If you have multiple machines on your desk and you are fed up of having a mess of keyboards and mice all over the place then Synergy is just the thing you need. What makes Synergy even better is that it works cross-platform so you can share a single keyboard and mouse between Linux, OS X, any Unix and even crappy old Windows!

To find out more about installing synergy on non-OS X platforms or
about the practicalities of setting up a Synergy server checkout
Synergy’s home page: http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

The synergy home page allows you to download binaries for OS X but that package literally gives you just the executable file for the server and client and nothing more. If you want Synergy to be easier to use and install on OS X don’t get it from the Synergy website, get Synergy KM instead.

SynergyKM gives you a nice Synergy icon on the Menu Bar to allow you to easily see and change Synergy’s state (see screen first shot below). SynergyKM also adds an extra panel to your System Preferences to allow you to configure Synergy both as a client and a server (see second screen shot).

You can get SynergyKM here: http://software.landryhetu.com/synergy/

SynergyKM Menu Bar Icon

SynergyKM System Preference Pane

Addendum – 24-11-05

For some reason when you are using Synergy to connect your Mac to another keyboard and mouse and you have a hot-corner set up to lock the screen it doesn’t work while Synergy is on. If you turn-off synergy it works fine. for the last week I’ve been turning off Synergy each time I wanted to lock my computer and that’s just not ideal at all so I did some Googling on the matter and found a good solution.

You can get a padlock icon to appear in your Menu Bar and when you click on that one of the options in the menu is "Lock Screen" (see first figure below). This will allow you to lock your screen even while using Synergy. Getting this padlock is a little counter intuative but here goes:

  1. Open the "Keychain Access" program in your Applications/Utilities folder
  2. Open the prefferences for this app (Keychain Access -> Preferences)
  3. I nthe "General" pane check the checkbox labled "Show Status in Menu Bar"

Simple as that!

Padlock Menu Bar Icon