20

At work I use both Mac OSX (laptop) and Windows (desktop). I frequently have to switch between keyboards, the mouse and the trackpad.

I'm looking for recommendations for software that allow for keyboard and mouse/trackpad sharing between Mavericks and Windows 8.

I have used Sharemouse but it has restrictions on Poweruser/Commercial use and I was wondering if there are other similar programs that are free (gratis) even for use in a business environment.

Requirements

  • Works with Windows 8
  • Works with Mac OSX Mavericks

It would be nice if:

  • It was free (gratis)
  • Allowed for copy/paste between computers
  • Allowed for drag/drop files between computers
  • Multiple users on the same network
16

The most effective cross platform solution I have found for this in the past is Synergy. I haven't used it with Windows 8, but the site seems it indicate current releases are supported. Windows 7 and Mavericks definitely work.

  • Seamlessly share your mouse and keyboard with two or more computers.
  • Supported on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Drag and drop files from one computer to another (Windows and Mac).
  • Share your clipboard (copy and paste) between your computers.

Basically all your criteria are met and then some. I have a varying array of computers and users that are all interconnected and I can usually sit at any of them and work across all of them. This includes smart handling for when some computers in the configuration are not present, and across half a dozen platforms.

The software is open source (code here) and you can download and compile it yourself for free. If compiling your own software is not your thing you will need to shell out for a license. Access to the pre-compiled binaries is now behind a paywall and only granted for a license fee.

  • 1
    Thanks Caleb, Synergy looks good. I was under the impression that it didn't work with Mavericks due to the 'Sign up to be notified of Mavericks support' box on their homepage. But a little digging and I found there is a workaround. – Lyssa Feb 18 '14 at 19:45
  • Synergy 1.6.5 seems to be breaking hot corners in Mac OS 10.9.5. They work when it is off, once it is on though, even killing synergy basically requires a reboot before they will work again. I can re-produce this weird quirk that seemed to happen after updating to Synergy 1.6.5 consistently. I have tried everything including the above. I am sure there is a decent work around but I haven't found one as of yet. It's a shame too, I donated to synergy because it is a great app for a lot of us using multiple hardware/OS combinations. I wish input director wasn't just windows it was by far the best. – user12889 Mar 5 '15 at 20:25
  • @SynergyMacOS-Win7User That would be something to report in the project's issue tracker, not here. – Caleb Mar 6 '15 at 8:38
  • 1
    I cannot seem to find the "free to use" version of Synergy. The official website only offers 10$ Basic version. How do I get this in the "free to use" mode? – Ev0oD Oct 5 '15 at 21:37
  • @Ev0oD They are no longer offering ready downloads, but the source code is still freely available and you can compile it yourself if you're too cheap to by a license. I've fixed my answer to clarify the actual license situation. – Caleb Oct 6 '15 at 5:07
7

An alternative to Synergy that I have been using is Share Mouse. This supports pretty much the same feature set as Synergy, including:

  • Mac and Windows support (including Mavericks and Windows 8)
  • Shared clipboard between machines
  • Dragging and dropping of files
  • Free for personal use
  • A lot of additional features...

It's a bit easier to configure and use than Synergy while providing a larger feature set but it isn't open source, which may be a drawback.

  • 1
    for quite a while I was using it and liked it and after that I realized that I cannot change many settings without buying a license. The license is forcing itself on me and it is pretty expensive.... – Ev0oD Nov 12 '15 at 21:31
  • This is the program named in the question for which the OP was looking for an alternative to. – Caleb Oct 14 '17 at 12:52
-1

I solve this problem with RealVNC client and server. It fits most of your requirements, and Mac essentially becomes one of the windows on your PC.

You can switch to it at any time & copy-paste text. You can't copy-paste files that way, but it can be solved by creating an SMB share on Mac that you can access from Windows PC.

The main advantage compared to Synergy, is that Mac is shown on your primary monitor and you don't have to turn from one screen to another.

Generally, any VNC client/server will do, but I had a much better experience with installing RealVNC server on Mac, than using a built-in VNC server. It works faster, better handles reconnects and copy-pasting.

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