Synergy, Leopard and Vista

I finally got around to setting up Synergy, sharing the keyboard and mouse between Leopard and Vista. I ran into problems trying to use Leopard as a synergy client, just wouldn’t work. So I took the path of less resistance and ran the Synergy server on Leopard and the client on Vista. That works fine with one caveat, I can’t seem to run the synergy server on Leopard as a daemon, it just dies. Now I just leave it up and running in the foreground in one of the many terminal windows I have open.

Aside from the oddities of getting it to work with Leopard I’ve been really impressed with Synergy. It is amazingly smooth when going from one system to another. I highly recommend it if you need a simple keyboard and mouse sharing solution.

UPDATE 22 Feb 2008: See Comment 14 by jimeh about SynergyKM. On Leopard I’ve switched to SynergyKM, which I’ve been really happy with so far.

25 Comments

  1. The best workaround for this bug is to run synergy from launchd (Apple’s new daemon starter and more).

    See an example launchd.plist file here.
    http://jan.varwig.org/archiv/autostarting-the-synergy-server-on-mac-os-x-using-launchd

  2. @Lonnie-

    Thanks for the pointer. Unfortunately that describes how to do it for Tiger (10.4) and I’m running the synergy server on Leopard (10.5).

  3. Something funny is going on, it works fine if the client isn’t using -f (no fork to background)

  4. @Stephen

    It isn’t great, but it works with running the synergy server in the foreground on Leopard.

  5. Ya, I have tried a lot of different ways, with xp and leopard and so far no luck at all which kinda makes me mad. I really want it to work

  6. So this IS confirmation that there is a problem with Synergy on Leopard thats preventing it from working properly between Leopard and Vista/XP?

    I don’t know much, but I have synergy on this Vista laptop I’m setting up and then I have synergy on my mac which is from when I had Tiger and upgraded to Leopard.

    I’m on the same network, the computer names are fine, but I can’t figure out why in the world this isn’t working. Vista doesn’t see the mac in the network, neither synergy client or host works for either of the computers when trying to connect with each other and I just don’t understand what’s wrong.

  7. If you look in the /var/log/system.log you can see that synergy is crashing. Well no wonder, last version (1.3.1-1) is dated April, 2006. So foreground mode it is :(

  8. @Parad0X -

    Yeah, bummer, but workable in the foreground.

  9. Thanks to whoever pointed out that the synergy client still works in the foreground.

    synergyc -f 10.10.10.38 >/dev/null 2>&1 &

    This works quite nicely in Leopard. I actually use a couple of shell scripts to call synergyc based on my present location… I run one script at work, another at home… etc.

    I added the -f and the end part to silence and bacakground the process and presto.

  10. that works too, i just set the debug level to FATAL, which doesnt output anything hardly ever, unless my server goes down, which it doesnt

    syngergyc -d FATAL -n whatever -f ipaddress &

  11. In case this helps anyone, the two blog posts linked above

    http://jan.varwig.org/archiv/autostarting-the-synergy-server-on-mac-os-x-using-launchd
    http://stevehorbachuk.com/?p=19

    worked perfectly in getting Synergy working again for me in Leopard.

  12. I’m surprised to be saying this…

    But start synergy using the -f trigger, then just QUIT terminal, then go about your normal business. Synergy will stay running and you’re all set.

    I’m running a Macbook (black) with 10.5.1 leopard, using this method with no problem.

    -sg

  13. I never bothered attempting to mess with getting the normal official release to work, cause there’s the SynergyKM project:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/synergykm

    it hasn’t been updated for a while, but it still works great on leopard, as it did on tiger… i’m currently using it between my powerbook and macbook pro, both running 10.5.1… it also adds a login item for synergy so it’ll launch on login in client or server mode, whatever you’ve configured it for…

    also, synergyKM has a location feature like network preferences, seemed a little bit buggy tho the one time i used it… lol

    its just such a headache less solution, even if it hasn’t been updated for a long while, and the core binaries are 1.3.0, it still works fine with 1.3.1 for windows for example… i should note i did replace the binaries inside the prefpane to the 1.3.1 for osx at some point, but things got a lot more unstable, so i just reverted… lol

  14. @jimeh -

    Nice, I hadn’t come across SyneryKM before. I’ll have to give that a try.

  15. SynergyKM works like it should in 10.5 and 10.5.2

  16. Thank you! running synergyc with -f as you suggested makes is so I can use it as a client in leopard. Rock on.

  17. I’ve been using Teleport which seems rock solid on 10.5.

  18. Hi, done a awesome work. Synergy has only been extensively tested on Linux which make the my work more easier. Thank you for the blog posted. The Mac OS X port is incomplete. It does not synchronize the screen saver. Therefore in this case Synergy as helped me a lot with its special features.
    SynergyKM was previously hosted on a personal server and I decided to move it here in coming week. Hopefully it will give the project more visibility and provide better tools to maintain it.
    Thank U.

  19. Please help me….I simply cannot get synergy to run…I’ve done everything…I’m getting timeout errors…name errors…errors that haven’t even been invented yet.

  20. chris: maybe some more information about your set up would help. I just this got my iMac running as the server and connecting to an Ubuntu server, a Mandrake server and a Windows laptop (one of them through a dmz pinhole on my firewall).

    Are you sure your timeout problem isn’t due to a firewall issue (mine was).

    Have you tried using synergy -f -d DEBUG2 to get more info about what’s happening?

  21. Hey guys, most of what you have been saying is above my level so i apologize but i am having issues, i am trying to use my new vista machine as my server and an imac with leopard as the client via a linksys router. Most settings are comepletely normal. If anyone can point me where to go i would greatly appreciate it.

  22. Will: Maybe a description of the “issues” you’re having?

  23. I ran into the same problem. I have synergy installed on computers at work and at home and use two separate config files, so I wrote two small shell scripts on my mac (the server) to start the sever inside of a detached screen:

    /usr/local/bin/start_synergy_home:
    screen -dmS synergy_home_server /usr/local/bin/synergys –config /usr/local/etc/synergy-home.conf -f

    /usr/local/bin/start_synergy_work:
    screen -dmS synergy_work_server /usr/local/bin/synergys –config /usr/local/etc/synergy-work.conf -f

    At home, I just run start_synergy_home, and at work, I run start_synergy_work, and it loads the proper configs so I’m good to go.

    If you need to see the output for some reason, you just do `screen -r synergy_home_server`

    Hope it helps someone.

  24. Hi alll,
    I have MacBook Leopard 10.5.6 running SynergyKM as a Host and a Win Xp sp3 as a client with synergy 1.3.1. I updated SynergyKm to 1.3.1 as well.

    I get the ‘connection refused’ problem with SynergyKM of using the default port 24800. I tried everything and no luck yet… What to do ?? Tks

  25. I am wondering if it is a change in 10.5.6 because I just got a new mini and have the same problem. I can host from the mini with an error, but I cannot get any connection hosting from my vista?

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