Open-source KVM software
Alternatives To Barrier
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Alternatives To Barrier
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Eliminate the barrier between your machines. Find releases for windows and macOS here. Your distro probably already has barrier packaged for it, see distro specific packages below for a list. Alternatively, we also provide a flatpak and a snap.

Contact info:

  • #barrier on freenode

CI Build Status

Master branch overall build status: Build Status

Platform Build Status
Linux Build Status
Mac Build Status
Windows Debug Build Status
Windows Release Build Status
Snap Snap Status

Our CI Builds are provided by Microsoft Azure Pipelines, Flathub, and Canonical.

What is it?

Barrier is software that mimics the functionality of a KVM switch, which historically would allow you to use a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers by physically turning a dial on the box to switch the machine you're controlling at any given moment. Barrier does this in software, allowing you to tell it which machine to control by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen, or by using a keypress to switch focus to a different system.

Barrier was forked from Symless's Synergy 1.9 codebase. Synergy was a commercialized reimplementation of the original CosmoSynergy written by Chris Schoeneman.

At the moment, barrier is not compatible with synergy. Barrier needs to be installed on all machines that will share keyboard and mouse.

What's different?

Whereas Synergy has moved beyond its goals from the 1.x era, Barrier aims to maintain that simplicity. Barrier will let you use your keyboard and mouse from one computer to control one or more other computers. Clipboard sharing is supported. That's it.

Project goals

Hassle-free reliability. We are users, too. Barrier was created so that we could solve the issues we had with synergy and then share these fixes with other users.

Compatibility. We use more than one operating system and you probably do, too. Windows, OSX, Linux, FreeBSD... Barrier should "just work". We will also have our eye on Wayland when the time comes.

Communication. Everything we do is in the open. Our issue tracker will let you see if others are having the same problem you're having and will allow you to add additional information. You will also be able to see when progress is made and how the issue gets resolved.

Contact & support

Please be aware that the only way to draw our attention to a bug is to create a new issue in the issue tracker. Write a clear, concise, detailed report and you will get a clear, concise, detailed response. Priority is always given to issues that affect a wider range of users.

For short and simple questions or to just say hello find us on the Freenode IRC network in the #barrier channel.


At this time we are looking for developers to help fix the issues found in the issue tracker. Submit pull requests once you've polished up your patch and we'll review and possibly merge it.

Most pull requests will need to include a release note. See docs/newsfragments/ for documentation of how to do that.

Distro specific packages

While not a comprehensive list, repology provides a decent list of distro specific packages.

Packaging status


Q: Does drag and drop work on linux?

A: No

Q: What OSes are supported?


  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • MacOS/OS X
  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD

Q: Are 32-bit versions of Windows supported?

A: No

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