As I’m developing software, I need a lot of screen real estate and access to more then one OS for browser testing. To that end I have an XP desktop and a Vista laptop. Up until today, I’ve had a keyboard/mouse combo for the desktop and used the built in kb/mouse on the laptop. I have to stretch to reach my laptop, so it isn’t terribly convenient.
I figured that somebody must have solved this problem with a software KVM. A quick Google search turned up Synergy, a free software KVM that allows you to use one KB/Mouse across multiple PCs at one time. It didn’t say anything about mixing XP and Vista, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Here is how I set it up.
The desktops’ machine name is ‘scfox’, the laptop is called ‘ToshibaLaptop’. Genius huh? Anyways. Install the program on both of the machines that you want to connect to. On the primary machine, select the second radio button labeled ‘Share this computer’s keyboard and mouse (server)’.
Once you’ve done that, click configure.
Add the machine names that you are working with to the ‘Screens’ list. My laptop is physically to the right of my desktop, so I setup ‘Links’ for both machines.
Once I’ve saved the configurations, I started Synergy on the desktop in server mode then minimized it to the taskbar. I then started Synergy on the laptop and told it to connect to scfox. I can now share on mouse and keyboard between the two machines. This allows me to test on IE7/FF3 on the laptop, and IE6/FF2 on the desktop all from the same keyboard and mouse combo.
Yeah, that’s my office. Nice huh?