Synergy – The Virtual KVM (sort of)

uig-skye This afternoon (last Thursday by the time this actually goes live) one of my clients introduced me to Synergy.  This is one of the coolest tools I’ve seen since VNC.

Now, to be honest, this tool isn’t for everyone.  But if you have multiple computers set up around you, you’re gonna love Synergy.

Here’s what it does:

You load the software on each of the computers you have setup on your desktop.  You make one the server, everything else is a client.  You do a little configuring to tell the server which monitor is next to which other monitor, and yes that means left, right, top and bottom relationships.  Once you’re configured, you can move your mouse to any of the screens seemlessly and when the mouse is on the other screen you can type.  You’re hands never have to leave your primary input devices.

Now that’s cool enough.  But you also get:

  • The ability to copy and paste from one computer to another.
  • Syncronize screen savers.  When one goes on, they all go on.
  • One password to unlock all screens.
  • Works on and between multiple operating systems.  Yep, you can have Linux, Windows, and Mac all running from the same keyboard and mouse.

There is software available that does this that you have to pay for.  But this is free, open source, software that you can install and have up and running in about 1/2 an hour.

Get it here:

If you use more than one computer on your desktop at a time even some of the time, you’re going to wonder how you ever worked without this.


So far I’ve found only one quirk.  If you have focus in a Visual Studio window, you won’t be able to move your cursor to another computer.  It is easy to fix this by moving focus to some other window on your screen first.

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  • Alex

    The problem with VS also happens when Vista/Win7 ask for authorization to run an app. On win 7 also happens when you run the Device Manager..