How to control 3 Macs from one

Being a professional developer for more than a decade, and having succumbed to the snappy BSD based glory that is OSX (now MacOS), I have understandably ended up working on multiple MacBooks at the same time — One for my personal projects and two for work (one for frontend and the other for backend)

Yet having to move my body and hands every time I want to work on a different machine was becoming a bit counter productive.

In the olden days I used a product called Synergy — a software based KVM for Windows, Linux and MacOS. It worked well, and I was tempted to use it for my current setup, albeit with one drawback — It’s commercial closed source — not my cup of tea if something else exists...

So after some searching, I found Teleport :

Look at all that Obj-C source code glory!

So although I cloned the repo and built it myself (just because I wanted to see if I can) the author has been kind enough to offer pre-built binaries.

Before you begin

  • Ensure you are on MacOS High Sierra (or later)
  • All Macs are connected to the same network — If using WiFi, try use a 5Ghz connection.

Step 1 — Install Teleport

Follow this step for each Mac you have.

Head on over to https://github.com/abyssoft/teleport/releases and download the ZIP file. It contains one pre-built .app file that you can drag into your Applications folder.

Unfortunately, being open source, this binary is not signed, so you’ll have to follow the following steps:

  1. Double click on the app. You’ll get a popup about MacOS security disallowing the unsigned binary to run.
  2. Then head on over to your Settings → Security & Privacy → General — Click on the Allow button to allow this binary to run.
  3. If it doesn’t run Teleport automatically, open it manually again. This time it will run.
  4. Once running, you will see a new icon in your toolbar :
The Teleport App is now running

Congrats! Teleport is now running — Remember to do the same on all the other Macs you want to control.

Step 2 — Configure Teleport (On machines you want to control)

Teleport will prompt you that you need to allow it for Accessibility on your settings ( Settings → Security & Privacy → Privacy → Tick Teleport Option )

This will allow other machines to control this one.

Then, if not already open, click on the Teleport icon on the toolbar and choose Configure:

Teleport configuration view

You are presented with a view of the screens attached to the Mac you are on. In my setup, each MacBook Pro has a FHD IPS panel above it.

For every Mac you want to control, select the “Share this Mac” option.

Do not select this option on the Mac who’s Keyboard and Mouse you want to share.

Step 3 — Configure Teleport on the “Main” Mac

When you run Teleport on your main Mac, you should see something like the following in your configuration view:

All Macs running Teleport

You can now arrange the screens as they are physically located on your desk.

Other options include :

  • Sharing the clipboard between Macs - up to a configurable max size
  • Drag and Dropping of files between Macs.

The Result

You should now be able to move your mouse cursor off of your main Mac’s screen and it will take over the Mac adjacent to it:

Eureka!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to leave a comment if you get stuck.

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cloud developer || hardware hacker

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werner

werner

cloud developer || hardware hacker

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