Monthly Archives: November 2014

Using Full Screen Applications with Synergy in Windows

I’ve been a big fan of the Synergy Project for quite some time. I use it for my main desktop (dual boot Windows 7 and Linux) and another Linux system that I use for IRC, Crashplan Backup, and a few other household apps.

One of the things I struggled with for literally years is when I’m running a fullscreen program in Windows, and unless I’ve disabled Synergy, if I move my mouse too far to the right, my fullscreen program will minimize to the task bar. Sometimes this is a big deal to me (mainly multiplayer gaming). I tried Googling for how to disable Synergy for use with fullscreen programs because certain ways I stop it (stopping the service, killing the process) sometimes causes Synergy to never start again correctly, and I wanted to see if there was a best practice. What I found was even better: an option within Synergy that will allow me to use the Synergy functionality (ie switching to my Linux machine to the right) without minimizing my fullscreen program. That option is called:

“Don’t take foreground window on Windows servers”

Once I selected this option, I loaded up one of my favorite fullscreen games, Spelunky, and tried to move the cursor to the right to get to my Linux IRC window, and viola! The foreground stayed there while I was able to type into a Linux terminal. Once I moved the mouse back into the Windows screen, I could again play the game.

The only thing left to test is for first-person games where you use the mouse to look around. I suspect the turning to the right will be affected, but we’ll see about that!

Thanks to the people over at Next of Windows for the link!