kbd(1) User Commands kbd(1)
kbd - manipulate the state of keyboard, or display the type of key-
board, 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]
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 device.
The -i option reads and processes default values for the keyclick and
keyboard abort settings 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 variable are on and off; all other values are ignored. If
the KEYCLICK variable is not specified in the default file, the setting
The keyboard abort sequence effect (<<L1-A>> or <<Stop-A>> on the keyboard,
and <<BREAK>> on the serial console input device on most systems) can
only be changed by a super-user using the -a option. The system can be
configured to ignore the keyboard abort sequence or trigger on the
standard or alternate sequence.
A BREAK condition that originates from an erroneous electrical signal
cannot be distinguished from one deliberately sent by remote DCE. As a
remedy, use the -a option with Alternate Break to switch break inter-
pretation. 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>> charac-
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 connection. See pppd(1M).
SLIP has no comparable capability, and must not be used if the Alter-
nate Break sequence is in use.
The Alternate Break sequence has no effect on the keyboard abort. For
more information on the Alternate Break sequence, see zs(7D) ,se(7D),
On many systems, the default effect of the keyboard abort sequence is
to suspend the operating system and enter the debugger or the monitor.
Some systems feature key switches with a secure position. On these sys-
tems, setting the key switch to the secure position overrides any soft-
ware 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
To set the abort sequence to the hardware BREAK, set the value of the
KEYBOARD_ABORT variable 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 cur-
rent value of the KEYBOARD_ABORT variable in the /etc/default/kbd file
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 mil-
liseconds (ms). To avoid making the keyboard unusable due to a typo-
graphical 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 millisec-
onds. Negative and zero repeat rates will be rejected 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.
The following options are supported:
-a enable | disable | alternate
Enables, disables, or alternates the keyboard abort sequence
effect. By default, a keyboard abort sequence (typically <<Stop-A>>
or <<L1-A>> on the keyboard and <<BREAK>> on the serial console device)
suspends the operating system on most systems. 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 sequences.
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.
-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
-D autorepeat delay
Sets the autorepeat delay in milliseconds.
Sets keyboard defaults from the keyboard default file. With the
exception of -d keyboard 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
Returns the layout code of the keyboard being used, and the autore-
peat delay and autorepeat rate being used.
Resets the keyboard as if power-up.
-R autorepeat rate
Sets the autorepeat rate in milliseconds.
Returns the type of the keyboard being used.
Example 1: Displaying the Keyboard Yype
The following command displays the keyboard type:
example% kbd -t
Type 4 Sun keyboard
Example 2: Setting Keyboard Defaults
The following command sets the keyboard defaults as specified in the
keyboard default file:
example# kbd -i
Example 3: Displaying Information
The following command 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 command sets the keyboard autorepeat delay:
example% kbd -D 300
Example 5: Setting Keyboard Autorepeat Rate
The following command sets the keyboard autorepeat rate:
example% kbd -R 50
/dev/kbd Keyboard device file.
/etc/default/kbd Keyboard default file containing software
defaults for keyboard configurations.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
tab() allbox; cw(2.750000i)| cw(2.750000i) lw(2.750000i)|
lw(2.750000i). ATTRIBUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE ArchitectureSPARC Avail-
loadkeys(1), svcs(1), inetd(1M), inetadm(1M), kadb(1M), svcadm(1M),
pppd(1M), keytables(4), attributes(5), smf(5), kb(7M), zs(7D), se(7D),
Some server systems have key switches with a secure key position that
can be read by system 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 posi-
tion on these systems, the keyboard abort sequence effect cannot be
overridden by the software default, which is settable with the kbd
Currently, there is no way to determine the state of the keyboard click
The kdb service is managed by the service management facility, smf(5),
under the service identifier:
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 5.10 25 Jul 2004 kbd(1)