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FLOSS Friday: Synergy / Synergy+

April 9th, 2010

Whether at home or at work, it seems that the number of computers per person ever-increases.  Dealing with a desktop(s), laptop(s),  and netbook(s) all at the same time can be confusing with this keyboard going to that machine.  If you find yourself typing or mousing and realizing that the display you’re concentrating on is another computer entirely, you need Synergy.  The original Synergy project still exists, but has not made a release since 2006.  A new team of developers has taken on the bug fixing and feature additions and are can be found at  the Synergy+ project page.

So, what does Synergy actually do?  Synergy is a client server software KVM.  What does that mean?  It means you pick one of your computers to be a Synergy server.  It will be running the software, waiting for other computers to connect via the network.  All of the other computers will also run Synergy, but will simply specify the host name or IP address of your server computer.  The configuration of the Server computer creates names for all of the computers, and says which screens of which computer are to the left or right of each other.  Once your configuration is all set and all of your computers are running Synergy, you can use one keyboard and one mouse to control all of them.

It’s a neat thing to have two, three, four or more computers and be able to swing your mouse cursor from one to the next to the next, all without having to move your hands off the mouse.

Synergy and Synergy+ run on Windows, Linux, and Mac machines, so you don’t even have to have matching operating systems to make use of your favorite keyboard and mouse as a master controller.

I don’t have any screen shots this time, because the software is meant to stay out of the way and provide the voodoo to let one keyboard and mouse control them all.


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