Synergy

So a buddy of mine told me about Synergy and I had to try it out for myself. Basically, Synergy allows you to manage keyboard, video and mouse across computers using a single host. Now, when I heard this, I didn't think it was a big deal. Just another KVM or something to that affect. But it's so much cooler than that. To help you understand, I'll break down my basic work station set up.

Currently, I have a little Dell work station with dual monitors and extended desktop running Windows. I also have another monitor next to it that is connected to my Gentoo development server. That server does alot of little things. It's my MP3 server, development server, backup server, gkrellm server, etc. So I usually need to know what's happening with that machine at all times. Normally, I have a KVM installed on that, and when I need to, I switch to that KVM to manage it. It's clunky, but I thought that was my only option.

Basically, here is the monitor line up

Monitor 1 = Gentoo Server (left)
Monitor 2 = Windows Workstation (center)
Monitor 3 = Windows Workstation (right)

This is where Synergy comes in. I configure my Windows work station to be the host. Host is defined as the machine with the keyboard and mouse. I configured the Gentoo box to be a synergy client. Now, with the magic of synergy, I can just float my mouse left of my center monitor, and my mouse carries over to the Gentoo monitor. My keyboard will work now. It's absolutely seemless. No button to push to activate that, etc. Amazing.

How did I configure everything? Here is a basic how to.

Installing the Server on Windows
- Download the Synergy Win32 binary from Sourceforge (SynergyInstaller-1.3.1.exe) http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/
- Install this program and configure it to be the server
[x] Share this computer's keyboard and mouse (server)
- Add 'screens'. I added 'Gentoo' and 'Windows'
- Link the screens. It's important to link them going both ways!

Windows is right of Gentoo
Gentoo is left of Windows
- Then 'Start'

Installing the Client on Gentoo - emerge -pv synergy
- vi /etc/synergy.conf

section: screens
Gentoo:
Windows:
end

section: links
Gentoo:
right = Windows
Windows
left = Gentoo
end

- start the client

synergyc --no-daemon --name Gentoo xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx &

On the windows box, double click on the synergy icon in the task tray. You should see something like the following:

Synergy 1.3.1: Connected
Gentoo
Windows

At this point.. you should just move your mouse over. Talk about a great tool.