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Synergy2 is a favorite utility for many. It allows you to use a keyboard and mouse connected to one computer on another computer (or multiple computers) over a network, even if they have different OSs. It also lets you copy and paste text between the computers, which is oh so convenient (and it makes writing this howto a bit quicker than it would be otherwise). It looks and feels like magic when you get it working which isn't hard.

Tutorial is based on linking an XO and a laptop running Ubuntu Linux. It is also easy to set up with Windows.

The first step is to get Synergy installed on the XO and the other computer(s).


XO Installation

(start a terminal activity)

sudo yum install synergy

Then, you need to edit the xorg.conf file. Open it with nano (or your favorite text editor).

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Scroll down to the line that says:

Option  "XTEST" "Disable" # Mostly a debugging tool

and change it to

Option  "XTEST" "Enable" #  Mostly a debugging tool

Save and close the file, and then restart the XO, or restart X with a ctr+alt+erase.

On the other computer

Ubuntu or Debian

sudo apt-get install synergy


If you're on Windows, OS X, or Fedora, you can download the installer:


You're probably going to want to configure the computer as the synergy server and the XO as a client. To configure the server, use the instructions here: For the name of the XO, you can specify the olpc's hostname(found by typing "hostname" into the terminal) or just use "olpc" and set the name to olpc with the -n switch as seen in the last step.

Other / Server PC config

For reference, here is my ~/.synergy.conf file, where Nemesis is the name of the server computer, and the server is to the right of the XO: Code:

section: screens
section: links
		left = olpc
		right = Nemesis

Running it On the server computer, run:


On the XO,


synergyc -n olpc <ip address of the other computer>

And you're done! You can add it to the boot scripts on both if you want.

to quit

If you click the "scroll lock" key your mouse and keyboard will be stuck to the computer you are viewing. simply tap scroll lock again to free the cursor to move between stations, then (if you are running one with a graphical interface you can quit through it) Note, this is a way to exit if your cursor is trapped on the client and have a terminal:

killall synergyc


1. A network where the computers can talk directly to each other. (if you are at a cafe with any kind of security that isolates computers you might be able to get your computers to talk through a virtual private network, but that is beyond the scope of this) 2. if you will be controlling the mouse remotely you must have root/administrator access to the machine to change a setting in a configuration file. (assuming/I hope this is true)


Taken from a post by cmonkey.

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