Doug Bryant

Tech thought and notes

Synergy - the Kvm Switch Replacement

At work, I regularly use two computers, my primary development box (linux) and my other development box for the windows specific piece of the program I am working on.

I have one keyboard and mouse two monitors. I tried using a KVM switch, but that sucked because every time I would switch from linux to windows and back, the scroll wheel on my mouse quit working on the linux box.

I also tried using VNC for a while, but found the screen drawing was too slow.

On one of my rss feeds this morning, I ran across Synergy. This is one sweet program!

You designate one of your computers the primary computer and start a synergy server on that computer. On the other computer, you start a synergy client. Now, all you have to do to move the keyboard and mouse from one computer to the other is push the mouse to one side of the screen from either computer. So when I am on the linux box and want to use the windows box, I just push the mouse to the right of the screen and I am then using the windows computer. To get control back to the linux box, I just push the mouse to the left side of the screen, and voila! I’m working on the linux box again.

This setup only works if you have two monitors and one keyboard/mouse. And… it works very, very well.

TIP:
I start synergy daemon on the linux(master) box with crontab. On the windows box, there is a gui option to start looking for the master when the computer is turned on.

@reboot /usr/bin/synergys —daemon —config /path/to/synergy.conf