Synergy – My New Holy Grail

So I’ve got this sick set up in my office right?  24” iMac, Dell laptop going into dual screens through a docking station, and a nice new desk to sit it all on (no more card table for me!).  One problem though (make that two), I’m sitting here with two sets of peripherals (keyboards and mice). This is just entirely too much clutter for a minimalist like myself.

Enter Synergy, my saving grace.  It is a program from Sourceforge that made a big splash in 2006 for its ability to allow a single mouse and keyboard to run across multiple operating systems.  If I could get this to work, then I could just keep my slick mac keyboard and mighty mouse, and move between all three screens.  The tutorials and videos out there all touted how easy setup would be (see below).

Yet here it is, two weeks later and I still can’t get it to work.  Well, that’s not entirely true; today I managed to get the mighty mouse on all three screens.  One problem though, I can only do this when I am not connected to my VPN.  Since I live and work in Jerusalem, VPN is my lifeline to making a living and it is the only way I can access a lot of my tools for community management.

Synergy does not work with VPN.  At least that’s the general consensus out there.  One possible solution I found involved a bit of work:

Since I don’t have a static IP for my DSL connection, I 1st had to setup dyndns so that my IP is findable via DNS. I then had to set up a port forward for synergy on my router to always send the synergy port to my PC that acts as the server. Then my VPN’d box is a client of the server, and uses the dyndns host name to reach it.

Not really sure if this will solve it b/c the guy had a physical KM switch (hardware that manages the keyboard mouse switch) for Synergy failures, but it may be worth a try.  It’s driving me nuts to have to switch back and forth between peripherals all the time.  Does anyone have a solution for me out there?



Filed under Productivity, Technology, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Synergy – My New Holy Grail

  1. Hi there… You linked to my old post, and I thought I would clarify something. Synergy worked fine for me with one computer vpn’d in, and the other not, with my funky set up… At least most of the time. Normal latency of 30-50 ms was noticeable but not terrible, but anytime something acted up, it became unstable.

    The h/w kvm was only for backup when the latency become unbearable.

    • fragmintz

      Thanks for the clarification. Any tips on how I can get the VP to link up to my mac? I keep getting errors – connection times out or unable to find host?

  2. This was a great read though! Thanks..

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