The proprietary Synergy (https://symless.com/synergy) and the Open Source version, Barrier (https://github.com/debauchee/barrier/releases) are magical, cross-platform applications that allow you to use the keyboard and mouse from one of your computers, to control and interact with the desktops of other computers on the same Ethernet or WiFi network. You can even copy and paste clipboard contents between them.
Our article updates Matt Cutts' 2007 blog post described "How to configure Synergy in six steps." (https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/how-to-configure-synergy-in-six-steps) It provides information and illustrates setting up the application on two Linux computers, using it's integrated graphical setup. Although our instructions show the setup for just two Linux computers, with the current releases of Barrier and Synergy, you can setup and control up to 14 client computers running a mix of Linux, Windows and macOS operating systems -- all from a single server computer. The current release for Synergy is 1.10.2. The current release for Barrier is 2.2.0 for Linux and 2.1.0 for Windows and macOS machines. As you might expectfor two applications with same origins, the setup is identical for both Synergy 1 and Barrier 2 so we'll show only the Barrier screens here.
With the software's graphical, drag and drop setup, you can be controlling multiple Linux, Windows, and macOS computers in seconds. In our example, the keyboard and mouse are connected directly to a Dell XPS 13 running Ubuntu MATE, so we will be using them to control both this Linux computer, and an older HP G60 computer, also running Ubuntu MATE. The controlling computer is considered by Barrier to be the "server" but we don't need to worry about that terminology, since the setup doesn't require that you know that at all. Here are the steps:
In the beginning (late 1996) there was CosmoSynergy, created by Richard Lee and Adam Feder at Cosmo Software, Inc. Then the project moved to a new phase and became Synergy from a CosmoSynergy contributor Chris Schoeneman. Later, to make initial configuration easier, graphical setup utilities were developed such as QSynergy (https://sourceforge.net/projects/qsynergy/) and QuickSynergy (https://sourceforge.net/projects/quicksynergy/). With the release of Synergy 1.4.2 came a merging of three projects, QSynergy, Synergy+ (https://sourceforge.net/projects/synergy-plus/) and Free Synergy (https://sourceforge.net/projects/synergy-stable-builds/) itself. In 2011, Nick Bolton founded Symless and took the product into paid, proprietary format. The free Open Source Barrier was forked from Symless's last open source version, Synergy 1.9.
You can listen to our podcast episode 130 for an interview with one of the Synergy project owners, Nick Bolton, on the release of Synergy 1.4.2 for Linux.
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