Share Keyboard and Mouse between Two or Multiple Computers

I have three computers at my desk.  No reason other than I am a geek.  I have a desktop, nice beasty thing.  I have a Tablet Laptop and I have a netbook.

I wanted to connect them all up so that I could use the screen space on them, put twitter on one maybe, gmail on another.

The answer is Synergy

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

It is easy to setup and seems to be in the repos, install by:

sudo apt-get install synergy

You then need to have a config file, it has a default name but I prefer to call it .synergy, mine as follows.

section: screens

section: links
down = yoda-netbook
right = yoda-touch

up  = yoda-base
right    = yoda-touch

left  = yoda-base

yoda-base is my desktop and you can guess the other two!

Once you have the configuration file saved you can start up the server (the computer which has the mouse and keyboard to share) and then the clients.


synergys –config ~/.synergy


synergyc <hostname/IP address>

It should then all connect up and start working! No issues!

Wait, security.  If you are typing on another screen then your keys are getting blasted into the network for anyone who cares to look.  If you are logging into websites etc over Synergy then I suggest tunneling it through ssh.

Simple again, on each client:

ssh -f -N -L 24800:<server-hostname/server-ip>:24800 <server-hostname/server-ip>

If, like me, you setup ssh on a different port than 22, put “-p <port number>” on the end of the above command.

Once that is done on each client, start up the synergy processes:

synergyc localhost

Simple as that!  Now you can share the mouse, keyboard and the clipboard!  Yeah, you can copy and paste between each machine, how awesome it that.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 9:42 am by Jordan Carter · Permalink
In: Ubuntu Tricks · Tagged with: 

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