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Old 10-12-2016, 03:55 AM   #1
Red Squirrel
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Is there an alternative to the program Synergy?


After going through the 7th layer of dependency hell and not getting anywhere, I've given up trying to install the latest version of Synergy (the current one I have crashes all the time and it's unusable and the one in the repo is not the same version across different distros so it won't connect).

Is there an alternative? It does not have to be cross platform, as long as it works in Linux. What I'm trying to do is go to a single monitor on the main machine have have two raspberry PI machines as the side monitors, so just need the mouse/keyboard to work across all 3 systems. What I will most likely end up doing is having the raspberry PIs VNC into some kind of server and they'll basically act as thin clients.
 
Old 10-15-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
gentisle
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I came across this when I was looking for an alternative to something else.

https://alternativeto.net/software/synergy/
 
Old 10-22-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
Red Squirrel
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I had found that too while doing a quick search but was mostly wondering if anyone had specific experience with anything. But anyway I gave X2VNC a try, it's not setup properly yet (no auto startup, or even a password setup on the X11VNC side) but it looks like it could be very usable. I was reluctant to use a VNC based solution but then remembered that I'm not actually logging in and viewing a remote screen, so there's not really any latency to worry about. But while testing the xVNC install with a regular VNC client I realized even regular VNC is actually decently usable locally. I remember it being very slow but they may have improved the protocol since.

Going to experiment with this for a while and see. The biggest thing is long term reliability. The issue I was having with Synergy is that it kept crashing. It worked, otherwise.

I'll run this as is manually for now and see how it goes.
 
Old 10-22-2016, 08:32 PM   #4
Red Squirrel
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Well that didn't last long. XVNC just randomly shuts off on it's own at times for no reason, rendering it useless for this. Also trying to do anything like move a window is TERRIBLE, it's all sluggish, and locks you in until it's done.

Any other solutions worth trying or a way to increase the performance of this? So close to something viable. It's weird as it seems to be fine at times then goes all sluggish at random.
 
Old 10-23-2016, 11:14 AM   #5
sag47
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Synergy works quite well for me but then again I paid for it. They have a paid-for version (which is still open source software). Might you try that?
 
Old 10-23-2016, 11:45 AM   #6
Red Squirrel
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Yeah it's actually the paid version that I tried. I was trying to upgrade to the latest, but there's too many dependencies, I just can't get it to install successfully. It wants very specific versions of dependencies. I gave up trying I spent probably over a week trying, pouring through google etc and trying everything. Both on my main system and the raspberry PI. They have packages, but they still error out with dependency errors.

Based on their forums, even the newer version crashes.
 
Old 10-25-2016, 01:18 PM   #7
mostlyharmless
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Synergy works quite well for me, as does VNC and its variants. On HP hardware you can use RGS, which has better graphics support than VNC. However, since you are having dependency issues, random shutdowns with VNC and intermittent synergy problems, I suspect the underlying OS has got the real problem. After all, VNC should be solid as a rock normally.

Any chance of reinstalling Mint (I assume that is your main machine)? Done anything nonstandard in your installation?
 
Old 10-25-2016, 07:11 PM   #8
Red Squirrel
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VNC is solid being used normally, but using it with X2VNC the cursor is ridiculously choppy. If I use the VNC client to connect directly then it's fine.

This is a clean OS install. For Synergy I am having the dependency issues on the Raspberry PIs and also Mint 17 and Mint 18. (recently did a clean install of 18). It will let me install older version of Synergy but not the latest. I know there's a bunch of crap you have to change in the make file and a bunch of other stuff you have to do to make it work, found some tutorials online but none of that stuff worked for me. It did get me a bit further but it still fails at some gmock-all.cc file or something like that.

If I try to install it on Mint it blows up even more with a bunch of libssl stuff and basically breaks the package manager by leaving junk behind that won't let me install anything else. I can fix it with apt-get -F install though.

According to Synergy forums even the latest versions crash a lot though.

I am starting to look into what it would take to design a hardware based solution. Basically some kind of "hub" that your mouse and keyboard plugs into, then there are USB cables that go to each machine, and it has buttons to switch between the machines. Unlike a KVM, it would emulate the mouse/keyboard so all 3 PCs always see a mouse and keyboard making switching seamless. Would then have some software that can also automatically change by detecting cursor location. I only have very limited experience with Atmel Arduino compatible MCUs though and don't believe any of those do USB, though I may be able to bit bang it on the i2c port. I imagine it would be fast enough for HID. Probably easier than fighting against the demons that reside in the 7th layer of dependency hell. :P

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 10-25-2016 at 07:14 PM.
 
  


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