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Pushing Synergy 2 over Synergy 1 seems premature

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Not sure where to post this and here seemed like the best place, more of an observation / opinion than anything else.

TLDR: Synergy 1 is a far better installation and configuration experience. Synergy 2 also seems to lack a lot of features. Suggest some access to Synergy 1 be provided to purchasers of Synergy 2 or at least better information provided. Synergy 2 is in transition and should be only recommended in preference to Synergy 1 with caveats, if at all. In my opinion Synergy 1 should be the default for a while yet looking at the roadmap.

This has been my first experience with Synergy although I'd heard about it for years previously. With some confidence I purchased Synergy 2 expecting a complete product given how long it's been around and the positive opinions I'd heard. The current "config" interface in my opinion is atrocious, not because it doesn't get you to the result necessarily but because there are literally no options or ways to inspect way something isn't working. I had an issue with my VM where when it had mouse enabled for it through VM management then Synergy would constantly decide it was the server if I focused it, this was shown by the white square moving to the other screen in the config screen (this wasn't immediately obvious). I figured this out but it meant that I could have native mouse passthrough OR Synergy and this was a problem because if Synergy didn't work on boot then I couldn't control anything, so configuring involved a lot of reboot cycles. 

I got through these initial teething issues and had it working on boot consistently and then hit the next bump which was that the Send Relative Mouse Moves option / feature doesn't exist for Synergy 2 so playing a game on the client was impossible (mouse moves were insane). At this point I opened a Self Support topic to get the answer that this feature was officially unsupported and not planned for some time (if at all). 

With this definitive answer in hand I downloaded Synergy 1 and got that working in under 5 minutes. Mouse works with VM mouse enabled as well and the logging and other information was gratifying for debugging. Relative mouse moves works and allows gaming. Synergy 1 gave me the impression of a mature dependable piece of software, while Synergy 2 seems inscrutable and temperamental.

Posting this really to vent a little and share my experience with the development team. I understand the need to get the existing userbase to use the new version, but I think at this stage the initial experience is too poor for new users and the lack of features is not well advertised which lead to disappointment and irritation. My recommendation would be to not push Synergy 2 quite as hard and to spread out the transition from Synergy 1, rather than presenting Synergy 2 as the current product, it's simply inferior and having to find this out organically as a user is bad.

I know this post is unlikely to change anything but that's my 2c. I do really like the functionality of the software and the approach to development and community engagement in other ways seems good.


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Please don't read any snark into this. I am pressed for time.

If you search the forums you will see that...

1. You are not alone.

2. The product is headed in a different direction along an alternate route.

3. All the concerns that you mention are being addressed. Just gonna take a while.

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No snark noted :)

I had noted on the forums that others had similar concerns etc but I wanted to share my story / perspective.

With regards to 3., My point / suggestions really is that, in my opinion, during the process of the concerns being addressed it would be better to not present Synergy 2 as a complete product and equivalent to Synergy 1. For me it was the disconnect between expectation and reality that was painful. If there had been even a little warning that it was still incomplete and essentially beta it would have been better. Ultimately I would've appreciated this information and the option to choose between version 1 and 2 in an informed way.

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FWIW, I think I am one of the few that see Synergy 2 as a big improvement.  I currently have it running with my ArchLinux box as the server with Mac & Windows as clients, and I have zero issues.  With Synergy1, I had issues with lost mouse cursors, problems switching screens, & frequently needed service restarts.  I see Synergy2's future being very bright.

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Darren Hartley

I have to agree with RadMan, I had originally used 1 Pro, then purchased 2 Pro expecting an even better experience.

Realistically, I spent so much time trying to self-diagnose, re-installing the software, restarting services, having to manually switch the mouse to the second PC to control the on-screen keyboard that it became a chore to use 2. I even bought a mini keyboard & mouse as back up for the second PC (having binned my old keyboard a long while ago) for an instant fix when Synergy had just plagued me too much. I was even looking at the expensive Multi-device keyboards from Logitech as an alternative, just so I could keep my desk clutter free.

Then I read on one of the support forum posts that another user had switched back to 1, so I did the same and these last couple of weeks I feel like I had wasted the money buying the second keyboard/mouse.

Synergy 1 works well for my multi-monitor, multi-PC, multi-network (via vpn) windows setup, most of the time, and I will look forward to reinstalling 2 once the bugs have been ironed out.

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It's easy to see in hindsight that much of the criticism would've been avoided if they didn't publish Synergy 2 as a stable, fully-fledged release, and if the upcoming Synergy 2.1 was the real 2.0 instead; but well, what's done is done. They seem to be addressing all the defects, which is good.

Maybe put a disclaimer in the website that informs the user of the differences between both versions so people don't make assumptions or have wrong expectations?

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  • 4 months later...

I just downloaded Synergy 2.0 when I did a reinstall on my Mac Pro and PC. I need both running side by side and I usually run the Mac as the server. I decided to install Synergy 2.0 because I figured that greater is better (noob mistake, I know). When I installed it, It didn't really do anything other than pop up a window that showed my computer name and said - "Now Add another PC ..." I added my PC after my Mac and the PC said the same thing. Nothing else. No configuration UI. Tried right clicking on the status bar icon, etc with no luck. The UI that we use to configure the server was missing. Maybe I did something wrong, but then I completely uninstalled Synergy 2 and installed Synergy 1 and put it my serial number and everything is working great again. Also note that Synergy 2 had no option to enter a serial number, probably because it's beta, probably. The key to good software development is that the UX is your relationship to the customer. Never break the UX. Looking forward to synergy 2.

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  • 3 years later...

Reviving post... My $0.02

I have used both, and Synergy 2 was definitely going on the right direction.

#1 You can use any keyboard/mouse and even use machines with their own keyboard/mouse if you don't mind the mouse centering which I got used to.  But when you're having to switch from one machine to the other, you can't just do it with version 1 without jumping through a lot of hoops.

#2 Monitor positioning is so nice on Synergy 2, where I could have a setup of  3 machines on bottom and a 4th machine on top and be able to position them where I could turn off the center bottom and still be able to move from left to top to right bypassing the center one. I could even setup different machines separate (on other networks) and as long as they don't touch monitors you are good to go with a few configurations on same account.

#3 Synergy 2 works flawlessly for me, where Synergy 1 had it's issues and have been worked out, which should've been done to Synergy 2, keep working on it and fixing its few bugs.

I think Synergy 2 should be brought back and fixed its few bugs.  Currently using 2.0.12 and not looking back at Ver.1   Lately I installed the March 2022 version to check it out, still missing nice features of Ver.2   (The ones I use the most from Ver.2 are using keyboard/mouse without having to set a dedicated server, and positioning the monitors.)


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