Isaac Li

I spent more than four hours to make Synergy work

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Posted (edited)

I've been a user of Synergy 1 for years, even before it was priced. I just bought Synergy 2.0.9 today and literally spent more than four hours to make it useful.

The first obstacle is activation, namely "Sign in with Symless". It always returned "Login failed! Session IP address mismatched". I'm using macOS 10.13.4 and Linux Mint 18.3 and I've tried all browsers that I have to "Authorize" it. There was even no log file to check. I had to manually run the command "synergy-config" to get it output a log file, where I found synergy was "debug: binding to 0.0.0.0:24802". I don't quite understand this 0.0.0.0 part, but there is nothing else useful.

Luckily, in macOS, both log files and "synergy-user.cfg" are in the same location. So I took a look at this configuration file, where an empty user-token and user-id were listed under [auth]. By inspecting the "Authorize" button on the webpage after sign-in, I quickly found the hidden token value using Chrome. At first, I pasted it in and forgot the quotation marks; synergy-service said it can not read line 9, which was easy to fix. Then I had no idea what was my user-id, so I tried my email address first, which does not work (synergy-service output that a function from Boost library could "get" this data). I realized it should be a number, so I just wrote down 0.

Boom! After I restarted Synergy, the webpage returned "Login successful. You can now return to Synergy". And I noticed the user-id was changed to a non-zero value after activation. I also used this method to bypass the IP mismatch error on my Linux machine. It turned out the user-id remains the same, but a different token will be assigned to the new machine. 

The second obstacle for me was multiple IP addresses. Both of my computers have multiple IP addresses (ethernet, WIFI, and VPN service). Ethernet seemed to work. But if I couldn't use ethernet and tried to rely on WIFI. DHCP server changed the HostName of my Mac based on dynamic IP and Synergy keeps complaining about unknown screen name (dhcp-ip_address.xxxx.xxxx.xxxx). Okay, I could manually fix my hostname for the purpose of using Synergy by using "scutil --set HostName new_name” but I had to restart my Mac to make it effective (I don’t find where Synergy caches these screen names; the configuration file synergy.conf stored the right hostname, but Synergy still used the old dhcp-assigned name before restart). After all these troubles, Synergy finally works. Hopefully, it will still work in the future.

Anyway, I understand that Synergy team like the idea of automatic configuration. I think we users usually know better about the environments and I'd appreciate it if we have more freedom to configure IP addresses. I saw there was a thread on this forum a few months ago where Nick mentioned there would be more configuration availability, but how soon?

Edited by Isaac Li
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You really did some in depth work. If I understand, you're up and running for now.

If you have a failure,be sure you open a support ticket. Obviously you can get operational on your own, but when you submit the logs to support, your issue is in front of the developers. Trouble tickets drive development.

The goal of Synergy 2 is that a user installs it and it auto-configures and works without the user having to intervene. Even to select a server.

Synergy 2.1 is being developed, targeting IT and Power Users. There will be access to a console for administrative control of specific cases, but most users won't ever see it. Offline configuration is planned to be included.

Version 2.1 is still a few months away.

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Thanks for the prompt reply. Yes, it is up and running for now. :) 

I was trying to open a support ticket but could not get a log file. That's when I decided to dig more. 

Glad to know Version 2.1 is on its way. Looking forward to its release!

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I will second this post, after spending about an hour trying to get my home and work machines connected... I finally had to disable the VPNs on both my machines to make it work and this means I can't use synergy. >:( I need to be able to access the resources at the office, AND I want to protect my home machine with it's own VPN. I don't think this is "niche" functionality. Synergy is already a power tool, so it's users are already not the same breed as people who just use their machines for email and facebook.

Personally, I would prefer to just have a text file I can edit to make this work - no need for a fancy UI.

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Got it.

Synergy 2.1 is being developed, targeting IT and Power Users. There will be access to a console for administrative control of specific cases, but most users won't ever see it. Offline configuration is planned to be included. But it's still a few months away.

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