I'm running a Synergy server on Ubuntu and a Synergy+ client on OSX. The server has a standard windows keyboard with shift, ctrl, windows, and alt keys. My MacBookPro has shift, fn, control, alt/option, and command keys.

When I press ctrl-c, ctrl-v, etc., the appropriate copy/paste action doesn't happen on the Mac, but it does in Ubuntu. If I'm controlling the mac, and press alt-c, alt-v, then I get the copy/paste action.

So I played around with key mapping in synergy.conf and found that the following allows me to do copy/paste with ctrl-c/ctrl-v:

section: screens
        ctrl = alt
        alt = ctrl

Is this all that I need to do? Or are there other mappings that will help as well? The synergy configuration page refers to the following key mappings. What are the equivalent keys for each of these on the Windows keyboard and Mac keyboard? What is a meta or super key?

shift = {shift|ctrl|alt|meta|super|none}
ctrl = {shift|ctrl|alt|meta|super|none}
alt = {shift|ctrl|alt|meta|super|none}
meta = {shift|ctrl|alt|meta|super|none}
super = {shift|ctrl|alt|meta|super|none}


8 Answers 8


I was in a similar situation at one point, and I found a somewhat 'unique' way around it. Plug the keyboard directly into your Mac, and edit the keyboard preferences directly. After that, any non-Apple keyboard you attach will use those mappings.

  1. Plug in they keyboard.
  2. Open System Preferences (Apple Menu -> System Preferences).
  3. Enter "Keyboard" preferences (under Hardware).
  4. From the "Keyboard Mapping" (or similarly named) tab, change the key mapping as you see fit.

Synergy+ will use these key mappings, since it identifies as a virtual keyboard.

EDIT: Equivalent mappings, based on function:

Linux   │ Mac
Control │ Command
Alt     │ Control
Meta    │ Alt
Shift   │ Shift
Super   │ Super

Mac has the extra modifier key (kind of like the old EMACS-style keyboards, which had up to 5 modifier keys). Super is generally deprecated, so you shouldn't have to worry about remapping it.

  • Thanks for the info, this helps! But I think I'm still not getting something right. Do you know what exact mappings should I use? Could you provide me with the key mappings from your synergy.conf file so I can make sure to get this right?
    – Tauren
    Jan 2, 2010 at 20:16
  • Running the server on my Windows 7 instead of Linux, and these applied. The important thing to understand is that it seems like "Meta" is apple's "apple" key.
    – dtbarne
    Sep 28, 2012 at 15:59

For what it's worth, I finally took the time to figure out my Synergy mapping setup.

Linux server (desktop), OS X client (macbook). I wanted the following:

  • Ctrl on desktop -> Ctrl on macbook
  • WinKey on desktop -> Command/⌘ on macbook
  • Alt on desktop -> Alt/Option on macbook

This allows for the same keyboard mappings that my Hackintosh desktop keyboard uses, so keyboard shortcuts like copy/paste are still different between Linux and OS X, but I'm okay with that.

I used the following config:

section: screens
          # Linux server, no mapping
        # OS X client
        ctrl = ctrl
        alt = meta
        super = alt
        # meta = ??  # no idea where this shows up on the client end
  • Thanks. Mapping super to alt is what I was looking for (I had been mapping meta to alt, which provides similar, but not quite the same functionality in OSX) Mar 17, 2015 at 3:23
  • Thats it, super = alt did it! Nov 24, 2017 at 12:38

I have a mac full size keyboard plugged into my PC which is synergy server.

When connected to mac client (osX mountain lion), I've switched ctrl and commmand keys so that ctrl-c copies regardless of machine.

This is done in the synergy gui by double clicking the client and setting:

ctrl: Meta meta: ctrl

I hope this helps!

  • This was the only one that worked for me in synergy 1.7.1 May 31, 2016 at 14:26

As a PC user wanting to connect to OS X, you may find the following useful:

shift = shift
ctrl = meta
alt = ctrl
meta = super
super = alt

This will get you a setup where your usual cut / copy / paste will do what you want and the other keys will be available.

Mapping (Windows to Mac):

<Ctrl>   -> ⌘ (command) 
<WinKey> -> ⌥ (option / alt)
<Alt>    -> ⌃  (control) 


  • Using Synergy v1.8.8

  • Don't forget to fix your registry if you have disabled the windows key. The On-Screen Keyboard is great for checking this.


If you're used to a PC keyboard and want to control your Mac remotely without changing your setup, you map the remote Macintosh computer's keyboard configuration in Synergy with the following:

Shift -> Shift

Ctrl -> Meta

Alt -> Alt

Meta -> Ctrl

Super -> Super


Super is the "Windows" key on most keyboards. Meta is (I believe) the Esc key.

  • 1
    Meta is typically Alt, or Alt+Esc. Jan 1, 2010 at 22:26
  • Ok. I'm used to it being Esc from Emacs.
    – etlovett
    Jan 1, 2010 at 22:41

This change, at least when serving from OSX (10.11) to Windows 10 is;

section: screens
    ctrl = super
    super = ctrl

Note: If you're not using the synergy.conf file; configure the client by double clicking on the client in the layout screen.


Sorry for reviving this old question, but I found it relevant and useful for configuring my current setup. I thought I'd share my config for those interested.

Using a Logitech G613 keyboard on a macOS 11.23 (with CTRL - WINDOWS - ALT layout) to also control a Windows 10 laptop.

Here is my setup: Synergy and macOS setup

Help pages:

I can easily use my copy/paste functionalities without having to use weird shortcuts on one of the 2 machines, beside the fact that it is a CTRL+C on Mac instead of COMMAND+C.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .