kbd(1) User Commands kbd(1)
kbd - manipulate the state of keyboard, or display the type of keyboard, or change the
default keyboard abort sequence effect
kbd [-r] [-t ] [-l] [-a enable | disable | alternate]
[-c on | off] [-d keyboard device]
[-D autorepeat delay] [-R autorepeat rate]
kbd [-i] [-d keyboard device]
kbd -s [language]
kbd -b [keyboard | console] frequency
The kbd utility manipulates the state of the keyboard, or displays the keyboard type, or
allows the default keyboard abort sequence effect to be changed. The abort sequence also
applies to serial console devices. The kbd utility sets the /dev/kbd default keyboard
The -i option reads and processes default values for the keyclick and keyboard abort set-
tings from the /etc/default/kbd keyboard default file. Only keyboards that support a
clicker respond to the -c option. To turn clicking on by default, add or change the value
of the KEYCLICK variable in the /etc/default/kbd file to:
Next, run the command kbd -i to change the setting. Valid settings for the KEYCLICK vari-
able are on and off; all other values are ignored. If the KEYCLICK variable is not speci-
fied in the default file, the setting is unchanged.
The keyboard abort sequence effect can only be changed by a super-user using the -a
option. This sequence is typically Stop-A or L1-A and Shift-Pause on the keyboard on SPARC
systems, F1-A and Shift-Pause on x86 systems, and BREAK on the serial console input device
on most systems.
A BREAK condition that originates from an erroneous electrical signal cannot be distin-
guished from one deliberately sent by remote DCE. As a remedy, use the -a option with
Alternate Break to switch break interpretation. Due to the risk of incorrect sequence
interpretation, binary protocols such as SLIP and others should not be run over the serial
console port when Alternate Break sequence is in effect.
Although PPP is a binary protocol, it has the ability to avoid using characters that
interfere with serial operation. The default alternate break sequence is CTRL-m ~ CTRL-b,
or 0D 7E 02 in hexidecimal. In PPP, this can be avoided by setting either 0x00000004 or
0x00002000 in the ACCM. This forces an escape for the CTRL-b or CTRL-m characters, respec-
To do this in Solaris PPP 4.0, add:
to the /etc/ppp/options file or any of the other configuration files used for the connec-
tion. See pppd(1M).
SLIP has no comparable capability, and must not be used if the Alternate Break sequence is
The Alternate Break sequence has no effect on the keyboard abort. For more information on
the Alternate Break sequence, see zs(7D),se(7D), and asy(7D).
On many systems, the default effect of the keyboard abort sequence is to suspend the oper-
ating system and enter the debugger or the monitor. Some systems feature key switches with
a secure position. On these systems, setting the key switch to the secure position over-
rides any software default set with this command.
To permanently change the software default effect of the keyboard abort sequence, first
add or change the value of the KEYBOARD_ABORT variable in the /etc/default/kbd file to:
Next, run the command kbd -i to change the setting. Valid settings are enable, disable,
and alternate; all other values are ignored. If the variable is not specified in the
default file, the setting is unchanged.
To set the abort sequence to the hardware BREAK, set the value of the KEYBOARD_ABORT vari-
able in the /etc/default/kbd file to:
To change the current setting, run the command kbd -i. To set the abort sequence to the
Alternate Break character sequence, first set the current value of the KEYBOARD_ABORT
variable in the /etc/default/kbd file to:
Next, run the command kbd -i to change the setting. When the Alternate Break sequence is
in effect, only serial console devices are affected.
To set the autorepeat delay by default, set the REPEAT_DELAY variable in the file
/etc/default/kbd to the expected value with units in milliseconds (ms). To avoid making
the keyboard unusable due to a typographical error, delay values below KIOCRPTDELAY_MIN
(defined in /usr/include/sys/kbio.h) are rejected with EINVAL:
To set the autorepeat rate by default, set the REPEAT_RATE variable in the file
/etc/default/kbd to the expected value with units in milliseconds. Negative and zero
repeat rates are ejected with EINVAL:
To change the current settings of delay and rate, run the command, kbd -i. When the Auto
Repeat Delay and/or Auto Repeat Rate are in effect, only command line mode is affected.
To set the language by default, set the LAYOUT variable in the file /etc/default/kbd to
the expected language. These languages supported in kernel can be found by running kbd -s.
Other values are ignored. For example, the following sets Spanish layout to the keyboard:
Next, run the kbd -i to change the setting. When Solaris reboots, the Spanish key table is
loaded into kernel. These layouts are valid for usb and ps/2 keyboards.
To set the keyboard beeper frequency by default, set the KBD_BEEPER_FREQ variable in the
file /etc/default/kbd to the expected value with units in HZ. This value should be between
0 and 32767, inclusive. Otherwise will be rejected with EINVAL:
To set the console beeper frequency by default, set the CONSOLE_BEEPER_FREQ variable in
the file /etc/default/kbd to the expected value with units in HZ. This value should be
between 0 and 32767, inclusive. Otherwise will be rejected with EINVAL:
To change the current settings of keyboard beeper frequency and console beeper frequency,
run kbd -i.
The following options are supported:
-a enable | disable | alternate
Enables, disables, or alternates the keyboard abort sequence effect. By default, a
keyboard abort sequence suspends the operating system on most systems. This sequence
is typically Stop-A or L1-A and Shift-Pause on the keyboard on SPARC systems, F1-A and
Shift-Pause on x86 systems, and BREAK on the serial console device.
The default keyboard behavior can be changed using this option. The -a option can only
be used by a super-user.
enable Enables the default effect of the keyboard abort sequence (suspend the
operating system and enter the debugger or the monitor).
disable Disables the default/alternate effect and ignores keyboard abort
alternate Enables the alternate effect of the keyboard abort sequences (suspend the
operating system and enter the debugger or the monitor) upon receiving
the Alternate Break character sequence on the console. The Alternate
Break sequence is defined by the drivers zs(7D), se(7D), asy(7D). Due to
a risk of incorrect sequence interpretation, binary protocols cannot be
run over the serial console port when this value is used.
-b keyboard | console
Sets the beeper frequency for keyboard or console.
keyboard Set the keyboard beeper frequency to the operand in HZ. See OPERANDS.
console Sets the console beeper frequency to the operand in HZ. See OPERANDS.
-c on | off
Turns the clicking of the keyboard on or off.
on Enables clicking
off Disables clicking
-d keyboard device
Specifies the keyboard device being set. The default setting is /dev/kbd.
-D autorepeat delay
Sets the autorepeat delay in milliseconds.
Sets keyboard properties from the keyboard default file. With the exception of -d key-
board device, this option cannot be used with any other option. The -i option
instructs the keyboard command to read and process keyclick and keyboard abort default
values from the /etc/default/kbd file. The -i option can only be used by a user or
role with the Device Security Rights Profile.
Returns the layout code of the keyboard being used, and the autorepeat delay and
autorepeat rate being used.
If used with -R or -D option, this option returns the value before the changes.
Resets the keyboard as if power-up.
-R autorepeat rate
Sets the autorepeat rate in milliseconds.
Sets the keyboard layout into kernel.
If language is specified, the layout is set to language. If language is not specified,
a list of available layouts are presented, prompting for the user to specify the lan-
guage. See OPERANDS.
Returns the type of the keyboard being used.
The following operands are supported:
frequency The frequency value specified to be set in kernel. The receiver of this value
is specified by the -b option. This value should be between 0 and 32767 oth-
erwise will be ejected with EINVAL.
language The language specified to be set in kernel. If the language is not found, the
languages supported are listed for selection. It only applies to -s option.
Example 1 Displaying the Keyboard Type
The following example displays the keyboard type:
example% kbd -t
Type 4 Sun keyboard
Example 2 Setting Keyboard Defaults
The following example sets the keyboard defaults as specified in the keyboard default
example# kbd -i
Example 3 Displaying Information
The following example displays keyboard type and layout code. It also displays auto repeat
delay and rate settings.
example% kbd -l
Example 4 Setting Keyboard Autorepeat Delay
The following example sets the keyboard autorepeat delay:
example% kbd -D 300
Example 5 Setting Keyboard Autorepeat Rate
The following example sets the keyboard autorepeat rate:
example% kbd -R 50
Example 6 Selecting and Setting the Keyboard Language
The following example selects and sets the keyboard language from a list of languages
example% kbd -s
1. Albanian 16. Malta_UK
2. Belarusian 17. Malta_US
3. Belgian 18. Norwegian
4. Bulgarian 19. Portuguese
5. Croatian 20. Russian
6. Danish 21. Serbia-And-Montenegro
7. Dutch 22. Slove
To select the keyboard layout, enter a number [default n]:
The following example sets the keyboard language specified:
example% kbd -s Dutch
Example 7 Setting the Keyboard Beeper Frequency
The following example sets the keyboard beeper frequency:
example% kbd -b keyboard 1000
/dev/kbd Keyboard device file.
/etc/default/kbd Keyboard default file containing software defaults for keyboard con-
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWcsu |
loadkeys(1), svcs(1), inetd(1M), inetadm(1M), kadb(1M), svcadm(1M), pppd(1M), keyta-
bles(4), attributes(5), smf(5), kb(7M), zs(7D), se(7D), asy(7D), virtualkm(7D)
Some server systems have key switches with a secure key position that can be read by sys-
tem software. This key position overrides the normal default of the keyboard abort
sequence effect and changes the default so the effect is disabled. When the key switch is
in the secure position on these systems, the keyboard abort sequence effect cannot be
overridden by the software default, which is settable with the kbd utility.
Currently, there is no way to determine the state of the keyboard click setting.
The kdb service is managed by the service management facility, smf(5), under the service
Administrative actions on this service, such as enabling, disabling, or requesting
restart, can be performed using svcadm(1M). Responsibility for initiating and restarting
this service is delegated to inetd(1M). Use inetadm(1M) to make configuration changes and
to view configuration information for this service. The service's status can be queried
using the svcs(1) command.
SunOS 5.11 29 Jan 2007 kbd(1)