Using Synergy with Mac OS X Lion

I just published a new tutorial for Using Synergy with Mountain Lion and Windows 8. Please check it out and leave your comments.

>>>> Update 4/20/12 <<<<

I just noticed the release of Synergy 1.4.8.

New features:
Feature #3143: Setup wizard for first time users
Feature #3145: Check for updates
Feature #3174: Startup mode wizard page
Feature #3184: New service for process management

Fixed bugs:

Bug #143: Cursor on Mac OS X goes to center when inactive
Bug #146: Screen Resize causes problems with moving off right-hand side of screen
Bug #3058: Modifier keys not working on Mac OS X server
Bug #3139: Double click too strict (click, move, click should not count)
Bug #3195: Service install can fail first time
Bug #3196: Wizard buttons not visible
Bug #3197: GUI doesn’t take focus after install
Bug #3202: Hook DLL (synrgyhk.dll) is not released

>>>> UPDATE 10/30/2011 <<<<

Synergy has been officially updated to support Lion.

From the synergy blog:

Lion support – 1.4.5 and 1.3.8 released

I’m pleased to announce official support for Mac OS X Lion. The easiest way to use Synergy on Lion is to download 1.4.5 Beta (10.7), but 1.3.6 Stable is still available.

With 1.4.5 you can drag the app to your Applications folder and double-click to run. No vi necessary.

>>>> Updated <<<<

This tutorial will show you how to quickly set up your Mac OS X Lion machine as a synergy server for one other computer running synergy.

One of my favorite go-to open source projects, Synergy, was recently featured of FLOSS Weekly ( http://twit.tv/floss178 ) and some of you have noticed that synergy doesn’t work as easily on OS X Lion as it does on Windows. Have no fear, you are merely a few minutes away from controlling all your computers from a single keyboard and mouse.

Go to http://synergy-foss.org/

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Click on the downloads tab and get the Beta The stable version doesn’t seem to work with the keyboard in windows 7 so get the beta. Make sure to install the beta on your windows machine as well.

 

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Download, unzip, and then open a terminal. We need to move the synergy binary files. We will use sudo cp then drag the binary into the terminal window to get the full path, use synergy* to wildcard both files and then type /usr/bin. This will move both files into /usr/bin where they will be accessed by the terminal without modifying the path.

sudo cp synergy-1.4.3-MacOSX106-Universal/synergy* /usr/bin

Create a configuration file While still in the terminal, type

vi synergy.conf

to create a synergy configuration file. This file is required in order to use the Mac as our master. You can use nano, edit, text wrangler, emacs, or whatever else you use to create and edit text files. (*)

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Enter information for screen 1 and screen 2. In this example I have my Mac (synapse.local) on the LEFT and my Windows 7 machine (ITS_B100) on the RIGHT. The format for this simple configuration is like this:

    section: screens
       screen1:
       screen2:
    end
    section: links
       screen1:
           right = screen2
       screen2:
           left = screen1
    end

This says “there are these screens in my synergy area” and then defines how they relate to each other. See the screenshot to see my simple configuration for this example.

“To the RIGHT of synapse (the Mac) is ITSB100 (Windows 7)”
“To the LEFT of ITSB100 (Windows 7) is synapse (Mac)”

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Run the synergy server with the config file Still in terminal,

 sudo synergys --config synergy.conf

Enter your password when prompted.

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Once your configuration is stable, place it in either /var/root/.synergy.conf or /etc/synergy.conf and you won’t have to specify the config at launch.

Launch Synergy on Windows 7 Connect via hostname or IP address. Hit start.

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Enjoy controlling your Windows 7 machine from your Mac keyboard and mouse.

P.S. If it’s possible at all in your workspace to use the Windows 7 machine as the keyboard and mouse master, you may encounter less bugginess (i.e. you might not need that extra keyboard / mouse lying around).


Footnotes

  • (*) Basic vi commands: When the file opens hit i to “insert” and start typing as usual. When the config is done (or pasted in) hit the escape key to go to the command line and then :wq to “write, then quit”

    • You can try googling for a tutorial like this one.
  • If you are using one Mac to control another Mac I suggest you check out Teleport

  • I have used synergy over the years to control Mac, Windows, and Linux together.

  • The Windows 7 UAC will pose problems for your Mac keyboard and mouse server so keep the original handy or turn off UAC.


Update on Sep 02 2011 to clarify the vi commands. Update on 4/17/12 to add VI tutorial link.

15 thoughts on “Using Synergy with Mac OS X Lion

  • February 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm
    Permalink

    I was using Syngergy KM on my Mac and it worked fine until I updated to Lion. I think a video tut on installing the binary and making a the config file and using it would be helpful for us n00bs. :)

  • February 27, 2012 at 8:41 am
    Permalink

    Hi there,

    I tried setting up 1.4.5 on my OSX Lion and on my PC – but the keyboard isnt working. Any updates on that?

    Thanks! Jake

  • April 5, 2012 at 7:54 am
    Permalink

    Ok, I’ve got a question.

    I’ve been using Synergy since back in 2008 or ’09. It’s been great, I’ve always used the Winbox XP or 7 to be the server.

    Ever since I’ve installed Lion Synergy has ‘failed’ me or at least Synergy has.

    I used version SynergyKM 1.35 I believe but it didn’t work with Snow Leopard or maybe it was Lion. It used to use the Alt Key as the Cmd key and that was wonderful because now the newest version 1.47 uses the actual Windows key for the Cmd key and sometimes I’ll forget and hit Win+L to highlight the URL (CMD+L) and of course it locks the Windows screen, loses Synergy until I unlock Windows.

    But that isn’t the Big problem. The Big problem I THINK is Lion’s dropping of WiFi.

    I’ll setup Synergy and things work for a bit, I’ll move the mouse from Win to Mac to Win (3 computers in that order) and often the cursor will go from the Win, skip the Mac, to the other Win and when I return same Win, skip Mac, Win. I’ll move it back and forth and it will finally ‘wake up’ on the Mac side.

    I didn’t have this problem until Lion and I’ve read quite a bit of issues with the dropping of WiFi and I gotta think it’s related.

    Forget doing Photoshop, the cursor will sometimes not let me click. I’ll click to erase/paint then hold shift to have a nice clean erase/paint line and it will only take the first click leaving a circle/square and not work.

    very frustrating. is there a “Professional” synergy?

    Thanks

  • April 5, 2012 at 8:57 am
    Permalink

    skurt,

    I feel your frustration.

    Those wi-fi dropping issues can cause the most trouble. Good luck tracking that down. FWIW, my home network is wi-fi only and we never see any issues with strange packet loss or dropped connections on any of the machines. The only problem I see is 2.4GHz interference when the neighbors change to a rude channel – like 4.

    There are some solutions out in the world. I have used Teleport for Mac < --> Mac control (doesn’t help you). I have heard good things about Input Manager for Windows < --> Windows (again no help to you). ShareMouse (http://www.keyboard-and-mouse-sharing.com/) looks like it will do the trick for you. It’s going to cost some money though. I dug around the site and it seems that you pay if you have more than two computers. I think the license is $24.95 per machine. I would enjoy hearing how this works for you if you use ShareMouse.

    This is just for my own knowledge as I am not affiliated with any of these projects. I’m a user in this case :D

    (added 4/17/12) One of my coworkers told me he has been using Input Director for years and highly recommends it for PC to PC use.

    Sable

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