Synergy – Same Keyboard and Mouse on 2 Computers

Synergy – Same Keyboard and Mouse on 2 Computers

As you know or don’t know, all my work (especially programming) is done from a laptop running Linux OS, or to be more specific, Fedora.
Except from programming, I’m also using Adobe products like Photoshop, Fireworks and more to design and style photos, picture and images.
As I know for now, there is no standard way to run Adobe products from Linux but only from Windows or Mac OS X.

On Linux there is also pretty nice Photoshop-like application called GIMP, but it is not rich with features and user-experience like Photoshop. And what about the rest Adobe products except Photoshop, is there an alternative applications on Linux? I didn’t find any.

This gives me no choice, but work with two computers at the same time. The problem starts when I’m trying to physically follow and control both of the computers using each other control devices (Keyboard and Mouse), it becomes confusing and chaotic. Then, like typical programmer, I started to Google for solutions.

After a short time, I found a software called Synergy that provides a solution for my problem.

So, how Synergy works?
Synergy is a sever/client application that works on nearly any OS and as far as I know is free of charge (as of November 2011).
You have to install the application on both computers, configure as a server on the one you that want to use as a main controller, and the other as a client.

Sounds complicated? Actually, it’s very simple!

Let’s take my example. The main controller is on Windows, and I want to control with it the Fedora.
So, here is the steps you have to follow to solve the same problem as mine.

On Windows:

  • Download the stable version from: http://synergy-foss.org/download/, by choosing your OS architecture.
  • Install it and run it.
  • Select the option “Share this computer’s keyboard and mouse (server)”, and click on “Configure…”.
  • On configure window, add both PCs by giving him a name.
  • Now, make a link between both PCs in the Links section by providing a screen edges parts that the mouse pointer will be transferred on.
    Note: Don’t forget to add a link for both sides, one from PC1 to PC2 and another from PC2 to PC1, otherwise the mouse pointer will stack on the second PC.
  • By pressing OK,  he will rebuild the configuration file usually located on C:\Users\[YOUR_PC_NAME]\Documents\synergy.sgc
  • Now, you can press on “Start” button. Now the application will run in the background.

On Fedora:

  • Open the Terminal.
  • Access as root by entering:
    [[email protected] ~]$ su -
    Password:
  • Enter your root password.
  • Now, enter:
    [[email protected] ~]# yum -y install synergy
  • Synergy installed 2 execution files in the /usr/bin/ called synergyc (client) and synergys (server)
  • Now, we need to run the Synergy client, by entering the following command:
    [[email protected] ~]# synergyc --daemon --name DNA-LINUX 192.168.0.2
  • Change the name DNA-LINUX to the one you entered in the Screens configuration of the  Synergy server.
    Change the address 192.168.0.2 to the local/remote IP or host of the PC that Synergy server runs on.
    For more information about synergyc command use:
    [[email protected] ~]# synergyc –help
  • Now try to move your mouse to the edges parts of the screen you’ve set on configuration step.

Enjoy! 🙂

37 comment(s)

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Hey man, nice blog!
Thanks for this post! I have KVM but this app is much better and faster! 🙂
(thought about buying a second screen, now I use an old laptop as a screen :))

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