Synergy HOWTO - Keyboard & Mouse Sharing (PowerPC Mac Edition)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. AphoticD, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Synergy for Mac (PowerPC Edition)

    synergysplashen.png

    Introduction


    Synergy is a long-standing open source solution for sharing your keyboard and mouse across multiple machines with a variety of operating systems.

    Currently, I have 3 Intel Macs, 8 PowerPC Macs, a Windows PC and some other obscure systems. I rarely have everything running all at once. But, if I want to, I can control any of the machines in my studio with just a single Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse, which are both paired to a Mac Pro 3,1.

    Move the mouse past the edge of one screen and the next machine picks it up and takes input from the keyboard. Also, after modifying the Mac Pro*, I now get a Bluetooth range of about 10m, which means I can just pick up the mouse and the little keyboard, wheel my chair to another machine at another desk and I'm on. No BT pairing/unpairing or USB plugging/unplugging. All those extra keyboards and mice are out of sight. The real magic comes with being able to automatically share the clipboard contents. So, I can copy on one machine and paste on another (even between operating systems).

    I know that Teleport is a very good solution for Mac (and notably easier to configure), but it doesn't have the scope of compatibility that I was looking for. I've been using Synergy for a while now with a variety of machines and it is almost completely flawless. I thought back to how much messing around it took to get everything to speak the same language and I decided to do a write-up for other PowerPC users.



    Synergy Compatibility

    There are many versions of Synergy floating around the internet. However, for compatibility I use the following versions on my Macs. (See the attached zipped builds for your convenience).


    Synergy v1.3.1 (PPC / Intel UB for Mac OS X)
    Mac OS X Jaguar (10.2.8), Panther (10.3.9) and Tiger (10.4.11)

    Download synergymac131-tigerppc.zip

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running under Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.
    Will NOT connect to: v1.7.x or current v1.8.x (Payware) versions.

    This Universal Binary build of v1.3.1 has been my long time stable option and it worked well as both a server and client version for many years across my Intel and PPC Macs. However, I took a 5 year hiatus from computing and when I returned and upgraded from Snow Leopard to Sierra, I tried to run this version and it would run and connect my Mac clients okay, but broke the clipboard copy/paste feature and caused scrolling to go into turbo-mode. Scrolling became unusable in this config. One little slide on the Magic Mouse resulted in going all the way to the top or the bottom of a web page.

    The obvious first stop in finding a solution was to simply upgrade to the current version on the Intel Mac. Upgrading to the more recent (payware) versions (1.8.x) allowed Sierra and El Cap clients to connect, but refused connections from my PowerPC clients. I could not get v1.7.x or v1.8.x to build for PowerPC Mac OS X from source or through Tigerbrew or MacPorts. So, I was back at square one and needed to find an intermediate version which was compatible. Enter Synergy version 1.6.3...

    Known issues: Connecting an older Mac client running v1.3.1 to my v1.6.3 server (El Capitan) requires swapping of the command and option key mapping. This is simply a matter of setting super = alt and alt = super under the client's screen declaration in the server config file (more on this later).

    Although scrolling now works between 1.3.1 and 1.6.3, the clipboard features are mostly broken. This means Jaguar, Panther and Tiger clients can't copy and paste between Macs running Synergy 1.6.3 on Leopard through to Sierra. However, in this mixed environment, this is the best compromise I've found.



    Synergy v1.6.3 (PPC / Mac OS X)
    Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.8) PowerPC

    Download synergymac163-leopardppc.zip

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running on Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.

    I found a MacPorts Portfile of Synergy version 1.6.3 which ultimately built on both Leopard PPC and Intel El Cap and Sierra. I have included these builds attached. If you want Instructions on compiling and installing older ports, see the MacPorts wiki. This version should build okay under Tiger, but I haven't tried this yet.

    Copy/paste and scrolling work flawlessly between all my operating systems in this version.

    Known issues: v1.6.3 Mac OS X (PowerPC) clients carry a weird control-key related issue. It is completely usable, but the Finder in particular has issues resizing column views. You can still double-click the control thumb to size a column to fit. Switching between apps can be equally as weird where the menu bar won't show the current (front) app until you click back to the desktop and then back to the app again. I have gotten used to the behaviour and call it a small compromise to have working copy/paste and proper scrolling function with Leopard clients. This doesn't affect the use of the control key in shortcuts.



    Synergy v1.6.3 (Intel x86_64 / Mac OS X)
    Mac OS X Snow Leopard 64-bit (10.6.8) through to to Sierra (10.12.6)

    Download synergymac163-x86_64.zip

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running on Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.

    Intel Mac clients running El Cap and Sierra work flawlessly with this client version when connecting to a v1.6.3 server. I haven't found any issues at all.



    Synergy 1.6.2 (i386/x86_64 and PowerPC Linux)
    Linux / Ubuntu - Tested on Ubuntu MATE PowerPC 16.04.2

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running on Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.


    This is the default version on Ubuntu Mate 16.04.2 (apt-get install synergy). I haven't had any problems connecting to my El Cap v1.6.3 server.


    Synergy 52.6, 4.3 2015 (MorphOS)

    MorphOS 3.9 (PowerPC)

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running on Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.

    Although I don't have a licensed copy, I noticed that MorphOS comes pre-installed with Synergy. Using the version on the 3.9 Boot CD and connecting to a v1.6.3 server works for mouse control but key mappings are all wrong. Perhaps the MorphOS team have fixed this in an update.


    Synergy 1.6.3 (Windows)

    Windows 7, 8 and 10

    Will connect to: v1.6.3 server running on Leopard - Sierra, Linux and Windows.

    Search Google for download


    NOTE: For all versions of 1.6.x, I found that although not incompatible, connecting to a v1.8.x server will result in copy/paste errors among other problems.


    Download and install


    Download the appropriate zip file for your Mac or compile and install via MacPorts as noted in the Synergy v1.6.3 (PPC / Mac OS X) section above.

    MacPorts will install Synergy at:
    /opt/local/bin/synergyc (Client)
    /opt/local/bin/synergys (Server)

    If you're installing from the zip, copy the synergyc and synergys binaries into a location such as /usr/local/bin (or /Applications/Synergy/ or ~/Applications/Synergy/ if you prefer).


    Configure Synergy Server

    Designate one machine to be your Synergy server. Each other Mac/PC will connect to this server as a client for control from the server's keyboard and mouse.

    Sample Configuration
    SampleSynergySetup.jpg

    1. Create a text file with TextEdit (or vi, emacs or pico at the command line) with a config such as the following and save it as synergy.conf

    section: screens
    PowerMacG5:
    MDDG4:
    iMacG4:
    super = alt
    alt = super
    MacMini:
    MacBook:
    end

    section: links
    PowerMacG5:
    left = iMacG4
    right = MDDG4
    down = MacBook
    up = MacMini

    MDDG4:
    left = PowerMacG5

    iMacG4:
    right = PowerMacG5

    MacBook:
    up = PowerMacG5

    MacMini:
    down = PowerMacG5
    end

    * Note: In this config, the iMacG4 is running v1.3.1 (under Tiger), so the command (super) and option (alt) keys have been switched.


    2. Make a note of where you've saved your config file (Such as ~/Documents/Synergy/synergy.conf), we're going to write a shell script to launch the server with your configuration.


    3. Using TextEdit (or vi, pico or emacs), create a new file named
    synergyserver.sh with a command like;

    #/bin/bash
    /usr/local/bin/synergys -n PowerMacG5 -f --config ~/Documents/Synergy/synergy.conf &

    Replacing the path to the binary and the config file as well as the name of your server's screen. This doesn't have to match your hostname, but it can if you like.


    4. Save the shell script somewhere local (such as ~/Documents/Synergy/synergyserver.sh). Then using Terminal, make the shell script executable with:

    chmod 755 ~/Documents/Synergy/synergyserver.sh


    5. Go back to the Finder and Get Info on your synergyserver.sh shell script. Make sure "Open With" points to Terminal (and not TextEdit or something).


    6. You can now add your synergyserver.sh executable to your Login Items in System Preferences -> Accounts (Or Users & Groups) -> Login Items. Drag and drop the shell script into the list or click the + button.

    Synergy Server will now run each time you boot. If you don't like the Terminal window lingering after you've booted, launch Terminal, go to Preferences and you can designate the setting "When the shell exits: Close the window" under Profiles -> Shell.


    Synergy Client Configurations

    1. Install Synergy on each machine as above.


    2. On each client Mac, we'll make Synergy start automatically at login as we did with the server. Create a new shell script named synergyclient.sh using TextEdit (or vi, nano or pico) with a command like:

    #/bin/bash
    /usr/local/bin/synergyc -n MDDG4 -f PowerMacG5.local &


    Replacing the screen name (-n option) and server address accordingly. You can of course use an IP address instead of the .local address.


    3. Save the shell script somewhere local (such as ~/Documents/Synergy/synergyclient.sh). Then using Terminal, make the shell script executable with:

    chmod 755 ~/Documents/Synergy/synergyclient.sh


    4. Go back to the Finder and Get Info on your synergyclient.sh shell script. Make sure "Open With" points to Terminal.


    5. You can now add synergyclient.sh to your Login Items in System Preferences -> Accounts (Or Users & Groups) -> Login Items.


    As noted earlier, you can have Terminal automatically close it's window by changing it's Preferences.

    6. Repeat for each Mac client. Linux and Windows clients can use their GUIs to configure and connect.

    If you need to quit Synergy for Mac at any time, either use Activity Monitor / Process Viewer to find and quit the process or use Terminal with the command killall synergyc (or killall synergys for the server process).


    I know this is a long read, but when I went looking for answers, I couldn't find anything documented online about Synergy for our beloved legacy PowerPCs.

    I hope someone finds this useful.

    -AphoticD


    * P.S. I know this is off-topic, but it may be useful for someone with the same issue... It's worth noting that the stock Bluetooth range on a Mac Pro is pretty bad and as soon as I installed a USB3.1 PCIe card it made Bluetooth unusable. USB3.x is known to cause 2.4Ghz signal interference across all kinds of computers (which I didn't know until after I'd put the time, money and effort into the expansion).

    To remedy this, I modified my 2008 cMP by adding an extra internal antenna cable (50cm 1.37 U.FL / IPX Mini PCI to RP-SMA Pigtail) connected to the onboard BT riser card, which routed through to the PCIe slots, I drilled a suitable sized hole in a PCI cover plate (about 6mm from memory) and screwed in a 2.4Ghz 10dBi Wifi RP-SMA antenna booster, which is about 200mm.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. aalls159 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Hi, sorry for bring up this old tread. So i got some free time today and tried to follow this wonderful guid but I seam to have messed up installing it because no mater what I do i am unable to get it to show up in activity monitor on any of the three computers that I tried it on. So i was wondering if i was supposed to install it with mac ports or something because I only downloaded to zip files for 1.6.3 for intel and ppc and made a Synergy folder in the applications folder and followed the instructions form there on all thee computers. The three computers I tried it on are my 2017 27" iMac(High Sierra) as the synergy server because it is only desktop that is left on 24/7 that is not headless, my 2013 13'' mbp(High Sierra), and my g5 quad(Leopard). I have not tried any other computer yet because I can't seem to figure out what I am doing wrong. If I can figure out what I am doing wrong I would like to add my twins iMacG4 that is on my desk and his G4MDD for my account.

    ~Thanks in advance aalls159
     
  3. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Yes, I found that the zipped files I put here will require you to download and install MacPorts (v2.4.x) for Leopard through to High Sierra to run Synergy v1.6.3 on. Once you have run the MacPorts installer, jump onto Terminal and run:

    sudo port install curl

    This will install all the dependencies for Synergy to work.

    The zip of Synergy v1.3.1 for Tiger (plus Panther and Jaguar) will work standalone which makes it lighter on a lower end Mac. Just be sure to include the “super = alt, alt = super” lines in the screen declaration otherwise the command and option keys will be mapped incorrectly.
     
  4. aalls159, Dec 23, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017

    aalls159 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    ok, I looked at the mac ports page and saw that it needs Xcode and downloaded that for the intel machines but where would one find the right Xcode for the powermacs. Or does mac ports not need Xcode. I saw that you put mac ports V2.4.x down, does that mean I would not want to install a newer version of mac ports on the intel machines. Thanks in advance for the help, first time using anything that requires Xcode and mac ports.

    ******update******

    Looks like i was stupid and did not see that V2.4.2 is the current releas of mac ports. Ok I installed the newest version of Xcode on my intel macs and mac ports and was wondering what I do with the ZIP files from your instructions above. Do they need to be run somehow or just leave them in the /Applications/Synergy folder i made when following your instructions before i downloaded Xcode and mac ports. ~Thanks for your time in advance.
     
  5. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Macports 2.4.2 is the current version. I'd go with that.

    With Leopard on your G5 you want to install Xcode 3.1.4 which can be downloaded at https://developer.apple.com/downloads/ - you'll need to login with your Apple ID. Then search in the downloads list (the .dmg is 993MB)
     
  6. aalls159 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Ok I went to the apple developer and have 3.1.4 downloading right now. On the intel iMac that is going to be the server I have the newest version of Xcode installed and mac ports. I was wondering what to do with the zip files from the instructions above. Replace them by downloading them again or do I need to run them in mac ports somehow? Thanks for the detailed help.
     
  7. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    The synergyc and synergys binaries from the 'synergymac163-x86_64.zip' will work once you install Macports and run "sudo port install curl". I installed these manually like this on my iMac (late 2009) with High Sierra.

    Just replace any mention of "~/Documents/Synergy" in my instructions with "/Applications/Synergy" or where ever you've installed them.
     
  8. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    To prevent macports from attempting to update synergy to a newer version run your port update with:
    Code:
    sudo port selfupdate
    sudo port upgrade outdated and not synergy
     
  9. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #9
    Thanks again!
    This is overwhelming and by far the best entry to Synergy and collaborate mouse and keyboard sharing on the Mac!!!
     

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8 July 29, 2017