SUNVIEW(1) General Commands Manual SUNVIEW(1)
sunview - the SunView window environment
sunview [ -i ] [ -p ] [ -B|-F|-P ] [ -S ] [ -8bit_color_only ] [ -over-
lay_only ] [ -toggle_enable ] [ -b red green blue ] [ -d display-device
] [ -f red green blue ] [ -k keyboard-device ] [ -m mouse-device ] [
-n|-s startup-filename ] [ -background raster-filename ] [ -pattern on|
off| gray| iconedit-filename ]
sunview starts up the SunView environment and (unless you have speci-
fied otherwise) a default layout of a few useful "tools," or window-
See Start-up Processing below to learn how to specify your own initial
layout of tools. Some of the behavior of sunview is controlled by set-
tings in your defaults database; see SunView Defaults below, and
defaultsedit(1) for more information.
To exit sunview use the Exit SunView menu item. In an emergency, type
CTRL-D then CTRL-Q (there is no confirmation in this case).
-i Invert the background and foreground colors used on the
screen. On a monochrome monitor, this option provides a
video reversed image. On a color monitor, colors that
are not used as the background and foreground are not
-p Print to the standard output the name of the window
device used for the sunview background.
-B Use the "background color" ( -b ) for the background.
-F Use the "foreground color" ( -f ) for the background.
-P Use a stipple pattern for the background. This option
is assumed unless -F or -B is specified.
-S Set Click-to-type mode, allowing you to select a window
by clicking in it. Having done so, input is directed to
that window regardless of the position of the pointer,
until you click to select some other window.
For multiple plane group frame buffers, only let windows
be created in the 8 bit color plane group. This frees
up the black and white overlay plane to have a separate
desktop running on it. This option is usually used with
the -toggle_enable option. See Multiple Desktops on the
Same Screen, below.
-overlay_only For multiple plane group frame buffers, only let windows
be created in the black and white overlay plane group.
This frees up the 8 bit color plane group to have a sep-
arate desktop running in it. This option is usually
used with the -toggle_enable option. See Multiple Desk-
tops on the Same Screen, below.
-toggle_enable For multiple plane group frame buffers, when sliding the
pointer between different desktops running within dif-
ferent plane groups on the same screen, change the
enable plane to allow viewing of the destination desk-
top. See Multiple Desktops on the Same Screen, below.
-b red green blue
Specify values for the red, green and blue components of
the background color. If this option is not specified,
each component of the background color is 255 (white).
Sun 3/110 system users that use this option should use
the -8bit_color_only option as well.
Use display-device as the output device, rather than
/dev/fb the default frame buffer device.
-f red green blue
Specify values for the red, green and blue components of
the foreground color. If this option is not specified,
each component of the foreground color is 0 (black).
Sun 3/110 system users that use this option should use
the -8bit_color_only option as well.
Accept keyboard input from keyboard-device, rather than
/dev/kbd, the default keyboard device.
Use mouse-device as the system pointing device (loca-
tor), rather than /dev/mouse, the default mouse device.
-n Bypass startup processing by ignoring the /usr/lib/.sun-
view and ~/.sunview (and ~/.suntools) files.
Read startup commands from startup-filename instead of
/usr/lib/.sunview or ~/.sunview).
Use the indicated raster file as the image in your back-
ground. The raster file can be created with screen-
dump(1). Screen dumps produced on color monitors cur-
rently do not work as input to this option. Small
images are centered on the screen.
-pattern on| off| gray| iconedit-filename
Use the indicated "pattern" to cover the background. on
means to use the default desktop gray pattern. off
means to not use the default desktop gray pattern. gray
means to use a 50% gray color on color monitors.
iconedit-filename is the name of a file produced with
iconedit(1) which contains an image that is to be repli-
cated over the background.
The SunView environment always has one window open, referred to as the
background, which covers the whole screen. A solid color or pattern is
its only content. Each application is given its own window which lies
on top of some of the background (and possibly on top of other applica-
tions). A window obscures any part of another window which lies below
Input to Windows
Mouse input is always directed to the window that the pointer is in at
the time. Keyboard input can follow mouse input or, it can remain
within a designated window using the Click-to-Type default setting. If
you are not using Click-to-Type, and the pointer is on the background,
keyboard input is discarded. Input actions (mouse motions, button
clicks, and keystrokes) are synchronized, which means that you can
"type-ahead" and "mouse-ahead," even across windows.
LEFT mouse button Click to select or choose objects.
MIDDLE mouse button In text, click once to shorten or lengthen your
selection. In graphic applications or on the desk-
top, press and hold to move objects.
RIGHT mouse button Press and hold down to invoke menus.
sunview provides pop-up menus. There are two styles of pop-up menus:
an early style, called "stacking menus," and a newer style, called
"walking menus" (also known as "pull-right menus"). In the current
release, walking menus are the default; stacking menus are still avail-
able as a defaults option.
Usually, a menu is invoked by pressing and holding the RIGHT mouse but-
ton. The menu remains on the screen as long as you hold the RIGHT
mouse button down. To choose a menu item, move the pointer onto it (it
is then highlighted), then release the RIGHT mouse button.
Another available option is "stay-up menus." A stay-up menu is invoked
by pressing and releasing the RIGHT mouse button. The menu appears on
the screen after you release the RIGHT mouse button. To choose a menu
item, move the pointer onto it (it is then highlighted), then press and
release the RIGHT mouse button a second time. Stay-up menus are an
option in your defaults database; see SunView Defaults below.
With walking menus, any menu item can have an arrow pointing (=>>) to
the right. Moving the pointer onto this arrow pops up a "sub-menu,"
with additional items. Choosing the item with an arrow (the "pull-
right item") invokes the first item on the sub-menu.
The SunView Menu
You can use the default SunView menu to start SunView applications and
perform some useful functions. To invoke it, hold down the RIGHT mouse
button when the pointer is anywhere in the background.
The default SunView menu is defined in the file /usr/lib/.rootmenu. It
consists of four sub-menus, labeled Shells, Editors, Tools, and Ser-
vices, along with items for Remote Login, Redisplay All, Lock Screen
and Exit Sunview. These sub-menus contain the following items:
Shell Tool Bring up a shelltool(1), an tty-based ter-
minal emulator that supports a shell.
Command Tool Bring up a cmdtool(1), a scrollable win-
dow-based terminal emulator that supports
Graphics Tool Bring up a gfxtool(1), for running graph-
Console Bring up a Console window, a cmdtool with
the -C flag, to act as the system console.
Since many system messages can be directed
to the console, there should always be a
console window on the screen.
This will create a terminal emulator that prompts for a
machine name and then starts a shell on that machine.
Text Editor Bring up a textedit(1), for reading and
editing text files.
Bring up a defaultsedit(1), for browsing
or changing your defaults settings.
Icon Editor Bring up a new iconedit(1).
Font Editor Bring up a fontedit(1).
Mail Tool Bring up a mailtool(1), for reading and
Dbx (Debug) Tool
Bring up a dbxtool(1), a window-based
Bring up a perfmeter(1) to monitor system
Clock Bring up a new clock(1).
Eject There are two items on this submenu,
"cdrom" and "floppy". Use this to eject
cdrom or floppy media from the drive.
Printing There are two items on this submenu, Check
Printer Queue and Print Selected Text.
Check Printer Queue displays the printer
queue in your console; Print Selected Text
sends selected text to the standard
Save Layout Writes out a ~/.sunview file that sunview
can then use when starting up again. An
existing ~/.sunview file is saved as
Redraw the entire screen. Use this to repair damage done
by processes that wrote to the screen without consulting
the SunView system.
Completely covers the screen with a graphics display, and
"locks" the workstation until you type your password.
When you "unlock" the workstation, the screen is restored
as it was when you locked it. See lockscreen(1) for
Exit from sunview, including all windows, and kill pro-
cesses associated with them. You return to the shell
from which you started sunview.
You can specify your own SunView menu; see SunView Defaults below for
The Frame Menu
A small set of universal functions are available through the Frame
menu. There are also accelerators for some of these functions,
described under Frame Menu Accelerators, below.
You can invoke the Frame menu when the cursor is over a part of the
application that does not provide an application-specific menu, such as
the frame header (broad stripe holding the application's name), the
border stripes of the window, and the icon.
Open Toggle the application between closed (iconic) and open
state. Icons are placed on the screen according to the
icon policy in your defaults database; see SunView
Defaults below. When a window is closed, its underlying
processes continue to run.
Move Moves the application window to another spot on the
screen. Move has a sub-menu with two items: Uncon-
strained and Constrained.
Unconstrained Move the window both horizontally and
Constrained Moves are either vertical or horizontal,
but not both.
Choosing Move invokes an Unconstrained
Resize Shrink or stretch the size of a window on the screen.
Resize has a sub-menu containing:
Unconstrained Resize the window both horizontally and
Constrained Resize vertically or horizontally, but
Choosing Resize invokes an Unconstrained
Zoom Zoom expands a window vertically to the
full height of the screen. UnZoom undoes
FullScreen Make a window the full height and width
of the screen.
Front Bring the window to "the top of the pile." The whole
window becomes visible, and hides any window it happens
to overlap on the screen.
Back Put the window on the "bottom of the pile". The window
is hidden by any window which overlaps it.
Props Display the property sheet. (Only active for applica-
tions that provide a property sheet.)
Redisplay Redraw the contents of the window.
Quit Notify the application to terminate gracefully.
Frame Menu Accelerators
Accelerators are provided for some Frame menu functions. You can
invoke these functions by pushing a single button in the window's frame
header or outer border. See the SunView Beginner's Guide for more
Open Click the LEFT mouse button when the pointer is over
Move Press and hold the MIDDLE mouse button while the
pointer is in the frame header or outer border. A
bounding box that tracks the mouse is displayed while
you hold the button down. When you release the but-
ton, the window is redisplayed within the bounding
box. If the pointer is near a corner, the move is
Unconstrained. If it is in the center third of an
edge, the move is Constrained.
Resize Hold the CTRL key and press and hold the MIDDLE mouse
button while the pointer is in the frame header or
outer border. A bounding box is displayed, and one
side or corner tracks the mouse. If the pointer is
near a corner when you press the mouse button, the
resize is Unconstrained; if in the middle third of an
edge, the resize is Constrained.
UnZoom Hold the CTRL key and click the LEFT mouse button
while the pointer is in the frame header or outer
Front Click the LEFT mouse button while the pointer is on
the frame header or outer border.
Back Hold the SHIFT key and click the LEFT mouse button
while the pointer is on the frame header or outer
In addition, you can use two function keys as even faster accelerators.
To expose a window that is partially hidden, press the Front function
key (normally L5) while the pointer is anywhere in that window. Or, if
the window is completely exposed, use the Front key to hide it. Simi-
larly, to close an open window, press the Open key (normally L7) while
the pointer is anywhere in that window. If the window is iconic, use
the Open key to open it.
In applications with multiple windows, you can often adjust the border
between two windows up or down, without changing the overall size of
the application: hold the CTRL key, press the MIDDLE mouse button over
the boundary between the two windows, and adjust the size of the
(bounded) subwindow as with Resize.
Startup Processing: The .sunview File
Unless you override it, sunview starts up with a predefined layout of
windows. The default layout is specified in the file /usr/lib/.sun-
view. If there is a file called .sunview in your home directory, it is
used instead. For compatibility with earlier releases, if there is no
.sunview file in your home directory, but a .suntools file instead, the
latter file is used.
SunView allows you to customize the behavior of applications and pack-
ages by setting options in a defaults database (one for each user).
Use defaultsedit(1) to browse and edit your defaults database. Select
the "SunView" category to see the following items (and some others):
Walking_menus If enabled, the SunView menu, the Frame menu, and
many applications will use walking menus. Applica-
tions that have not been converted will still use
stacking menus. If disabled, applications will use
stacking menus. The default value is "Enabled."
Click_to_Type If enabled, keyboard input will stay in a window
until you click the LEFT or MIDDLE mouse button in
another window. If disabled, keyboard input will
follow the mouse. The default value is "Disabled."
Font You can change the SunView default font by giving the
full pathname of the font you want to use. Some
alternate fonts are in the directory
/usr/lib/fonts/fixedwidthfonts. The default font
from the SunOS 2.0 release was /usr/lib/fonts/fixed-
widthfonts/screen.r.13. The default value is null,
which has the same effect as specifying
Rootmenu_filename You can change the SunView menu by giving the full
pathname of a file that specifies your own menu. See
The SunView Menu File below for details. The default
value is null, which gives you the menu found in
Icon_gravity Determine which edge of the screen ("North", "South",
"East", or "West") icons will place themselves
against. The default value is "North."
Audible_bell If enabled, the "bell" command will produce a beep.
The default value is "Enabled."
Visible_bell If enabled, the "bell" command will cause the screen
to flash. The default value is "Enabled."
Root_Pattern Used to specify the "pattern" that covers the back-
ground. "on" means to use the default desktop gray
pattern. "off" means to not use the default desktop
gray pattern. "gray" means to use a 50% gray color
on color monitors. Anything else is the name of a
file produced with iconedit(1) which contains an
image that is replicated all over the background.
The default value is "on."
After you have set the options you want in the "SunView" category,
click on the Save button in defaultsedit; then exit sunview and restart
Select the "Menu" category to see the following items (and some oth-
Stay_up If enabled, menus are invoked by pressing and releas-
ing the RIGHT mouse button; the menu appears after
you release the RIGHT mouse button. To choose a menu
item, point at it, then press and release the RIGHT
mouse button a second time. The default value is
If enabled, menus that have more than one column are
presented in "column major" order (the way ls(1V)
presents file names). This may make a large menu
easier to read. The default value is "False."
After you have set the options you want in the "Menu" category, click
on the Save button in defaultsedit. Any applications you start after
saving your changes will be affected by your new choices. For all
defaults categories except for "SunView", you do not need to exit sun-
view and restart it.
The SunView Menu File
The file called /usr/lib/.rootmenu contains the specification of the
default SunView menu. You can change the SunView menu by creating your
own file and giving its name in the Rootmenu_filename item in the Sun-
Lines in the file have the following format: The left side is a menu
item to be displayed, and the right side is a command to be executed
when that menu item is chosen. You can also include comment lines
(beginning with a `#') and blank lines.
The menu item can be a string, or the full pathname of an icon file
delimited by angle brackets (unless Walking_menus is disabled in the
SunView defaults). Strings with embedded blanks must be delimited by
There are four reserved-word commands that can appear on the right
EXIT Exit sunview (requires confirmation).
REFRESH Redraw the entire screen.
MENU This menu item is a pull-right item with a sub-
menu. If a full pathname follows the MENU com-
mand, the submenu contents are taken from that
file. Otherwise, all the lines between a MENU
command and a matching END command are added to
END Mark the end of a nested submenu. The left side
of this line should match the left side of a line
with a MENU command.
If the command is not one of these four reserved-word commands, it is
treated as a command line and executed. No shell interpretation is
done, although you can run a shell as a command.
Here is a menu file that demonstrates some of these features:
"Mail reader" mailtool
"My tools" MENU /home/me/mytools.menu
"Click to type" swin -c
"Follow mouse" swin -m
"Print selection" sh -c get_selection | lpr
"Nested menu" MENU
"Command Tool" cmdtool
"Shell Tool" shelltool
"Nested menu" END
"Icon menu" MENU
"Icon menu" END
The sunview program runs on either a monochrome or color screen. Each
screen on a machine with multiple screens may have a separate sunview
running. The keyboard and mouse input devices can be shared between
screens. Using adjacentscreens(1) you can set up the pointer to slide
from one screen to another when you move it off the edge of a screen.
To set up an instance of sunview on two screens:
o Invoke sunview on the first display as you normally would. This
starts an instance of sunview on the default frame buffer
o In a shelltool, run:
sunview -d device &&
This starts another device. A typical choice might be /dev/cgone.
o In that same shelltool, run:
adjacentscreens /dev/fb -r device
This sets up the cursor to switch between screens as it crosses the
right or left edge of the respective screens.
Multiple Desktops on the Same Screen
Machines that support multiple plane groups, such as the Sun-3/110 sys-
tem, can support independent sunview processes on each plane group.
They can share keyboard and mouse input in a manner similar to that for
multiple screens. To set up two plane groups:
o Start sunview in the color plane group by running:
sunview -8bit_color_only -toggle_enable
This starts sunview on the default frame buffer named /dev/fb, but
limits access to the color plane group.
o In a shelltool, run:
sunview -d /dev/bwtwo0 -toggle_enable -n &&
This starts sunview in the overlay plane accessed by /dev/bwtwo0.
adjacentscreens -c /dev/fb -l /dev/bwtwo0
This sets up the pointer to switch between desktops as it crosses
the right or left edge of the respective desktops.
Pre-3.2 applications cannot be run on the -8bit_color_only desktop,
because they do not write to the overlay plane.
switcher(1), another application for switching between desktops, uses
some amusing video wipe animation. It can also be used to toggle the
enable plane. See switcher(1) for details.
Generic Tool Arguments
Most window-based tools take the following arguments in their command
cb cb cb cb lb lb l l . FLAG (LONG FLAG) ARGUMENTS NOTES -Ww
(-width) columns -Wh (-height) lines -Ws (-size) x
y x and y are in pixels -Wp (-position) x y x and
y are in pixels -WP (-icon_position) x y x and y
are in pixels -Wl (-label) string -Wi (-iconic)
makes the application start
iconic (closed) -Wt (-font) filename -Wn
(-no_name_stripe) -Wf (-foreground_color) red green blue 0-255 (no
color-full color) -Wb (-background_color) red
green blue 0-255 (no color-full color) -Wg
(-set_default_color) (apply color to subwin-
dows too) -WI (-icon_image) filename (for applications
with non-default icons) -WL
(-icon_label) string (for applications with non-
default icons) -WT (-icon_font) filename (for appli-
cations with non-default icons)
-WH (-help) print this table
Each flag option may be specified in either its short form or its long
form; the two are completely synonymous.
Some of the applications that run in the SunView environment:
clock(1), cmdtool(1), dbxtool(1), defaultsedit(1), fontedit(1),
lockscreen(1), mailtool(1), overview(1), perfmeter(1), shell-
tektool(1), textedit(1), traffic(1C)
Some of the utility programs that run in or with the SunView environ-
adjacentscreens(1), clear_functions(1), get_selection(1),
swin(1), switcher(1), toolplaces(1)
DEFAULTS_FILE The value of this environment variable indicates
the file from which SunView defaults are read.
When it is undefined, defaults are read from the
.defaults file in your home directory.
adjacentscreens(1), clear_functions(1), clock(1), cmdtool(1), dbx-
tool(1), defaultsedit(1), fontedit(1), get_selection(1), gfxtool(1),
iconedit(1), lockscreen(1), mailtool(1), overview(1), perfmeter(1),
screendump(1), shelltool(1), stty_from_defaults(1), swin(1),
switcher(1), tektool(1), textedit(1), toolplaces(1), traffic(1C),
Console messages ignore window boundaries unless redirected to a con-
sole window. This can disrupt the sunview desktop display. The dis-
play can be restored using the Redisplay All item on the SunView menu.
To prevent this, use the Console item to start a console window.
With an optical mouse, sometimes the arrow-shaped cursor does not move
at start-up; moving the mouse in large circles on its pad normally
brings it to life.
sunview requires that the /etc/utmp file be given read and write per-
mission for all users.
On a color display, colors may "go strange" when the cursor is in cer-
tain windows that request a large number of colors.
When running multiple desktops, only one console window can be used.
In Click-to-type mode, it is impossible to exit from sunview by typing
7 October 1990 SUNVIEW(1)