Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Synergy

Synergy is a great piece of software. It allows you to, and I quote, "easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware". Yes, your could use Linux, Windows or Mac OS. I'm only using it between to Ubuntu machines, so share your eXPerience if your using Linux and Windows for example.

Check here a little animation.

After you install and setup Synergy you only need to move your mouse to the right, left, up or down of your monitor (according to your setup) and your automatically gain control of the other machine. Now your mouse and keyboard will work there. To return to the main machine do the opposite.

This means that if your are using Synergy between your desktop and laptop, and the laptop is to the right of your desktop monitor, you'd move your mouse to the right to gain control of the laptop and to the left, in the laptop, to gain control of your desktop.


Install
  • Go to Applications > Add/Remove and look for synergy
  • Install QuickSynergy (a GUI for Synergy)



Setup

Here's how I've setup my desktop and laptop:
  • Desktop
    • Go to Applications > Accessories > QuickSynergy
    • In the Share tab write your laptop hostname (not the IP) in the position of your choice (depending if your laptop is at your right or left for instance)
    • You can find your laptop hostname running the following in your laptop
    • $ hostname
    • Don't write anything in the Use tab and leave unchecked the option in the Settings tab
    • Click Start
  • Laptop
    • Go to Applications > Accessories > QuickSynergy
    • In the Use tab write your desktop IP (ex: 100.000.1.1)
    • Don't write anything in the Share tab and leave unchecked the option in the Settings tab
I've added an Application Launcher to the Panel in my laptop with the following (100.000.1.1 is the desktop IP):
synergyc 100.000.1.1
This way, when I turn on my laptop I only need one mouse click to start using Synergy goodness.


Firewall

If your using a firewall you need to open the tcp port 24800 in the server machine (in my case the desktop).

I'm using ufw, so I did in my desktop machine (100.000.1.2 is the laptop IP):
$ sudo ufw allow proto tcp from 100.000.1.2 to any port 24800