Synergy Troubleshooting Fix: WARNING: failed to connect to server: Timed Out

Aug 1, 2010 - 9 Comments


I use Synergy to share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple Mac’s and PC’s. Recently I added a new machine to the setup and was frustrated to discover that the Synergy client on the new machine just refused to connect to the server, without any attempts I would immediately get the following error message:

WARNING: failed to connect to server: Timed Out

Everything is configured properly in regards to settings on all clients and the server, so what’d I do to fix this error?

Change the host connect-to name from the hostname to the machines IP address, and instantly Synergy connected and everything worked as usual.

I don’t really know why the “Timed Out” message was appearing when it obviously wasn’t even attempting a connection, but nonetheless switching the client to connect to the host IP works fine. This occurred using Synergy clients and servers running 1.3.1. If you’re running into a time out error with Synergy, check your logs and try this fix out.

You can check your Synergyd error messages by opening the synergyd.log log file either manually in Console, Terminal, or through SynergyKM.

In my experience, Synergy is the best cross-platform compatible solution to share a keyboard and mouse. If you’re only using Mac OS you can also share a keyboard across multiple Mac’s using Teleport which is sometimes easier to setup, but I’m still partial to SynergyKM for Mac.


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Posted by: David Mendez in Troubleshooting


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  1. Kerri says:

    Hey, thanks for this! Immediately fixed the issue I was having for weeks, I felt like I had tried everything but I hadn’t tried this! Kudos :)

  2. Shaster says:

    I have this problem only when clicking on the the Consumer Cellular link to connect to there site, I get the error message timed out. Trying to resolve problem, with no success. I need step by step instruction from anyone who has solved this issue.

  3. Jeremiah says:

    I’m also having this issue, but there is no firewall and changing the IP address and hostname have not made any difference. Still getting; WARNING: failed to connect to server: incompatible client 1.3

  4. Christian says:

    I had that issue as well. Running server on Redhat and client on XP. The problem was that the firewall on the Linux system was blocking the client from connecting. To stop the firewall, type “service iptables stop” on your Linux host.

  5. Leo says:

    i’ve got the same issue. have changed logging level (Edit -> Settings) to “Error”, client was connected after a few seconds, it seems working now.

  6. David says:

    I’m also experiencing this same issue, I can ping both IP addresses, but I just keep getting the time out error message.
    Besides, when I go to “Help” on my server syngergy, it has a different IP rather than my PC’s IP. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Hunter says:


    I’m on 1.4.4 and get the same error. Tried changing to IP and I’m still running into the same. I’m able to ping to the server machine using both the hostname and ip address without any issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  8. Graeme says:


    Thanks for the tip,our synergy stopped working for no reason we could think and was bringing up the same time out error , we never upgraded systems or anything similar, but by changing to the ip address as you suggested had synergy back up immediately.

    Best Regards

  9. Sean says:

    Some good developers took upon themselves to update the synergy source files and maintain them. They are working hard on making it even better. You should take a look, I use it to share a keyboard between 3 machines and I don’t have that issue on my mac.


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