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Controlling two machines with x2vnc

October 19th, 2005 · 1 Comment

My regular work machine is a laptop with Gentoo Linux. However, for ocassional use, I also have a desktop machine under my desk running Windows. So far, using it involved keeping a second keyboard and mouse somewhere on my desk, and dragging them out whenever I wanted to use the Windows machine (I have a dual-input display, so that was no problem). Highly inconvenient.

Enter x2vnc. This program allows you to control a remote computer through VNC by simply moving the cursor off the edge of your screen. It works beautifully. So here’s what I had to do:

1. Install RealVNC on the Windows machine.
2. Configure RealVNC to accept connections only from my laptop’s IP address, without authentication.
3. emerge x2vnc on my linux machine.
4. Run x2vnc win.machine.ip.address:0 on my laptop.

That’s it! Now when I move the cursor off the right edge of the screen in my Linux machine, control passes to the Windows box. A nice side effect is that the keyboard and mouse mappings are preserved, so the Control key is where I expect it to be in the Windows side as well, and my mouse wheel works propely in Windows (for some reason with its own mouse I never could get it to work).

Incredibly neat!

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