virtualkm - Virtual keyboard and mouse
A virtual keyboard or mouse is an abstraction of one or more physical keyboards or mice (USB or PS2) connected to a system. Input streams
for these physical devices are coalesced into a single input stream and appear as a single device to the upper layers.
/dev/kbd is the virtual keyboard device file. Inputs from multiple keyboards are coalesced into a single input stream, meaning that all
keyboards appear as a single keyboard to a console or window system and accordingly, are treated as a single device. The virtual keyboard
layout is consistent with the layout of the first keyboard plugged into the system. Note that on x86 platforms, the virtual keyboard layout
can be overloaded by eeprom(1M).
/dev/mouse is the virtual mouse device file. Inputs from multiple mice are coalesced into a single input stream, meaning that all mice
appear as single mouse to the window system.
Commands from applications are dispatched by the virtual keyboard/mouse facility to the underlying physical devices and will succeed pro-
vided that one of the underlying devices responds with success. For example, a single command issued to turn on LED's will turn on corre-
sponding LED's for all underlying physical keyboards.
Although physical keyboards/mice are linked to the virtual keyboard/mouse facility, each may be opened separately by accessing its asso-
ciated device file. (For example, /dev/usb/hid0 for a usb mouse). Directly accessing a device file can be useful for multi-seat, gok(1) or
When a single physical device is opened via its associated device file, it is automatically removed from the single virtual input stream.
When closed, it is automatically re- coalesced into the single virtual input stream.
Under the virtualkm facility, the PS/2 mouse is coalesced into a virtual mouse single input stream and can be accessed using the /dev/mouse
file. (Note that in previous releases, the PS/2 mouse was accessed via the /dev/kdmouse physical device file). In the current release, you
use the /dev/kdmouse file to directly access the physical PS/2 mouse.
The virtual mouse provides the following event ID's for mouse capability changes:
This event is reported when the total number of mouse buttons changes. The Firm_event.value is set to the new button total, which is
the maximum number of all mice buttons. Other fields are ignored.
This event is reported when the total number of mouse wheels changes. The Firm_event.value is set to the new wheel total. Other fields
are ignored. The event value (Firm_event.value) can be 0 (no wheel), 1 (vertical wheel), or 2 (vertical and horizontal wheel).
The Firm_event structure is described in <sys/vuid_event.h>. As with other events, firm events are received using read(2).
Event ID's are used by applications (including certain mouse demo applications) that are programmed to graphically represent the actual
number of buttons and wheels on a mouse. When an application of this type receives a Firm_event with a ID MOUSE_CAP_CHANGE_NUM_BUT or
MOUSE_CAP_CHANGE_NUM_WHEEL event, it is instructed to update its state information using the new value. Consider, for example, a mouse demo
application whose sole function is to display a mouse with buttons that graphically correspond to the actual number of buttons on the
mouse. If, for example, the system has a single two-button USB mouse attached, the application, by default, will graphically display the
mouse with a left and a right button. However, if a another three-button USB mouse is hot-plugged into the system, a
MOUSE_CAP_CHANGE_NUM_BUT Firm event with Firm_event.value of three instructs the demo application to update the mouse display to indicate
/dev/kbd Virtual Keyboard device file.
/dev/mouse Virtual Mouse device file.
/dev/kdmouse Physical PS/2 mouse device file.
/dev/usb/hid* Physical USB keyboard/mouse device file.
/etc/dacf.conf Device auto-configuration file.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Architecture |SPARC, |
|Availability |SUNWckr, SUNWcsd, SUNWusb, |
| |SUNWpsdcr, SUNWcakr.i |
|Interface Stability |Evolving |
, eeprom(1M), read(2), attributes(5), hid(7D), usba(7D), kb(7M), usbkbm(7M), usbms(7M), vuidmice(7M)
See gok(1) in the GNOME man pages, available in the SUNWgnome package. gok(1) is not a SunOS man page.
The messages described below may appear on the system console as well as being logged. All messages are formatted in the following man-
WARNING: Error message...
conskbd: keyboard is not available for system debugging: device_path.
Errors were encountered while entering kmdb during initialization for debugger mode. As a result, the keyboard is not available.
conskbd: keyboard is not available: <device_path>
Errors were encountered while exiting kmdb during un-initialization for debugger mode. As a result, the keyboard is not available.
Failed to relink the mouse <device_path> underneath virtual mouse
An error was encountered and the mouse is unavailable. (When a mouse is physically opened via a physical device file such as
/dev/usb/hid0, it is removed from the single virtual input stream (/dev/mouse). When closed, it is re-coalesced into a single virtual
input stream beneath /dev/mouse. If an error is encountered, (for example, the mouse has been physically removed), it is unavailable
Currently, the virtualkm device supports only USB and PS2 keyboards and mice.
The virtualkm device maintains complete compatibility on select legacy systems, (including Ultra 10's), that are equipped with serial key-
21 June 2005 virtualkm(7D)