Synergy – Is it a KVM replacement?

"synergy: [noun] a mutually advantageous conjunction of distinct elements

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all. Learn more about how it works."

Over a year ago I stumbled across an awesome program that is extremely useful in a multi-desktop environment.  When I first started using it, I liked it a lot – but with the newer versions out now, I find I don’t know how I existed without it! 
The program is not a complete KVM replacement, it only utilizes the keyboard and mouse – separate monitors are needed for each desktop; however as I will show, it is an extremely useful tool. 

Synergy is setup using one desktop as the server, and then the other desktops are configured as clients to that server.  Synergy utilizes the keyboard and mouse of the server desktop, and successfully allows them to be used for each machine.

The server setup configures the additional desktops to be to the left, right, top, or bottom in relation to the server monitor. Each configured machine allows multiple monitors in relationship to themselves, so the possibilities are almost endless.  The mouse moves seamlessly from one desktop to another; focus of the mouse and desktop are transferred to the machine that the mouse is focused on.  The really neat thing is that you can cut and past text from one machine directly to another machine!  I have used this tool on multi Windows desktop environments, as well as multi operating system environments, and it works well on both. (My home network includes a Linux machine, and this moves from one OS to the other without any problems). The only downfall, is that occasionally (with any program) it goes a bit flaky – in that case you will need to have a keyboard and mouse connected to each machine to make configuration changes, or to restart the program. It is available for download in .rpm, .gz, and .exe formats – and works wonderfully (in my opinion… )

Additional information can be found here:  http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

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