Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Start Synergy on Boot in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 7

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up Synergy to start on boot in Ubuntu. Synergy is a software that allows you to share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. This can be particularly useful in a multi-monitor setup where each monitor is connected to a different computer.

Quick Answer

To start Synergy on boot in Ubuntu, you can either configure the LightDM display manager or use the Startup Applications tool. Both methods allow you to automatically start Synergy after logging in to your Ubuntu system.


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • A working installation of Ubuntu.
  • Synergy installed on your Ubuntu system.

Starting Synergy using LightDM

One way to start Synergy on boot is by configuring the LightDM display manager. LightDM is the default display manager for Ubuntu, and it controls user sessions and manages user authentication.

Step 1: Edit the LightDM Configuration File

Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

This command opens the LightDM configuration file in the nano text editor. The sudo command is used to run the command with root privileges, which are necessary for editing system files.

Step 2: Add the Synergy Startup Command

At the bottom of the file, add the following line:

greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/synergys --config ~/.synergy.conf

Here, greeter-setup-script is a directive that tells LightDM to run a certain script during the login process. The script we’re running is /usr/bin/synergys, which is the Synergy server. The --config option tells the Synergy server to use a specific configuration file, in this case ~/.synergy.conf.

Step 3: Save and Exit

Save the file and exit the text editor. In nano, you can do this by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm saving changes, and finally Enter to confirm the file name.

Step 4: Restart LightDM

Finally, restart LightDM by running the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm restart

This command restarts the LightDM service, applying the changes we made to the configuration file.

Starting Synergy using Startup Applications

Alternatively, you can use the Startup Applications tool to start Synergy after logging in.

Step 1: Open Startup Applications

Go to Main Menu > System > Preferences > Startup Applications to open the Startup Applications tool.

Step 2: Add a New Startup Entry

Click on the “Add” button to create a new startup entry.

Step 3: Configure the Startup Entry

In the “Name” field, enter a name for the Synergy startup entry (e.g., “Synergy”).

In the “Command” field, enter the following command:

synergys --config ~/.synergy.conf

This command is the same as the one we used in the LightDM configuration file.

Optionally, you can add a comment in the “Comment” field to provide a description for the startup entry.

Step 4: Save the Startup Entry

Click “Add” to save the entry. Now, Synergy will automatically start after you log in to your Ubuntu system.


In this guide, we’ve shown you two ways to start Synergy on boot in Ubuntu: by configuring the LightDM display manager, and by using the Startup Applications tool. Both methods have their own advantages, so choose the one that best fits your needs.

If you encounter any issues or if the provided solutions do not work for your specific setup, please refer to the official Synergy documentation or seek further assistance from the Synergy community.

Can I use Synergy to share a mouse and keyboard between Windows and Ubuntu computers?

Yes, Synergy is a cross-platform software that can be used to share a mouse and keyboard between different operating systems, including Windows and Ubuntu.

How do I install Synergy on Ubuntu?

You can install Synergy on Ubuntu by opening a terminal and running the following command: sudo apt-get install synergy. This command will download and install Synergy from the official Ubuntu repositories.

Can I configure Synergy to share multiple monitors?

Yes, Synergy supports sharing multiple monitors. When configuring Synergy, you can specify the position and arrangement of your monitors to ensure seamless mouse and keyboard movement across all screens.

Is there a graphical user interface for configuring Synergy in Ubuntu?

Yes, Synergy provides a graphical user interface called "Synergy Configuration" that you can use to easily set up and manage your Synergy server and clients. You can find it in the applications menu or by searching for "Synergy Configuration" in the Ubuntu Dash.

Can I use Synergy to share files or transfer data between computers?

No, Synergy is specifically designed to share a mouse and keyboard between computers. It does not provide file sharing or data transfer capabilities. For file sharing, you can use other tools like network file sharing or cloud storage services.

Can I use Synergy with a wireless mouse and keyboard?

Yes, Synergy is compatible with wireless mice and keyboards. As long as your wireless devices are connected and working properly on each computer, Synergy will be able to share them seamlessly.

Can I use Synergy on a local network or over the internet?

Synergy is primarily designed for use on a local network. However, with some additional configuration and network setup, it is possible to use Synergy over the internet. Keep in mind that using Synergy over the internet may introduce additional security risks, so it is important to take necessary precautions to protect your data.

Can I use Synergy with more than two computers?

Yes, Synergy supports sharing a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers. You can configure one computer as the Synergy server and the others as clients, allowing you to control multiple computers using a single mouse and keyboard setup.

Can I customize the keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys in Synergy?

Yes, Synergy provides options to customize keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys. You can configure specific key combinations to perform actions like switching between computers, locking the mouse to a specific screen, or activating the scroll lock mode.

Is Synergy free to use?

Synergy is available as both a free and paid version. The free version provides basic functionality and is suitable for most users. The paid version, called Synergy Pro, offers additional features and support. You can choose the version that best suits your needs.

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