Generally, you need some sort of hardware to share a single keyboard / mouse between different machines. However, Synergy software lets you share a single keyboard, mouse, and clipboard between machines without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).


It is common practice to run Windows XP and UNIX boxes side by side for various reasons. Synergy is open source and released under the GNU Public License (GPL). It works with Windows, Mac OS X and UNIX operating systems.

In the following example, the user is moving the mouse from left to right. When the cursor reaches the right edge of the left screen it jumps instantly to the left edge of the right screen. Do you wish you could cut and paste between computers? Now you can! Just copy text, HTML, or an image as you normally would on one screen then switch to another screen and paste it. It’s as if all your computers shared a single clipboard (and separate primary selection for you X11 users). It even converts newlines to each computer’s native form so cut and paste between different operating systems works seamlessly. And it does it all in Unicode so any text can be copied.

Share a single keyboard, mouse, clipboard with synergy software
(Fig 01: Synergy software in action ~ sharing mouse between Windows and Linux KDE desktop (image credit: Synergy project] )

Download synergy

=> You can download synergy software here.

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

5 comments… add one
  • rohitj Dec 24, 2007 @ 13:11

    I was wondering how the copy-paste thing works. Where does it store text when someone copies? Because the two machines have different CPUs, so to do copy-paste between these 2 machines, you have to store data in mouse/keyboard, or you have to send the copied text through some method. How does it do that?

  • 🛡️ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) nixCraft Dec 24, 2007 @ 14:12


    It works in client / server model. For example, install server on Windows 2000 and client on Mac OS X or Linux. Start the services and it will detect everything for you. Please read docs on official site for more.

  • Sharma Dec 24, 2007 @ 16:40

    I was wondering whether you can do it in a opposite way. I have a Linux box, can two sets of monitor, keyboard and mouses connect to it and work as individual workstation?

  • Rahish Ahamad Feb 4, 2008 @ 13:28

    this is realy good !!!.

    Rahish Ahamad

  • Anonymous Jan 4, 2016 @ 23:58

    it does that by intercepting keyboard / mouse events (gotten by the operating system) then sending them (through the internet probably using sockets) to the daemon running on the current active computer which is being shared with (the mouse and the keyboard). if you want a more indepth answer you should learn Programming, I recommend starting out with the C language on Linux and using gVIM as your editor.

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