Nov 8, 2010

Share your Keyboard and Mouse With Other Operating Systems

Back in the day, at my first IT job every one had multiple test computers under their desks. This was when the idea of virtualization was still fairly new, and a lot of people hadn’t adopted the idea of running test machines virtually. Lots of these test machines ran different operating systems. Some ran Windows, some ran Linux, and some even ran Solaris. It just depended on what the person was working on, or was trying to learn.

Many of us also had multiple monitors, or KVM switches hooked up so we could work with all these machines. It would have been really nice to setup multiple monitors, and simple share one keyboard and mouse pair right? I mean all you have to do is drag the mouse to another monitor, and bam! You are working on a different OS! Well, now you can!

There is a really cool free open source program called Synergy that allows you to do exactly that! From their page:

Synergy is FOSS that lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, without special hardware. All you need is a LAN connection. It's intended for users with multiple computers, where each system uses its own display.

SynergyI know I mentioned Solaris above, but Synergy only really supports Windows, Linux and Mac right now. If you want it for anything else, the source code is available for you to make it work with something else.

Know of other cool software that allows you to work on multiple OS’s easier? Let us know in the comments!

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