Wednesday, February 3, 2010


X2X is a nifty tool that allows the mouse and keyboard on one computer to control the X display of another (presumably nearby) computer... for example, my desktop (with nice logitech keyboard and my favourite mouse) controlling the X display on my laptop (a nice enough machine, but would anyone with human-sized hands voluntarily use a laptop keyboard and a glidepad?) In effect, I get two displays controlled by one keyboard and mouse - as I mouse off the right side of my desktop display, the mouse pointer pops onto the laptop.

Problem is, I keep forgetting the magical incantation. So for the following setup:

Desktop, on left
Laptop, on right, IP address

I do this:

ssh -X x2x -to :0 -east

There are other options out there for controlling multiple displays with the one keyboard and mouse... for example, Synergy can do more than 2 screens, and works on Windows and Mac as well as Unix. It's quite good, and I've used it in the past, but it needs to be installed, and you have to set up the config files, so it takes a bit more doing.

1 comment:

  1. Actually I outright prefer laptop keyboards, and I have pretty big hands (handspan is wider than the height of a 600mL Coke bottle), certainly adult-sized. I don't like constantly looking down at a laptop on a desk, though, so I got myself an Apple USB keyboard for when I am using it at work. It feels exactly like the keyboard on my Macbook Air. Nice.

    Also I'm sure I've seen a former colleague using x2x across three displays - a PC and two Tektronix XP400 thin clients. You might just need to run multiple instances of it