Synergizing my Setup

My desktop was cluttered with a second mouse and keyboard from my old pc desktop (now running Feisty) and I really needed the desk space, so I had to figure a way to control the linux pc from my Mac. At first I thought about VNC, but it was stupid since I had a monitor hooked up to the pc, so there was no need for this (and VNC performance is l4m3). After a googling for a while, I came across Synergy. Synergy allows you to control multiple computers (running distinct OSs) with only one keyboard and mouse. This was just what I needed, the Mac is my main computer and has the keyboard and mouse to control everything (Synergy host) and the pc will be my secondary machine (Synergy client).

The setup process is really simple, on your Mac get SynergyKM which is the Synergy application packed with an excellent GUI for controlling the whole process. After installing SyngeryKM, configure it on System Preferences, the process is very clear and the most tricky part is the “Server Configuration”. Just add the screens like you have on real life and give the screens the host names for each computer you’re running Synergy on.

On the Linux PC it’s also very easy: open the terminal window and type sudo apt-get install quicksynergy this will install Synergy and QuickSynergy, a GUI to Synergy on Gnome. My goal was to get rid of the extra keyboard and mouse on my desk so, nothing more than running Synergy when Gnome “boots”, so we have to change some files:

On the terminal window:

sudo gedit /etc/gdm/Init/Default

Add this code BEFORE the “sysmodmap=/etc/X11/Xmodmap” line:

SYNERGYC=`gdmwhich synergyc`
if [ x$SYNERGYC != x ] ; then
$SYNERGYC [address of Syngery server]
fi

Change the [address of Syngery server] by the servers IP (like 192.168.1.10)

This loads the Synergy client when GDM runs and shows the login window, the problem is that when you login it kills the Syngergy client, so we need to make it run again.

On the terminal window:

sudo gedit /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default

Add the this in the middle of the file BEFORE the “XSETROOT=`gdmwhich xsetroot`” line:

SYNERGYC=`gdmwhich synergyc`
if [ x$SYNERGYC != x ] ; then
$SYNERGYC [address of Syngery server]
fi

Save it and restart Gnome. Now the Synergy client should load at startup and connect to the server. This is really a cool solution, it works very well on a local network.

[tags]Apple, Macintosh, Linux, Ubuntu, Feisty Fawn, Synergy[/tags]

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