synergy! I had to set this up a while ago for a user who wanted to share keyboard & mouse between her Mac and a Windows machine - this proved to be an excellent way for her to gently transition onto the Mac.

    I found Synergy to be a bit of a pain to set up though, and somewhat unreliable - quite often it would just stop working for unknown reasons, requiring me to go in and restart the daemon via the terminal.

    At some point I came across SynergyKM which is a GUI wrapper and preference pane for Synergy which greatly simplifies setup and management of Synergy on OS X:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/synergykm/

  • Steve

    @Chuck: I've checked/edited the files on both machines in several ways. When I make both machines look like your example, I can't move across the screens in either direction. When I use just the Synergy interface, it'll move from Gimli to Gandalf (private joke--never mind), but still won't return.

    On both machines, the links portion of the config now looks the same as I edited them to read like yours:

    section: links
    Gandalf:
    right = Gimli
    Gimli:
    left = Gandalf
    end

    However, this won't let me move in either direction. I've tried several different combinations and have yet to hit on the right one. It's late now and my brain hurts. I'll try again tomorrow. :)

  • http://geek-of-all-work.com/ Chuck Burkins

    Well, here's the entirety of my config, if that will help. You'll notice that I removed mention of my ubuntu bootup of my Dell as confusing the first time. This is the actual running config:

    section: screens
    chas.local:
    switchCorners = none
    switchCornerSize = 0
    D7KN0Y91:
    switchCorners = none
    switchCornerSize = 0
    ubuntu:
    switchCorners = none
    switchCornerSize = 0
    end
    section: links
    chas.local:
    right=D7KN0Y91
    #right=ubuntu
    D7KN0Y91:
    left=chas.local
    ubuntu:
    left=chas.local
    end
    section: options
    heartbeat = 5000
    keystroke(F14) = switchToScreen(chas.local)
    keystroke(F15) = switchToScreen(D7KN0Y91)
    end

  • Steve

    Weird. After tweaking the file a few more times, this is what I ended up with:

    section: screens
    Gimli:
    switchCorners = none
    switchCornerSize = 0
    Gandalf:
    switchCorners = none
    switchCornerSize = 0
    end
    section: links
    Gimli:
    left = Gandalf
    Gandalf:
    right = Gimli
    end
    section: options
    heartbeat = 5000
    screenSaverSync = false
    switchDelay = 250
    keystroke(AudioPrev) = switchToScreen(Gandalf)
    keystroke(AudioNext) = switchToScreen(Gimli)
    end

    Now this works, and in both directions. The only thing I can see that actually changed was the -list order of the two boxes-. The next thing I have to do is make room for Walkabout to sit to the right of Gimli and go through it all again. I wonder if this'll work across a wireless connection? Only time will tell. :)