Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been using Synergy for a few days now on my Windows 7 desktop (as server) and Macbook (client). Unfortunately, it seems to be buggy - often, the keyboard would stop working on the Mac to the point of forcing me to use the Macbook's keyboard. There are other weird problems as well.

Is there a better/proprietary alternative to Synergy? It should support both Windows and Mac. I'd be more than willing to pay for it if it would just work.

Edit: How is VNC/TeamViewer supposed to help? I'm not looking to merely access a remote desktop, I only want to share the keyboard/mouse with multiple computers (mac, windows) retaining their own display.

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by slhck Apr 24 '13 at 19:28

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5  
Though this isn't really helpful, I use Synergy constantly between multiple Macs and Windows machines without issue - are you sure it's set up right? (Not that I had to do much setting up!) –  Rich Bradshaw Nov 23 '10 at 19:19
    
Possible duplicate: Synergy (plus) Alternative –  yhw42 Nov 25 '10 at 6:06

9 Answers 9

I am beta testing http://www.share-mouse.com/ and it finally delivers what the Synergy promised for too long.

share|improve this answer
    
But.. but.. does it support Mac? –  Sridhar Ratnakumar Jan 29 '11 at 4:42
    
It does support Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OSX "Snow Leopard" or "Lion" –  villares Mar 9 '12 at 13:54
    
That works pretty well -- Share Mouse is the first application like this that I've seen that really makes the setup completely painless. Thanks for the recommendation. Took me 30 seconds to setup 3 systems. –  Andrew Flanagan Mar 16 '12 at 16:09
    
I've used Synergy for a few years now and just learned of share-mouse.com and WOW I wish I had started using it sooner. This software is fantastic! –  chown Sep 14 '12 at 15:47
3  
Be wary of Frank, he seems to be on a personal crusade to eliminate Synergy, and is really quite aggressive about it. Rather than helping us improve, he seems to spout an awful lot of subjective conjecture and over exaggerates about pretty much everything. Synergy is improving all the time. Please stick with free and open source software! –  nbolton Feb 4 at 23:51

I used synergy+ last I needed this. But as an alternative I know there is this software, Multiplicity, from Stardock. I have never used it though, so I can't speak to its features, though it does look good from the website. Although it doesn't seem to support Mac at the moment, though you might want to contact them. They update their software fairly regularly, and may be working on that soon.

Some of its highlighted features:

  • Copy and Paste - Share your clipboard contents among your primary and secondary computers, including images!
  • File and Folder Copying - Easily transfer files or entire folders between computers! (Pro Version)
  • Hotkey Support - Multiplicity supports fast switching to the connected computers via configurable hotkeys and mouse buttons!
  • Fade/Darken Indicator - Multiplicity can fade or darken the non-focus computers, to further enhance navigation speed.
  • Onscreen Display - Multiplicity can be configured to display an onscreen indicator of your current location.
  • Locking - Support for locking your mouse to a specific desktop (configurable).
  • Security - Full password protection, and domain control internally.
  • Threshold Option - Full support for threshold control of mouse movement between machines.
  • Alternative Control Methods - Multiplicity supports various control methods, such as Jog Dials, and Spatial Controllers!
share|improve this answer
    
I used to use Synergy when my job meant I needed three separate PCs. I was constantly frustrated by clipboard failures and the right-hand shift key not working in TS windows. When I moved to Synergy+, I found I no longer had these problems. Synergy and Synergy+ have now merged. –  Adam Thompson May 24 '12 at 2:11
    
I just downloaded Multiplicity and I was so impressed with how well it worked I immediately bought the full version. This does exactly what I need. –  Peter Grace Mar 15 '13 at 13:50
    
A vendor in radiation oncology uses Multiplicity with their multi-million medical device, it seems to have a good track record there. –  radim Jul 26 at 22:36

On Windows, start Synergy with Administrative Rights...solved all my problems for me.

share|improve this answer
    
Some notes in addition: (1) setting AutoRun for Admin is tricky but possible; (2) Synergy saves settings per user, so it's easier to manually opy its config to Admin's profile once it's set up for the noremal user; and (3) Sometimes (v.1.3.8) it still hangs the mouse and keyboard which gets fixed with plugging them off and on (NOTE USB only; never try it with PS/2) –  bytebuster May 27 '12 at 1:59

Just disable encryption. I had the same problem on my Mac (the cursor coming back from Linux client to Mac server). Your mouse sensitivity on the client will improve as well.

http://synergy-foss.org/spit/issues/details/3575/

share|improve this answer

I've been in the same boat as you.

Synergy is not a solution. Its now 2013 and Synergy (which has Synergy+ merged back into the development thread ) still doesn't work properly to allow complete replacement of keyboard/mouse on the client systems. It STILL cannot let you boot up client machines from cold off and allow you to log in to them via the host keyboard/mouse. One windows7, the whole CTRL-ALT-DEL mechanism not working is a huge problem, and on Mac OSX Mountain Lion I could not, despite a full day of trying all sorts of variants of loading the synergyc client as startup processes in various ways, get them to connect and stay connected to the host Windows 7 machine. Synergy works great if the host and clients are up and running and you don't have to power them off or reboot them, but only then. So for me, Synergy is just never going to get there given its been 4+ years they have still not solved this problem of reliably logging in on the client systems, and the install requires so much hand editing and setup on a Mac OSX machine.

What worked for me. I eventually gave up on Synergy. (for the umpteenth time as I'd given up using it in Win7-Win7 combos at work). Imput Director works great - but you have to have an all windows situation (no Mac OSX clients). I went with a VNC solution. Mac OSX supports VNC.

Out of the box, OS X Mountain Lion supports VNC via its remote administration option under the System Preferences-> "Sharing" configuration. A few points needed to be adjusted:

  1. Screen sharing didn't seem to work, remote management was the solution that did.
  2. I used TightVNC (viewer only)- which is free - on the Win7 x64 machine... no problems. Only installed teh viewer/client, no need for the server to allow systems to connect to the keyboard/mouse main machine.
  3. Remote host is specified by IP address within my home network (as I'm in the 192.168.. sort of network and don't have dns or name resolution set up)
  4. In connection options I selected peferred encoding of ZRLE as thats what I read the Mac OSX uses, though I'm not sure that this really is needed.. you may be fine prefering the default (eg setting it to RAW also worked).
  5. List item most critical was: setting up a connection/share password. You must do so. In the Remote Management "Computer Settings" dialog check the "VNC viewers may control screen with password option and pick a password (this is in addition to the login password). And checked anyone may request permission to control screen (not sure this is really required but mine is checked and its working.

Now when I'm logged in on my Win7 x64 box, I can launch VNC, give the IP address of the Mac client and I get the login screen and can use it just fine.

share|improve this answer
    
Yeah, I tried the VNC way (using TightVNC like you) and it sucked. Slow, low resolution, buggy. Synergy has been working waaayy better. I moved FROM the VNC solution to Synergy. Now I do want to explore alternatives, but I can tell you that your option is not an option for me. –  pthurmond Dec 31 '13 at 20:17
    
2 years ago I had this working perfectly. You could start windows client first & Linux server second and log in from Linux. The windows service installer was broken and I had to manually install it and ensure it ran as an admin to make it work. –  Matt H Jul 15 at 22:15

My setup includes 3 computers and 3 monitors. Each computer can connect to 1, 2, or all 3 monitors. The 3 computers use different OSs (Mac OS X 10.8.3, Linux Mint 13 LTS 64-bit, and Windows 7 64 bit.

I have tried Synergy with Mac as the server and the Windows and Linux boxes as clients. Synergy works fine between the Mac and Linux machines, but the Windows machine works with the mouse only; the keyboard does not work.

However, I have recently tested Sharemouse and found that I can use this for the Mac-Windows connection while simultaneously using Synergy for the Mac-Linux connection.

I do wish that Sharemouse had more liberal licensing and/or a somewhat lower price, but I am willing to pay for a solution that works. Sharemouse lacks Linux support, but I can use Synergy for the Mac and Linux machines.

BTW, speaking of being willing to pay for a solution that works, I donate to the Synergy project. Synergy is not perfect, but I find it useful and know that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

share|improve this answer

The are various clients which use VNC to do what Synergy is doing. I used x2vnc to link from linux to windows. It should work just as well from max to Windows. Win2vnc is likely what you want.

share|improve this answer

Check out this webpage from Alternativeto.com...it lists the (mostly) free alternatives to Maxivista...as good of a list as you're gonna get...

http://alternativeto.net/desktop/maxivista/

Also, check out QSynergy (better GUI) and Synergy+ (Although, now Synergy and Synergy+ have merged...

share|improve this answer

Input Director is much better than synergy at least for my two win7 computers.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.