Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sharing Keyboard and Mouse without KVM Switch using Synergy

Synergy is an open source platform independent application which allows you to control two system using the same Keyboard and Mouse without using a KVM Switch and help the organization save few dollars :)
Latest release of Synergy supports almost all Windows Platforms and Unix platforms with X Windows Version 11 revision 4 or up. Synergy uses the network to share keyboard and mouse hence, all the systems must support TCP/IP Networking .
Synergy is open source and released under the GNU Public License (GPL).
Setting up Synergy on Linux
1.  Download and install Synergy Software from
2.  Identify one system as server system and other would be the client.  I always prefer using a unix machine as server.
3.  In this example, I am going to use one Linux System and one Windows System to configure synergy. On the linux system, create /etc/synergy.conf file with the following information.
[root@linuxhost ~]# cat /etc/synergy.conf
# define the hosts
section: screens
# define links i.e. which host is @ which side
section: links
[root@linuxhost ~]#
There are two sections in the configuration file.
Screens: This section defines the hosts or systems on which you want to share keyboard and mouse.  The dns must be configured or else an entry has to be made in the hosts file before using the host names in /etc/synergy.conf file.
Links: This section defines which host is on which side i.e. in the above example windows host machine is @ the right side of linux machine, so if you move the mouse pointer to the right side on linux machine, the pointer should go to Windows Machine and vice versa.
4.  Execute the following command to start Synergy as Server on Linux Machine.  You should see a message in /var/log/messages files that the synergy server is started.
[root@linuxhost ~]# synergys
[root@linuxhost ~]# tail -1 /var/log/messages
Mar 31 12:35:54 linuxhost Synergy 1.3.1: NOTE: synergys.cpp,500: started server
[root@linuxhost ~]#
5.  To make sure synergy starts at system boot time, add “synergys ” to /etc/rc.local file.
6.  Now open synergy application on the windows system.
7.  Select “Use another computer’s shared keyboard and mouse (client) and type the linux system’s hostname in “Other Computer’s Host Name” text box.
8.  Click on “Test”.
9.  If you see a message “Connected to server”, then the configuration is successful.
10.  Close the test window and click on “Stop”.
11.  Now, click on “AutoStart”
12.  Click on “Install” under “When Computer Starts”.  You will get a dialog box saying “Installed auto-start”.  Click on “OK”.
13.  Click on “Start”.  You will get a message that synergy is successfully started.  Click on “OK”