Multiple PCs, Multiple Screens? No Problem! CodeUnit 01 MAY 2009

Synergy LogoI’ve been pondering my office setup again as of late, eager to make a change simply for the sake of making a change. Perhaps another monitor? Perhaps another machine? Perhaps shifting around the components I already have?

But let’s say you already have multiple machines and multiple screens in your workspace – how do you keep your desk from becoming cluttered with all the keyboards and mice you would need if not making use of a KVM switch?

Well enter Synergy, one of the coolest projects I’ve stumbled across in ages!

Essentially what the application does is allow you to share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display – and without using any special hardware! It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

You switch between machines by moving the mouse off the edge of your current machine, in a direction mapped to your secondary (or tertiary for that matter) PC. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, which the obviously allows for cut-and-paste between your different systems – a very useful feature I might mention! :)

Oh, it also synchronizes screensavers (as well as screen locking if enabled) and to top it all off, the project is completely open source and released under the GNU public licence.

The only requirement? Well all systems must support TCP/IP networking. Not much to ask for eh?

The little animation below probably sums up what Synergy does best:

Synergy Demo Animation

Now is that awesome or what!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.