I was suggested more than once lately, especially after my posts with multiseat, to try out Synergy. Well, I did 🙂
It’s quite an interesting program, and it actually saves me from having to use two mouse at once every time. Too bad I needed a mouse anyway to get the second seat, or I would have saved quite some money, too.
There are a few problems with it, though, for instance the server crashes from time to time, stopping access from the clients.
It’s unfortunate that the project development has slowed down, as it would be quite an interesting thing. Having better support for OSX for instance would be nice, as it is, part of my keyboard does not work on the laptop because there are keys that are NOT on the laptop.
One way to achieve better integration would be, I suppose, to make it act as an input driver on OSX. Using the same protocol, but rather than having a daemon, having an input driver that “installs” its own keyboard and mouse. It would probably then allow to use as many keys as the server has.
A similar piece of software could be done under X11: an Xorg driver that handles the input as a virtual event. With such a software I could easily get rid of the keyboard and mouse that I reserved for the extra seat and leave it as a virtual device.
If only Xorg would be more easily shared between instances (less use of .data.rel for instance) it would be quite interesting to use the monitors with three separate instances; this way it would handle dpms differently on a per-monitor basis, and shut down the extra monitors when not needed; as it is unless I do it on my own, the monitor at my left is always on, as it’s handled by the same session as the central one.
Well, if anybody wants to start working on it, it would be appreciated 🙂
Back at linux.conf.au I discussed the possibilities of moving network transparent IO into the X input drivers with Peter Hutterer, who did the Multi-Pointer X stuff (MPX).As soon as MPX finds its way into X proper (which is a question of a couple of months) and I find enough time, than I will move my Mango Lassi input sharing tool to it and make it much sexier: you get one pointer and one input focus for each keyboard or mouse, be it local or remote.Just think of the possibilities: combining MPX with window migration and Peer-to-Peer via Avahi. Totally awesome.