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Sharing 3 systems (2 dual-head) w/ 3 monitors

2008-08-24
2013-04-29
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  • Tauren Mills
    Tauren Mills
    2008-08-24

    I would like suggestions on the best way for 3 systems to share 3 monitors, 1 mouse/keyboard, but still have dual monitor support on at least one, if not two of the systems. I'm hoping to have the least amount of manual monitor input switching and/or manual KVM switching necessary.  I'm hoping other synergy users may have come up with a good solution.

    My workspace is currently comprised of two Dell 2007FP ultrasharp 20" screens (not widescreen) on either side of a Samsung 2443BWX 24" wide screen. The left 20" is connected to my Ubuntu system which currently only supports one monitor. The 24" is the primary monitor on my dual-head WinXP box and the right Dell is the secondary XP monitor. I'm sharing keyboard and mouse between the two systems with Synergy (XP host right now, but will be switching that).

    The 20" Dell monitors have four input sources, including DVI, VGA, SVideo, and Composite. The 24" Samsung has two input sources, including DVI and VGA. My WinXP dual head has one DVI and one VGA output, so the 24" is using DVI and the right 20" is using VGA. My Ubuntu box only has one VGA out, so the left Dell is connected via VGA as well.

    I would like to update my Ubuntu system to support dual monitors and would like to use the 24" as my main work monitor for both the XP and Ubuntu boxes. I do lots of development work on the Ubuntu box, and XP is used for many Adobe apps, so using the big center monitor for both OSes would be nice. I was thinking that I could just hit the 24" monitor's input button when I switch between them.

    Also, I would like to add a Mac Mini to the mix as well. My thought is to have the right 20" monitor DVI port powered by the Mac. That way I could have all three systems available at the same time if needed (Linux on the left, XP in the middle, and OSX on the right). Again, I'd have to manually hit the right monitor's input switch to go between XP and OSX.

    So, I guess I want to know if there is something I could do to make it work even better than this. What I don't know anything about is if there are any KVMs, software, or other solutions that would make this all seem more seamless or work together better. In fact, I've never owned a KVM, so I'm not even sure which ones are good, what features to look for, etc.

    For instance, right now with Synergy, I can simply move my mouse from my XP box to the left and be on my Ubuntu box. But what if I could move my mouse to the Ubuntu system and some KVM or something would automatically switch my center monitor to Ubuntu and the mouse would appear on the right side of it. Then I move back to the right and the monitor automatically switches back to XP. Or maybe I wouldn't change the default left/right synergy action, but moving the mouse UP and DOWN would switch the center monitor between Linux and XP. Same with the right monitor switching between XP and OSX.

    Any advice, tips, product recommendations, or anything else would be appreciated. I'm willing to purchase a specialized KVM or software solution if necessary, but free or open source software solutions are certainly preferred.

    Thanks!

     
    • Tauren Mills
      Tauren Mills
      2008-08-27

      I was giving this more thought and was reviewing the "Actions" features of synergy.  I think it doesn't quite allow what I want to do, but it is very close.  At this time, a keystroke or mouse click can cause an action to happen.  For instance: 

      keystroke(shift+control+alt+super) = switchToScreen(moe)

      This is close to what I'd like but not quite there.  I'd really need this more in reverse however.  Then I could take advantage of KVMs that have hotkey support.  A new rule something like this would need to be added:

      onSwitch(fromScreen,toScreen) = keystroke(keyname)

      So for instance, I have two dual-head systems named "ubuntu" and "xp" with a total of 3 monitors. Ubuntu has the left monitor and xp has the right monitor of the 3.  The center monitor is connected to a KVM which is connected to the 2nd monitor of both Ubuntu and XP.  The KVM has hotkey support to switching monitors using "ctrl-alt-f1".  The rules could be something like this:

      section: options
        switchDoubleTap = Y
        onSwitch(xp,ubuntu) = keystroke(ctrl+alt+f1)
        onSwitch(ubuntu,xp) = keystroke(ctrl+alt+f1)
      end

      The idea here is that an action is initiated when a screen switch happens.  And in this case, the action should be a keystroke.  And that keystroke switches the visible monitor via a KVM. A screen switch wouldn't happen unless a double tap on the screen edge has occurred.

      Is anyone doing unusual or creative things with Synergy along these lines?  I'd like to hear about it.

      Thanks!

       
      • In concept that sounds really good, and I can totally see myself using a setup much like you are intending to have. However, as far as I know, KVMs with hotkey support monitor the signal from the keyboard, not from the computer, so if you activate a shortcut from software, the KVM likely will not see it. It is quite possible that not all KVMs monitor the keyboard directly (in fact you could probably even find a switch designed specifically for monitor switched since you want to keep the keyboard and mouse connected to the synergy server) and a device as such may be able to be software controlled. In theory, as long as the video switch is digital it wouldn't be too complicated to modify it to be software controlled (perhaps directly connect the scroll lock LED from the keyboard to the input switching button on the video switch and toggling scroll lock as your shortcut) but this would require some hardware modification.

        As a completely different suggestion, I have read in a different thread someone who wanted to use only one monitor for two synergy computers and have it toggle when they switched. Their monitor automatically scanned for a different input source once the current one put the display to sleep. The idea was to have synergy sleep the display when the cursor left that machine to force the monitor to cycle. This would eliminate the need for any extra hardware KVM or video switch. Synergy can already control screen savers (in theory, though it has never worked for me) so this is probably an option that is available. The only issue with using this for your setup is that the secondary display would probably shut off when you switch computers so referencing that machine while on the other would not work out. This also might introduce complications once you add that third computer as the monitor switching would probably quickly get out of sync.

        If you do manage to get your computer/display arrangement setup at some point, please do let us know how you did it and how it is performing.

         
        • Tauren Mills
          Tauren Mills
          2008-08-28

          Very good point about the KVM and keyboard interaction.  I'm sure you are right that most are triggered directly from the hardware, not from software.  That certainly would pose a problem with my idea.  Your idea of doing hardware mods would probably do the trick in conjunction with some synergy software changes.  But man that would suck when it was time to upgrade my keyboard...

          Your other monitor power saving suggestion provides food for thought, and is exactly the kind of ideas I am looking for with my questions.  I'll ponder on it some, but it does initially seem as though it wouldn't work because then the other monitors would probably go into sleep mode as well.  I'll definitely post back on here if I come up with a solution.

          In fact, I'd like to hear from anyone who has synergy configure in unique and non-traditional ways.  Even if your configuration wouldn't help in my situation, it could generate some ideas.

          Thanks for the help!
          Tauren

           
          • I just had another idea for your setup, in case you are still interested. Since you want to use software to switch your monitor's input but want to leave the secondary screens on at all times, you could have the mouse switch trigger the previous machine to put the display to sleep for a certain time delay (enough to trigger the monitor to switch inputs) then wake it up again.

            To put it another way, you are on machine A and go to switch to machine B with a double tap of the mouse on the screen edge (or however you want to trigger it). This puts machine A's monitor's to sleep for, say 2 seconds, until the shared display finds machine B's input and switches to that. Once the shared monitor has finished switching, machine A wakes its displays backup which shouldn't trigger the input switcher on the monitor. I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before, but it seems to me to be something fairly simple to do (though my coding skills are a bit rusty, so you will have to look elsewhere for the actual code).

            Let us know if you get it working as I would be interested in setting up a similar system at some point (once I get a nice LCD, anyway :P)

             
      • Kalmi10۪۪
        Kalmi10۪۪
        2008-09-28

        I have turned it into reality :)

        The idea:
        synergys outputs debug information like this:
        INFO: CServer.cpp,446: switch from "K-desktop" to "experience" at 1919,373
        And we look for lines containing "switch from", extract the data we need, and than do something based on the screen we just switched to...

        synergys --no-daemon -d INFO 2>&1 | grep --line-buffered 'switch from' | awk '{print $7; system("")}' | while read n; do if [ $n = '"experience"' ]; then DO_SOMETHING1; fi; if [ $n = '"K-desktop"' ]; then  DO_SOMETHING2; fi; done

        A real world example:
        I have 2 PCs and 1 monitor.
        And I want the monitor to switch between DVI and VGA input based on which screen I'm on with the mouse.
        killall synergys || synergys --no-daemon -d INFO 2>&1 | grep --line-buffered 'switch from' | awk '{print $7; system("")}' | while read n; beep -l 20; do if [ $n = '"experience"' ]; then sudo ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 3 pci:00:02.0-0; fi; if [ $n = '"K-desktop"' ]; then sudo ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 1 pci:00:02.0-0; fi; done

         
        • Tauren Mills
          Tauren Mills
          2008-12-22

          kalmi10:

          I'm finally getting back to this after posting the original message months ago.  Your solution looks very promising.  But I'm unfamiliar with the ddccontrol program and how to find the correct values to specify.  I've installed ddccontrol and run this:

          tauren@godzilla:~$ sudo ddccontrol -p
          ddccontrol version 0.4.2
          Probing for available monitors...
          Detected monitors :
          No monitor supporting DDC/CI available.
          If your graphics card need it, please check all the required kernel modules are loaded (i2c-dev, and your framebuffer driver).

          Would I get this because I'm missing some software as it suggests?  Or because of my monitors?  I'm using a Dell 2007FP via DVI and a Samsung 2443bwx via VGA with a dual-DVI GeForce 9500GT and NVidia drivers.

          I assume I replace "experience" and "K-desktop" with my synergy screen names.  But how do I find the values such as pci:00:02.0-0?

          Lastly, I've got synergys automatically starting on boot.  Will your solution still work if I remove --no-daemon, as I think that will cause the boot to not finish?

          Thanks again for finding a solution!  I just hope I can get it working too...

          Tauren

           
          • Kalmi10۪۪
            Kalmi10۪۪
            2008-12-22

            Hi,

            Is the i2c-dev kernel module loaded? (lsmod) (modprobe i2c-dev)
            After making sure that it's loaded, try ddccontrol again...

            If I remember correctly there was something wrong with Hardy(or debian in general?).... It was not creating the i2c devices... You might need to run something like this to create them: /sbin/MAKEDEV i2c (But I am not sure, since I no longer have Ubuntu as my desktop OS)

            Good luck :)

             
          • Kalmi10۪۪
            Kalmi10۪۪
            2008-12-22

    • Philip
      Philip
      2008-11-02

      That's great!  I'm trying to do the same with a Linux box, a Windows box, and a Mac.  You've described the linux side above.  I have it set up roughly the same, except I have a "tail -f" running separately that watches the log file.

      On the Mac side, I'm using SynergyKM (with its pretty GUI!) and have a separate tail process watching the log file there also.  This lets you use the GUI of your choice without having to screw around with how it launches synergyd too much.  I'm using an external program to blank the display since there is no consistent way to do this between Tiger and Leopard.  You can find it here: http://www.imalc.com/Site/SleepDisplay.html ; I've copied the 'sleepdisplay' binary to /usr/local/bin.  If you have Tiger, you can run "pmset force -a displaysleep 107374183; sleep 1; pmset force -a displaysleep 10" or something along those lines.  The full Mac script is:

      tail -F -n 1 ~/Library/Logs/synergyd.log | grep --line-buffered 'switch' | awk '{print $7; system("")}' | while read n; do if [ $n = '"mac"' ]; then sleepdisplay; fi; done

      Now does anybody know how to do this in Windows?

       
    • Undertone
      Undertone
      2008-11-22

      I've been meaning to look into this for a while, but I've been too busy. Nice to see some progress! For now I personally only need to switch 1 monitor between 2 computers (a mac intel 10.5 and an xp pc). I have a 3-DVI monitor that auto-switches between active inputs.

      I found this $5 shareware (with a limited trial) that should do the Windows monitor turn off. It can also turn off the monitor by key command:

      http://www.filetransit.com/view.php?id=35992

      Not really being a programmer, I'm not sure how you create the script for the Mac and assign it to a key command: could you clarify this? Or at least point me to a relevant resource?

      It would be nice to see this work! Thanks!

       
    • Undertone
      Undertone
      2008-11-22

      Sorry: the direct link to the Turn Off Monitor dev is:

      http://www.rtsoftwares.com/Turn-Off-Monitor.htm

       
    • Undertone
      Undertone
      2008-11-22

      I've set up both Turn Off Monitor and SleepDisplay, assigned them both to unique hot keys (had to use Butler for the Mac... looking for a simpler way, but I'm not sure how to setup the script and attach it to a hot key), and I set up synergy like this:

      section: options
          screenSaverSync = false
          keystroke(Shift+Control+1) = keyDown(Shift+Control+3); switchToScreen(mac)
          keystroke(Shift+Control+2) = keyDown(Shift+Control+4); switchToScreen(pc)
      end

      ...where Shift+Control+3 turns off my pc screen and  Shift+Control+4 turns off my mac screen. But it doesn't work. The screens do turn off when those keys are pressed outside of synergy. Thanks for helping me clear this last hurdle!

      Steve

       
    • Tauren Mills
      Tauren Mills
      2008-12-23

      So I finally have a partial solution working for the original post I created on this topic (https://sourceforge.net/forum/message.php?msg_id=5191613).  It is just partial since I only have 2 systems (Ubuntu 8.10 and Windows XP) current running sharing 3 monitors, and not 3 systems (no Mac yet).  I did get a dual head card for my Ubuntu system. 

      The credit for this solution goes to kalmi10, as he figured out how to use ddccontrol to force the monitor to switch inputs.  I just used his ideas and created a way to seamlessly auto-start synergy while using it.  Thanks kalmi10!

      I have modified the solution proposed by kalmi10 so that Synergy will automatically start and no console is required to have it running.  Synergy server is running on the Ubuntu system and Windows is the client.  This solution is based on my specific hardware and OS, so if you are using anything else, you will need to modify it accordingly.

      MY HARDWARE
      First, here is my setup. There is a Samsung 2443bwx in the middle with two Dell 2007FP monitors on either side.  My Ubuntu system has dual DVI ports (GeForce 9500GT) and the XP system has dual DVI ports (GeForce 6600GT).

      The Ubuntu system is called "godzilla" and it connects DVI port 1 to the center monitor's VGA connector. Godzilla's DVI port 2 is connected to the left monitor's DVI port.

      The Windows system is called "yowza" and it connects DVI port 1 to the center monitor's DVI port.  Yowza's DVI port 2 is connected to the right monitor's DVI port.

      HOW MY SYNERGY CONFIGURATION WORKS
      My left monitor is always Ubuntu and my right monitor is always Windows.  No switching is configured for the edges of either outside monitor.  This means that touching any edge of those monitors does not cause the mouse to move to another system.

      The center monitor is shared between my Ubuntu and Windows systems.  In both cases, this monitor is the primary monitor for each system and includes the OS menus, clock, and so forth. 

      When I double tap the top or the bottom of the center monitor in Ubuntu, the center monitor switches its input and the Windows desktop appears within about 3 seconds.  The mouse moves to either the bottom or the top of the Windows system, depending upon which edge I switched from.  It hasn't taken me long to get used to the mouse positions and movement.

      The opposite happens when in Windows.  Double tap of the top or bottom of the center monitor in Windows switches the center monitor input and moves the mouse to the Ubuntu system.  About 3 seconds later I'm using Ubuntu without having to reach for the monitor's input button.

      INSTALLATION
      Again, I'm assuming you are running Ubuntu 8.10.  Start by running Synaptic and install the ddccontrol package.

      Then bring up a terminal and check if i2c-dev is installed (if this command produces no output, then it isn't installed):
      sudo modprobe -l i2c-dev

      If i2c-dev is not installed, install it:
      sudo modprobe i2c-dev

      To make sure that i2c-dev is always installed even after rebooting your system, edit /etc/modules:
      sudo gedit /etc/modules

      Add this to the end of /etc/modules and save:
      i2c-dev

      Now, you need to find which devices your system is using for your monitors:
      sudo ddccontrol -p

      This is the output on my system:

      Detected monitors :
      - Device: dev:/dev/i2c-1
         DDC/CI supported: Yes
         Monitor Name: Dell 2007FP (DVI)
         Input type: Digital
        (Automatically selected)
      - Device: dev:/dev/i2c-0
         DDC/CI supported: Yes
         Monitor Name: VESA standard monitor
         Input type: Analog

      So, in my case, I have the following devices:
          dev:/dev/i2c-1
          dev:/dev/i2c-0

      Next, create a script to start synergy:
      sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/startsynergy.sh

      Add the following script to startsynergy.sh (between the clip lines --%<--).  Note that I'm not a very good bash/awk/etc scripter, so I'm all ears for improvements on this script.  The script must run in a bash shell, not sh, as the first line indicates:

      --%<--
      #!/bin/bash

      # This script should be started like this:
      #sudo startsynergy.sh < <(tail -n 0 -f /var/log/daemon.log) &

      # Make sure that synergys is not already running
      killall synergys
      sleep 1

      # Start synergy and include INFO debug level in logs
      synergys -d INFO

      # Read input.
      # Expects lines of input to be formatted like this:
      # Dec 23 03:40:45 godzilla Synergy 1.3.1: INFO: CServer.cpp,447: switch from "yo
      wza" to "godzilla" at 2336,1154
      # Assumes value $11 is the name of the server switching from
      while read line; do
          # Gets the value of the server name switching from
          value=$(awk '{print $11}'<<<"$line");
          if [[ $value = *yowza* ]]; then
              # Switch monitor input
              ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 1 dev:/dev/i2c-0;
          fi;
          if [[ $value = *godzilla* ]]; then
              # Switch monitor input
              ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 3 dev:/dev/i2c-0;
          fi;
      done;
      -->%--

      Edit startsynergy.sh to contain the correct values:
      -- change yowza to your windows system name
      -- change godzilla to your ubuntu system name
      -- change dev:/dev/i2c-0 to your center monitor device

      Make startsynergy.sh executable:
      sudo chmod 750 /usr/local/bin/startsynergy.sh

      When I run ddccontrol, I get an error message "document not parsed successfully", but I'm just ignoring that for now.  If anyone knows how to make that go away, please let me know.

      SYNERGY AUTOSTART CONFIGURATION
      If you have not yet installed synergy, run Synaptic and install the synergy package.

      Create the following synergy configuration file:
      sudo gedit /etc/synergy.conf

      Put the following into synergy.conf:

      --%<--
      section: screens
          godzilla:
          yowza:
      end
      section: links
          godzilla:
              up(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
              down(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
          yowza:
              up(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
              down(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
      end
      section: options
          switchDoubleTap = 500
      end
      -->%--

      Of course, you will need to edit the system names and may need to edit other settings as well.  I use 0,55 and 45,100 because those numbers work out so that only the top and bottom edges of the CENTER monitor allow switching.  The top and bottom edges of the outer monitors do not cause a switch to occur.

      To make synergy automatically start, the following three scripts need to be modified:
      sudo gedit /etc/gdm/Init/Default

      Change the first line to use bash instead of sh:
      #!/bin/bash

      Add the following to the bottom of the script, but before the "exit 0" line:
      # ADDED FOR SYNERGY
      /usr/local/bin/startsynergy.sh < <(tail -n 0 -f /var/log/daemon.log) &
      # END SYNERGY

      Next modify the following script:
      sudo gedit /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default

      Change the first line to use bash instead of sh:
      #!/bin/bash

      Add the following to the bottom of the script, but before the "exit 0" line:
      # ADDED FOR SYNERGY
      /usr/local/bin/startsynergy.sh < <(tail -n 0 -f /var/log/daemon.log) &
      # END SYNERGY

      Lastly, modify the following script:
      /etc/gdm/PostLogin/Default

      # ADDED FOR SYNERGY
      /usr/bin/killall synergys
      sleep 1
      # END SYNERGY

      COMPLETION
      Restart your system.  Make sure that the Windows synergy client is installed and configured to point at the server.  And it should all work.  Or at least it did for me.  If it isn't working, I may have left out a step.  But I think I remembered to include everything.

      If anyone has improvements or ideas on how to do this better, please let me know.  For now this will work for me, I just think it could be even better.

      Good luck!
      Tauren

       
      • Kalmi10۪۪
        Kalmi10۪۪
        2008-12-23

        hi

        I'm glad you found my findings useful.

        I got irritated by accidental switches and the time it took to switch back...
        So I implemented some (ugly) trickery to prevent the switch if ddccontrol was still about to switch when I switched back... It simply kills ddccontrol in that case.

        killall synergys || sudo nice -n -4 synergys -c /home/kalmi/.synergy.conf --no-daemon -d INFO 2>&1 | grep --line-buffered 'switch from' | awk '{print $7; system("")}' | while read n; beep -l 20; do if [ $n = '"experience"' ]; then killall screen || screen -d -m sudo ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 3 pci:00:02.0-0; fi; if [ $n = '"K-desktop"' ]; then killall screen || screen -d -m sudo ddccontrol -r 0x60 -w 1 pci:00:02.0-0; fi; done

        (This what I had in a file. And it was started by gnome auto-start(session). If i remember I had to use the full path of the sh executable for this auto-start method to work.)

        This method does have some drawbacks, like it kills all screens running (and if it kills a screen not started by itself it gets confused) :) (I'm sure that the same can be done using background processes in a nice and clever way)

        btw Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

         
        • Tauren Mills
          Tauren Mills
          2008-12-23

          kalmi10:

          Thanks for the suggestion.  I haven't had too much of a problem by using the double-tap to cause a switch.  Otherwise I could see it becoming a real annoyance.  Even with double-tap I still sometimes accidentally switch, so maybe I'll try out what you've done.

          By running in gnome auto-start, you don't have access to your other system when on the login screen, do you?  If you do, your configuration is simpler than mine.  I suppose it wouldn't be that big of a deal to have to login before I could access the other system, but I just like being able to not have too.

          Also, I have found an annoyance with my configuration.  If I'm in Ubuntu, my left and center screens are showing its desktop.  But my right screen is still showing windows.  Ideally, I would like to move my mouse to the right of the center screen and just go to the windows screen without the monitor input switch happening.  This would be handy if I need to just do something quick in Windows and don't want to switch my main desktop. But with this config, to get to the right screen, i have to double tap the top or bottom of the center screen and move down or up.  Then I can move to the right screen, but in the meantime, the center screen switches inputs.

          I don't even think it would be possible to move from the right of ubuntu's desktop directly to the right screen of windows.  Somehow the mouse pointer would need to appear in the middle of the windows desktop for that to happen instead of its left side.  If I stacked the windows screens on top of each other, maybe it could work, but then other things would be wacky.

          Thanks again for finding a solution!
          Tauren

           
          • Kalmi10۪۪
            Kalmi10۪۪
            2008-12-24

            I had my system set to auto-login... I considered physical security sufficent...(One of the advantages of Linux: Family members stay away from it.)
            :)

            And now your problem:
            At the moment you cannot switch from you secondary monitors to your other system. What if the mouse from the secondary would switch to the other secondary without triggering a switch.

            What do you think about this?
            godzilla:
            up(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
            down(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
            up(0,45) = yowza(55,55)
            down(0,45) = yowza(55,100)
            yowza:
            up(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
            down(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
            up(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
            down(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)

            And you also need to modify you script to check the coordinates and decide when to run ddccontrol. The coordinates are present in the same line you are currently parsing.

            btw up and down seems totally confusing to me :)
            (You could also use the outer edges of your setup to do what I described above.)

             
            • Kalmi10۪۪
              Kalmi10۪۪
              2008-12-24

              I meant to write this:

              godzilla: 
              up(45,100) = yowza(0,55) 
              down(45,100) = yowza(0,55) 
              up(0,45) = yowza(55,100) 
              down(0,45) = yowza(55,100) 
              yowza: 
              up(0,55) = godzilla(45,100) 
              down(0,55) = godzilla(45,100) 
              up(55,100) = godzilla(0,45) 
              down(55,100) = godzilla(0,45) 

              (I copy-pasted and then forgot to edit it....)

               
    • Kalmi10۪۪
      Kalmi10۪۪
      2008-12-24

      I meant to write this:

      godzilla:
      up(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
      down(45,100) = yowza(0,55)
      up(0,45) = yowza(55,100)
      down(0,45) = yowza(55,100)
      yowza:
      up(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
      down(0,55) = godzilla(45,100)
      up(55,100) = godzilla(0,45)
      down(55,100) = godzilla(0,45)

      (I copy-pasted and then forgot to edit it....)

       
    • Bjørn
      Bjørn
      2009-01-10

      Wow this thread realy helpd me, i am runing two computers (one winxp and one ubuntu) with one screen. And i have been looking for a way to not have to hit the source button on my computer every time i change. Only one drawback tho i usaly use the windows pc as the main computer, anyone know if this is posibile the other way around, i mean to use the windows pc as synergy server.

       
    • doolie
      doolie
      2009-01-27

      I have a very similar setup and have been using it for years (before synergy). I have a laptop on my right, and 2 identical LCD screens to the left with one screen directly in front. The difference is that I have an IOGEAR KVM (http://www.iogear.com/product/GCS632U/) hooked up to my Fedora box and the outputs on my laptop. My Fedora box has an ATI Radeon x1300 video card with dual connectors for dual-screen. One output goes to the left screen, the second output goes to the KVM. The leftmost screen is always on Fedora, and my laptop is always windows. I switch the middle screen by double tapping the scroll lock key, which I find very convenient. This way I have 2 dual-screen setups, overlapping on the middle screen. Since using synergy, I don't switch as often, but love being able to copy and paste between the 2 systems. Since I use this setup for work, I get most of my requests in windows, but do my work on my Fedora box and copying between them saves me lots of time and hassle.

      Sounds like you have achieved the same setup as me, just without the need for the KVM. Sounds like I have a simpler setup though, and haven't needed to hack anything to get it to work the way I want.

      cheers

       
  • Josh Lee
    Josh Lee
    2010-09-30

    So I use a VPN to work at home allot.  I always have a tower with 3 monitors, and a laptop.  Not to mention my server, which is now hosted in another state.  I have synergy on all of them, and my laptop is always to my left.  It just dawned on me that I could somehow access my work computer from home, (it's desktop) without using rDesktop.  Since I get assigned an ip from work when I VPN, (10.10.20.6) and my laptop gets (10.10.20.7) and my work tower (10.10.10.111) it dawned on me.  I could synergy the laptop on the left, my 3 monitors from my windows box here in front of me, and see my work's screen on my right monitor if I wanted, following the instructions you guys put above.

    Unfortunately, you guys jumped back and forth, and really understand what you are doing.  I do not.  Could one of you summarize up how to do this?

    Now best case and worst cases.
    Worst case,
    Picture I am sitting at home on windows 7 pro, x64 bit.  I have 3 monitors and a laptop to the right of that In the end, I would like my computer here to use all 3 monitors it currently does. To the far right I'd like to be able to slide over to my laptop. To the far left, I'd like when the mouse goes "off" of the left monitor, for my left monitor to change to display my work's # 1 (left) monitor.  Then as I slid off of work moving the mouse to the right, my far left monitor would change back to my home pc,

    Best case senario, My work has 3 monitors and I have 3 monitors at home.  Best case senario, Home uses all 3 monitors as it currently does.  Then I can move my mouse to the LEFT onto my laptop , but then my left monitor will show my laptop screen on it instead.  I could move my mouse to the right and it goes back to windows, then to my middle monitor, then to my right one.  Then as I go futher right, I'd like all three home monitors to now display all 3 work monitors.  Remember, that is best case senario, but boy I'd love to be able to do that.

    Home PC: Windows 7 Professional x64 Bit with 2 AOC 2236 monitors, ans 1 AOC (model unkown) over usb vga adapter
    Laptop Windows XP Professional SP2  Dell Latitude E6500
    Work Computer Windows XP SP 2 with 2 AOC 2236 monitors, ans 1 AOC (model unkown) over usb vga adapter

     
  • Hey file077,

    Unfortunately, I don't think Synergy is capable of doing what you want it to do. The reason others are able to share one screen between multiple computers using synergy is because both computers are physically connected to their monitors. A lot of monitors have a feature where they switch inputs when one input goes away (ex when a computer puts the display to sleep). If Synergy is used to trigger this display sleeping feature on all involved computers, then the monitor can be shared. I have never done this, but that is the theory.

    Since your work machine is in a different physical location, your best bet is using some sort of VNC program. The good news about that is you can have your work machine use all three monitors at home.

    Also, please note that the Synergy has moved to http://synergy-foss.org/. I think that mailing list is more active than this one.

     
  • Josh Lee
    Josh Lee
    2010-10-01

    I have an error with my account there, and cannot post to it..  I haven't even figured out, and not for lack of trying, how to use all three monitors at work at home.  And you are saying the good news is I can?  boy would I like to know what you do!
    How?

     
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