I installed Synergy server onto my Linux system, and installed Synergykm on to my Mac. When I try to connect with Synergykm from my Mac to my Linux system, it always fails to connect.

The error that I am getting is this: WARNING: failed to connect to server: Connection refused, but I can ping both hosts.

Any pointers/workarounds/other tool recommendations?

  • 1
    Can someone add a synergy tag to this? Jan 9, 2009 at 18:55
  • @Muskrat, done and done.
    – user1514
    Jan 9, 2009 at 21:51
  • You may want to try Synergy+ (synergy-plus) since Synergy hasn't released an update for a while. Jul 28, 2009 at 18:38

8 Answers 8


sorry to hear you're encountering problems with Synergy; i use it daily (though in the reverse configuration from you; my Mac is the server).

please try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. if you paste your /etc/synergy.conf here, someone may be able to identify a syntax error if any is present.
  2. stop synergys on the Linux box (use ps aux | grep synergys to make sure you don't have more than one instance of the server running).
  3. run synergys -f on the Linux box and verify that there are no problematic error messages, and that the process stays running.
  4. once you are sure the server is running on the Linux box, run telnet localhost 24800. a successful connection looks like this:

    [user@host ~]$ telnet localhost 24800
    Connected to localhost.localdomain (
    Escape character is '^]'.
  5. once you have verified that the server is accepting connections, from your Mac run telnet <Linux box> 24800. you should see output similar to what you saw when you ran the command in the previous step.
  6. if you've made it this far, you know that your Synergy server is working correctly; now test the client. if you have Fink installed, you can run fink install synergy to install the server and the client on your Mac.
  7. from your Mac, run synergyc -f <Linux box> (make sure your server is still running before trying this command!). alternately, open the SynergyKM control panel, set the log level to Debug2, start Synergy, and select "Open Log File". if you were able to complete all the steps before this one successfully, and this one fails, please post the output of that command to aid in troubleshooting; if you couldn't make it this far, please make note of where you ran into trouble and what error message you saw.



You're on the right track with Synergy. The trick is to determine why it can't connect. Can you post any error messages or logs from synergy? Perhaps a wireshark trace of the connection attempt.

Also, what distribution of Linux are you running? Do you have a firewall enabled on either system?



One of the best apps ever.

  • well, don't I feel foolish. I guess I should have RTFQ? can you even ping the systems from one another? Because if they can't even see each other... It believe synergy also has different modes of output, like debug error only, etc to help troubleshoot.
    – scottm
    Jan 9, 2009 at 3:00

If you don't have any luck with Synergy on your Mac (it states there are some limitations with OSX), I can recommend x2vnc highly.

Probably a bit more of a hassle to set up, and depends on having a single "master" machine running X, but it works, and it works well.


What happens if you stop using synergykm and just use synergyc from the command line?

For example, on my mac, I open a terminal and type:

synergyc -f servername

and it works great. The one big limitation is that I have to use the -f option, if I try to put synergy in the background, it just terminates without doing anything.


I use synergy every day to connect between my Linux machine and my MacBook Pro laptop.

  • Run synergys on the Linux box.
  • Run synergyc on the Mac machine.

Works like a dream.


Had the same problem.

On Linux I needed to add the Mac's hostname (without the .local for Snow Leopard user's) and IP to the /etc/hosts (This path might change based on your OS) file so I could ping the Mac from my Linux box.


I had a similar issue and the same error message. I was able to use the Mac as a server and the Linux box as a client, but not the other way around. The way I fixed it was to open port 24800 on the firewall of the Linux box. One way to check that the port is open is to telnet from the Mac using telnet server_IP 24800

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