Monday, March 7, 2011

synergy on Ubuntu/Debian desktops

I have three monitors in my home office connected to two different systems, which gives a lot of screen space, but I don't want to use two sets of keyboard/mouse. The open source package synergy lets you do that. (It also works on Windows systems too)

Sitting in front of me is nyx.local, an hp EliteBook 8530w (Ubuntu/Maverick) in a docking station connected to two monitors, keyboard and mouse. To the right is a monitor from an hp workstation xw8000 named mm.local (Debian/Lenny). It is a tucked away in the corner and a bit hard to get to the power button.

My morning routine is:

  1. Boot nyx.local and log in

  2. power on mm.local using Wake-on-LAN (WOL): sudo wakeonlan 00:11:85:ad:eb:ca

  3. Wait a minute to mm.local to boot and autologin

  4. Start the synergy server on the system I'm in front of: synergys

  5. Run the synergy client on the other system: ssh -f mm.local synergyc nyx.local

Now when I slide the mouse to the right it moves focus to the remote system!

Here is the ~/.synergy.conf file.

section: screens
section: links
right = mm.local
left = nyx