Software: Synergy + VNC for multi machine environments

By | August 30, 2008

How many computers do you use throughout the day from one location? If like me you use more than one you don’t want to have multiple mice, keyboards and monitors everywhere (well okay some of you do). Then someone recommends a KVM switch to solve all your problems….

Instead I recommend two pieces of free software, that might mean you don’t need a KVM.

Synergy
Synergy allows you to share the mouse and keyboard between machines (not monitors). Ideal if like me you have a development machine and a laptop for instance. I just put the laptop on the laptop stand and use the mouse and keyboard of the development machine. Then when I move the mouse to the left I am controlling the mouse and keyboard of the laptop. http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

VNC
Virtual Network Connection… I have been using this for years. It enables you to connect to a machine and see the remote desktop via your favourite browser and access the mouse and keyboard. I use it currently for connecting to a server. But in the past for remote support, accessing development machines etc. Ideal for using with older hardware if you don’t want to use virtual machines on your main desktop. Be warned, configure the security properly and take precautions like vpn in remote environments etc. http://www.tightvnc.com/