Big Buckey

Modifier keys (Shift/Ctrl/Alt/Win) not working in Parallels

16 posts in this topic

Server: Windows 10 Pro, fully patched

Client: MacOS, latest version

Synergy version 1.8.8

Shift/Ctrl/Alt/Windows keys do not work when running Parallels on the Mac (with a Windows 10 Pro VM). Modifiers work fine on the Mac itself, just not in the VM. In order to use the VM effectively (e.g. entering in a password with special characters, entering an email address, etc) I have to plug in a physical keyboard to the Mac.

 

Also posted here:

Thanks!

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On 4/26/2017 at 0:14 AM, Augusto Santa Cruz said:

Hello guys,

I wanted to let you know this issue has been documented and is being worked on by our developers. You can track it on our GitHub Repository, here's the link https://github.com/symless/synergy/issues/6011

Have an awesome day!

This is also a duplicate for https://github.com/symless/synergy/issues/5841. Our developers are still working on it. Please bear with us as we make Synergy better for everyone.

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Bump. This happens to me too, but in RDP sessions... A fix would be awesome, Synergy is basically useless if Shift doesn't work. :-/

 

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I have the same problem with V1.8.8 . Windows 7 server and iMac client on  el capitan OSX running Parallels. 

I downgraded to v1.8.5 on the server and no joy. I downgraded the client as well to 1.8.5  and and it seems to work fine now.

BKR

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Note that this is STILL AN ISSUE IN VERSION 2.0.1!!!!

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This link may offer some ideas.  Some people have reported similar issues using other remote access programs like RDP.  But this info did not fix it for me.
http://kb.parallels.com/en/123130

This has been an issue that has come and gone off and on over the years I believe.  At least, this is not the first time I have had to deal with it, but it has probably happened for different reasons. 

Synergy V1.8.8 did not work for me (CTRL/SHIFT/WIN/ALT keys not working in Parallels through Synergy).  I'm running Windows 10 as my server, Mac OSX 10.12 for my client.  Parallels v13.2.0 running Windows 7.  I downgraded to v1.8.5 as suggested above and it still does not work.  In fact, v1.8.5 breaks other stuff.  For example, I run Parallels full screen and use CTRL-Left Arrow and CTRL-Right Arrow (Mac OS standard swap screen keys) to move back and forth between Parallels (Windows) and Mac OS.  Under Synergy v1.8.5, this does not work as well.  V1.8.8 fixed that at least. 

Unfortunately, this problem makes Synergy completely useless to me.  

 

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After some more investigation, I found the following on this issue...

I used a keyboard event tester program in Windows to show me exactly what Windows is receiving in Parallels.  The program I used is part of a Thrustmaster product called TARGET (the TARGET Event Tester program), but there are several such programs available. Basically, it shows what keys have been pressed, in what order, and for how long.  I also displayed the Mac OS Keyboard Viewer.  To enable it, go to System Preferences ->  Keyboard -> and check "Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar".  Then from the keyboard/emoji icon in the menu bar, select "Show Keyboard Viewer".  This brings up a keyboard that shows what keys are currently being pressed in Mac OS. 

I tested with Synergy V1.8.5 and V1.8.8, again Windows 10 as the Synergy server, Mac OS 10.12.6 as the client, running Parallels V13.2.0 with a Windows 7 VM (all latest versions of software at time of writing this).  In all cases, any key I press on the Win10 Server machine correctly showed up on the Mac OS keyboard Viewer as is expected.

In Windows under Parallels, though, I got different results depending on the version of Synergy.  

Synergy V1.8.5

When I pressed a modifier key (e.g. CTRL, SHIFT, WIN, or ALT keys), they show up on the Mac OS Keyboard Viewer, but do not show up in the Windows VM Event Tester program.  If I press a key combo (e.g. CTRL-S), when I press CTRL, nothing happens in Windows.  But when I press the S key, I see CTRL key down, CTRL key up, followed by S key down, S key up.  This means that the CTRL key is being pressed and released before the S key is being pressed.  Hence Windows is actually seeing CTRL followed by S, not CTRL-S simultaneously.  It should have seen CTRL down, S down, S up, CTRL up as that is the order I pressed the keys.  This was repeatable with all various combinations of CTRL, SHIFT, WIN, or ALT and other keys - i.e. ALT-TAB, SHIFT-S, CTRL-S, etc. all do not work).  

In Parallels, I enabled "Keyboard:  Optimize for games"  (go to the Parallels configuration dialog for your VM -> Hardware tab -> Mouse & Keyboard -> and for the Keyboard setting, set to "Optimize for games").  This created one change.  When I press CTRL, SHIFT, etc. now, my keyboard event viewer in the Windows VM shows that CTRL is pressed.  When I release the key, the event viewer shows the key has been released.  But, when I try to do a combo like CTRL-S or SHIFT-S, it does what happened before. The modifier key is pressed and released, and then the S key is pressed and released.  Hence even with Optimize for games enabled, I get CTRL followed by S, not CTRL-S, for example.  

Something to note, with Synergy V1.8.5, the Win key correctly brings up the Windows 7 start menu.  But the event viewer in the Windows 7 VM does not show this regardless of the state of "Optimize for Games".  Normally, in Windows the Event Viewer would show the WIN key pressed and released.  

Also, regarding Mac OS Mission Control and moving back and forth between "Spaces" (pages), CTRL-Left Arrow and CTRL-Right Arrow when pressed on the server do not correctly cause the Mac OS client to switch between spaces.  Note, this is failing even though the Mac OS keyboard viewer correctly shows these keyboard combos being pressed. This problem is fixed in V1.8.8, though.  Just mentioning it because it shows something was done in Synergy to fix this problem.  Hence the code that affects this problem was changed between V1.8.5 and V1.8.8, but the result fixed one problem and made another problem worse.    

Synergy V1.8.8

I repeated the tests above, but using Synergy v1.8.8 on my server and client machines.  Again, the Mac OS Keyboard Viewer correctly shows all keys pressed.  But now in the TARGET Event Viewer in the Windows 7 VM, I never see the modifier keys at all. No CTRL, SHIFT, WIN, or ALT period.  So instead of getting CTRL-S or CTRL followed by S pushed separately, I just get S.  So things got worse in V1.8.8.  

The Win key does not bring up the Windows Start menu anymore.  This changed from before.

And as I said, in, v1.8.8, CTRL-left arrow and CTRL-right arrow now correctly shifts spaces left and right for Mac OS Mission Control.  

Synergy works fine in Mac OS, so obviously much of the issue here is that we are talking about making Synergy work through Parallels to a virtual machine. Synergy isn't the only program that has had problems making this work consistently.  As I mentioned about RDP (remote desktop protocol), it too has had problems too.  The solution I linked in my previous post suggests mapping the Mac CTRL key to CTRL, OPTION key to ALT, COMMAND KEY to WIN, and SHIFT key to SHIFT from within Parallels.  Now, of course, these keys are already supposed to map this way, but Parallels suggested actually making a specific mapping.  I tried this in my tests above (with and without the mapping), and it had no effect.  

The moral of the story is, there are probably several ways to map keys virtually (like Synergy is trying to do) in Mac OS.  Couple Synergy with a program like Parallels, and since both programs are trying to control the keyboard at a low level in a way Apple probably didn't intend, things get screwed up.  But it has worked in the past.  So to the Synergy team, please focus on this issue and make sure you test it regularly for future releases as part of QA.  This is an example of a basic function that needs to work reliably from release to release, hence, making this feature more important than the more fancy features such as copy and paste or file transfers between Synergy Client and Server.  Thanks.

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I just tried Synergy v2.0.4 and can verify that it works the same as v1.8.8 as I explained above - no differences regarding this issue.  

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Bump.  Same issue here.  Cannot get the modifier keys working in Synergy v2.0.4 or v1.8.8 when used in conjunction with Microsoft Remote Desktop.

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I have noticed that  while 1.8.5  solves the modifier keys for the most part, I still lose my mouse control occasionally on the Parallels  Win 7 vm.

I can get my mouse control back, simply by hitting the left ALT key. Not sure what that has to do with the mouse, but it avoids having to click back on the Mac screen to get my mouse back in the VM.

 

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Have the same issue. Please fix this!

Thank you!

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Have the same issue. Please fix this!

Thank you!

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Have the same issue. Please fix this!

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This was a known bug from back in Synergy 1 days.

I've suffered through this bug for 2+ years now.

Despite that, it is not even listed on the synergy 2 roadmap.

I'd like the Dev team to at least aknowledge that the bug exists, and put it onn the roadmap.

I've been seriously considering leaving synergy and moving to a hardware based solution.

 

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On 4/7/2018 at 2:44 PM, Kenneth Persinger said:

I'd like the Dev team to at least aknowledge that the bug exists, and put it onn the roadmap.

2

Acknowledged! Sorry about this bug, and thanks for your patience.

I've added it to the list: https://symless.com/synergy/help/known-bugs

We'll try to fix it, but I certainly can't say if or when a fix is possible.

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Nick,

I see it on the website now. Thanks for acknowledging the issue. Imagine trying to type a password into your Parallels VM to log in and you can’t. The old keyboard gets hooked back up and Synergy is forgotten.

That known bugs page is a great resource. 

Thanks,

GJ

The Buckster 

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