Synergy monitor-sharing software

Well, I’m not getting error msgs anymore, but I am still unable to run the mouse to the edge of the screen and be on my 2nd box 乁( ⁰͡ Ĺ̯ ⁰͡ ) ㄏ

I can ping the systems, I can move files back and forth with Avahi, but can’t use just one keyboard/mouse to do so…

Does anyone in the community have experience with the configuration of Synergy?

I encountered a site that makes good use of a txt-based configuration file, using the terminal to start the app; that’s how I got it to start without error msgs.

How exactly would that work, if it wouldn’t show erroneous behaviour?

Those who have it set up correctly can set up a “server” and “clients” who are on the same network. By moving your mouse to pre-defined edges of your monitor, you are moving to another desktop on the network. All with the same keyboard and mouse.


That’s the genius thing about Synergy, it changes one little thing that changes everything. (I’m probably going to come off like some sort of paid advertisement, so let me just say up front that I have no ties at all to the Synergy project, I’m just someone who’s impressed by clever ideas.)

Normal remote desktop lets you operate multiple computers from a single workstation — it transmits input from your local keyboard and mouse, and receives a feed of the other system’s GUI so it can be shown on the local display.

Synergy does the same thing with your input, but it doesn’t bring the remote video back in the other direction. Instead, with Synergy you can use multiple computers to control multiple computers with multiple monitors using a single set of input devices, just as if the separate screens are connected as multiple displays on the same system. You configure how each screen is positioned relative to the others, and then switching from one system to another is just a matter of sliding your mouse off the edge of one monitor and over to the adjacent one.

I haven’t even used Synergy in probably 10+ years. (So, I’m afraid
I probably won’t be much help here — sorry, @kgwoo!) In fact the whole reason I clicked on this post was that seeing the name was such a blast from the past. These days my primary screen is a 24" 1920×1200 LCD, and the only other monitor I have locally is my laptop’s dinky ~ 768×13whatever screen ­— not exactly a vast expanse of extra screen real estate.

But in my younger days when people were gullible enough to hire me as a sysadmin ­­— we’re talking the 1990s and the oughties, here, back when virtualization and container technology were discussed in research labs and academic papers, not wiring closets or server rooms — typically every time a new service or project got started, it’d mean new hardware to run it on (if not multiple new systems). So, it became pretty common to end up with multiple computers crammed on your desk, all fighting for space.

Anyone who’s ever been in that situation knows that the question of how to make it all fit isn’t even the biggest concern — though that definitely is a problem. But the real problem is, sure it’s a funny mistake, the first time you go to do something on one of the machines only to realize you’ve grabbed the wrong keyboard or mouse by mistake. That gets a good chuckle, such a first-world problem. …But by the twenty-seventh time it happens, the humor value has completely disappeared.

Synergy was like a revelation, in those scenarios. You could set it up, designate one machine as the one you actually use as the interface, and all of the other keyboards and mice just get disconnected and stuck in a drawer, while you surveyed your entire digital domain from your newly-decluttered command console. Makes me almost nostalgic for those days… almost.


Using Synergy myself (and being very satisfied with it), I ran in some issue regarding the connection.
I solved it by un-selecting the SSH connection.
Don’t know, why that is, but honestly, I haven’t the time/nerve to dive into this…

Maybe this helps out…

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Not sure how much help I can be of here - but like @FeRDNYC - I am a huge fan boy of this product - been using it nearly 10 years… mostly used the free versions, but I was using it in “anger” at work in 2018, so shelled out for a pro license… It’s a great product - but it does have some annoyances that irk me…

e.g. it nags and nags about not being registered/licensed, with no grace period before hand, when you install a new client, and then when you do license the client machine, it IMMEDIATELY turns on TLS encryption, and if you’re not careful, it will stop working on that client, if you’re not using TLS on the server (and I don’t because I don’t care, because everything’s on the same LAN, so if someone’s on my LAN already, snooping on Synergy packets is the LEAST of my worries!)…

I use it across a bunch of things - mostly Linux to Linux - but at work I also do Windows to Linux (with Linux as the server)… works on my Raspberry Pi 4 (the company Symless did a binary for arm64 for NVidia Shield users, that works on Raspbian arm64)… One platform the “official” binaries don’t install on is NTC CHIP armhf running Debian 8, but I can just install the 1.4 binaries from Debian, and use a shell script to fire up the client… Also tried it out on Mac too, but don’t keep a Mac for everyday use…

There’s one platform I’d really like to have it on - Android on Samsung DeX… people have gotten it to work on Linux on DeX, but Samsung killed that off earlier this year… there’s no DeX aware Synergy client…

One solution I found was some Android app called “ShareKey” (or something like that) that could talk to a Linux “server” product called “Across” over bluetooth, but could never get it to pair - so gave up.

Right now the solution I’m using, alongside Synergy across three Linux desktops (and sometimes up to SIX), is a Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse that can switch between host computers, the keyboard supports up to three, the mouse up to two… So when I want to type on the DeX session on a 27" monitor, I just “click” the keyboard and mouse over to “host 2”, not as easy as Synergy, but it’s workable…
Keyboard : Logitech K380
Mouse : Logitech M585/M590 *

I’ve also got a Lenovo "ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II " on order, which also supports switching across host computers…

  • Logitech M585/M590 mouse also supports a Logitech software thing called “Flow” which looks neat (and effectively does what Synergy does, and probably more) - but I think it’s mostly Windows based, with a possible Mac client too, but nothing for us impoverished Linux users (or Android).

Note - here’s the bash script I use to start up Synergy Client on my NTC CHIP computers (I’ve got two around my desk) :

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# stop / start user service 
PROG=$(basename $0)
if [ "$#" -lt 1 ] ; then
        echo "need argument..."
        echo "like on or off"
        exit 1
check_it () {
case $STATUS in
                pkill synergy synergyc
                echo "need on|ON|N|n or off|of|OFF|F|f"
                exit 1

Where “sincity=” is the LAN IP address of my Synergy Server.

Once upon a time, I would sometimes run Synergy Server from a shell script with a text config file, but those days are long gone… but here’s the config file I’d pass to the server daemon :

section: screens
section: links
                left = veles
                right = ziu
                right = ymir
                left = framebuesa
                left = ymir
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I have used Barrier (fork of Synergy) to share keyboard and mouse with Raspberry Pi and Ubuntu. I have written about it as well: