I have a Sun type 7 UNIX keyboard that I'd like to get more productivity out of. So what are those extra keys for, or rather, what were they intended for by Sun? And is there a way to approximate those functions in any useful way on a modern Linux or Solaris 11 system?

The keys in question are:

Label    Keycode  keysym
Compose  135      Menu 
Stop     136      Cancel
Again    137      Redo
Props    138      SunProps
Undo     139      Undo
Front    140      SunFront
Copy     141      XF86Copy
Open     142      SunOpen
Paste    143      XF86Paste
Find     144      Find
Cut      145      XF86Cut
  • Hm, what do you mean by "approximate those functions"? I have a Sun keyboard myself, and I use those keys in Emacs. I just used my imagination to assign them functions that were close to their names, for example (global-set-key [SunProps] 'describe-function). – Emanuel Berg Aug 17 '12 at 13:08
  • I'd like those keys to do something relevant at least most of the time. Working cut/copy/paste in Xorg regardless of application, something useful for stop, props, front. – bahamat Aug 17 '12 at 16:11
  • 1
    Check out the man page for xterm; search for Sun. Could be useful for you. – Emanuel Berg Aug 28 '12 at 1:27

Undo, Again, Copy, Open, Paste, Find and Cut are easy, those keys did pretty much exactly what their inscriptions say. On today's PC keyboards, those functions are the CTRL-XCV family.

Compose is, however, a special meta key for creating accented characters like umlauts (ä,ö,ü) or the German ß. You press Compose, the desired modifier and the desired base character in sequence. This behaviour is still supported by X, and can be mapped to any key.

Stop was a CTRL-Break, IIRC.

  • 7
    Sun Sparcs have the ability to suspend the entire OS and return to the firmware "ok" prompt. "Stop-A" would be bound to that function, making it the most magical key combination of all. As a PC analogy, imagine you could Ctrl-Alt-Del your way back to the BIOS Setup screen, make some changes, and then just resume the OS where it left off. Actually now that I think about it, suspend to RAM sort of does that, but not as smoothly. Under Linux-sparc, Stop is part of the SysRq combination, another magical function. – Alan Curry Aug 17 '12 at 7:23

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