Synergy - Mouse & k/board Sharing

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Overview

Synergy is a brilliant piece of software that doesn't require much effort to get going, Though after that it required me some more time to get it to function just how I want it to = faultless autostart.


So What Does Synergy Do?

I can now use my favourite keyboard & mouse to operate two computers (synergy will do plenty more computers if you have them) one at a time of course...

The two machines are set up to load synergy when they boot, & it doesn't matter what order the server or the client is booted in, when they are both up, synergy automatically does its stuff, using next to no system resources.


The Three B's - BS, Blurb & Bug:

Years ago I paid a lot of money for a really good quality four machine handling KVM switch box. It worked very well via keyboard command until the day it failed. :( In those days when I was fixing computers, that KVM was far superior to synergy because it was hardware that was system independent & worked on anything that had a working BIOS.

For my needs today, the synergy system shits all over a KVM, though there are varying limitations which are dictated by the display manager / OS you are using.

Running Openbox, I can't make use of synergy until OB has loaded. On some Linux display managers you can use it before hand & I'm sure that OS/X & the various Windows all have their strengths & weaknesses in this regard. In the end this doesn't really matter to me as I spend very little time outside of OB anyway. So for my current computer usage synergy is all but gob smacking perfect.

All but? Yes, just one tiny bug that effects a few of us. For some users when moving the mouse from one computer screen to another you get a one or (far more rare) a two second black screen.

I got the one second one when moving from the client to the server. For most this is fixed by issuing the command xset -dpms. This works for me so I issue it in ~/.xinitrc so the problem never appears.

This problem has been around for about a year, & someone has written a patch for it inside of the last month, so I'll hang back & wait for the next release which I expect to have killed this bug, in the mean time I no longer know it exists.

I'm sure that this bug no longer exists, don't be put off by it.


The Synergys Server:


Installation:

Rather than me duplicating it, the Archwiki has a great page on Synergy installation.


Configuration:

My /etc/hosts file follows which should speak for itself:

192.168.1.3             rightpc.localdomain  rightpc         ## the HP server
192.168.1.6             leftpc.localdomain      leftpc          ## the iMac client


Synergy.conf

Here is a great start (a complete solution in my case) for a very smoothly running pair of machines (easily edited for more though), via one mouse & keyboard being connected to the synergys server - this synergy.conf is the server configuration file which does the job faultlessly for me:

#synergy.conf

section: screens
	leftpc:
		halfDuplexCapsLock = false
		halfDuplexNumLock = false
		halfDuplexScrollLock = false
		xtestIsXineramaUnaware = false
		switchCorners = none +top-left +top-right  +bottom-left +bottom-right 
		switchCornerSize = 0
	rightpc:
		halfDuplexCapsLock = false
		halfDuplexNumLock = false
		halfDuplexScrollLock = false
		xtestIsXineramaUnaware = false
		switchCorners = none +top-left +top-right +bottom-left +bottom-right 
		switchCornerSize = 0
end

section: aliases
leftpc:
192.168.1.6
rightpc:
192.168.1.3
end

section: links
	leftpc:
		right = rightpc
	rightpc:
		left = leftpc
end

section: options
	heartbeat = 1000
	relativeMouseMoves = false
	screenSaverSync = false
	win32KeepForeground = false
	switchCorners = none +top-left +top-right  +bottom-left +bottom-right 
	switchCornerSize = 4
end


This synergyc.conf file suits my uses perfectly, I found it on the Arch wiki, & it needed no functional modification. I put it in /home/handy as a <.dot> file i.e. ~/.synergy.conf .

OK, that is the server taken care of above, now its time for;-


The Synergy Client(s):

Install synergy.


Client /etc/hosts:

Edit the /etc/hosts file, mine is below for those that do need to reference, & if you do make sure you compare it with the server side one posted earlier on this page:

192.168.1.6     leftpc.localdomain               leftpc          ## the iMac client
192.168.1.3     rightpc.localdomain             rightpc         ## the HP server [/code]


Synergy shares the clipboard too!!!

(By the way, due to synergy I could just use the keyboard shortcuts to copy the above from the Terminal on the client & then move my mouse over to the server where I'm typing this & then use the keyboard to paste it! Synergy shares the clipboard too!!! Which is brilliant.)



~/.xinitrc

Add the following to the ~/.xinitrc file (guess how I copied it?):

synergyc -d ERROR rightpc

No need for the xset -dpms bug fix on this machine thankfully (It extremely likely that this bug is now long dead).


Conclusion:

The server is where the hardest work is, beyond that it comes down to getting your auto-start sorted so that it just works no matter which machine(s) come on in what order. For me the above works in that regard perfectly, (once Openbox has loaded).

I hope the above makes the info that is already on the net just a little easier to optimise for your usage.

I'm SO happy to at last not be swapping the ***king keyboards & mouses all the time, it drives me ***king nuts.


Support

Create a page on the Manjaro forum if you need to pursue this further.