I have a unique need but I was hoping it isn't that unique.

I have an Ubuntu desktop that is connected to a TV in another room. There's no remote that would work over the distance and walls, so my immediate solution is VNC with a laptop in the TV room.

That works ok, but screen refresh and accuracy is an issue (even with the lowest color depth on VNC), and since I'm already seeing the desktop on the TV, I don't really need to see it on my laptop.

So, is there a program that will allow me to remotely control the keyboard (and even the mouse if possible)?

Maybe something that receives the input on the laptop and sends the keys with xdotool or something like that.

1 Answer 1


I would set up Synergy. It allows you to control multiple computers from a single keyboard. Simply move the mouse off the screen in the direction you choose and the input switches to that computer. I use it to control my Linux desktop and a Windows test box I have and it works great.

In your situation it would allow you to seamlessly control both the laptop and the desktop. This would make it great for surfing on the laptop while managing the media center on the TV.

The tool QuickSynergy will make setup as easy as typing in an IP address.

  • OMG that is awesome. I did have to use plain synergy so it would autostart on the media center (which wasn't that hard), and I spent about 5 minutes scratching my head with QuickSynergy trying to figure out which tab I had to use. Thanks!
    – Ivan
    May 9, 2011 at 21:37
  • 3
    The FOSS version is these days available at github.com/symless/synergy-core Mar 4, 2021 at 20:45
  • 1
    There is also a fork with active development at github.com/debauchee/barrier Mar 4, 2021 at 20:47

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