Sun Type 6 Keyboard under KDE/Qt

Björn Ballard bjorn.ballard at
Sat Aug 11 17:03:21 BST 2012

I have a UK Sun Type 6 USB Unix keyboard with the Left CTRL and CAPS
LOCK swapped (LISP positions) from the standard UK/US positions.  To
get the keyboard to function I created /lib/udev/keymaps/sun-type-6
with the following lines:

0x700E0 capslock # Bottom left corner
0x70039 leftctrl # Left of A

And added the following to /lib/udev/rules.d/95-keymap.rules under

ENV{ID_VENDOR_ID}=="0430", ENV{ID_MODEL_ID}=="0005", RUN+="keymap
$name sun-type-6"

This then allows the keymap with the swapped keys to be loaded and
unloaded when the keyboard is plugged in or unplugged from my laptop
(via a dock) and works perfectly. I chose this method as it works
under the Linux console, KDE, etc.

The keyboard also has a number of additional, potentially useful
function keys to the left of the main keys.  When using the udev
keymap tool these keys generate named keypresses for the labels on
them eg. cut, copy, open, find.

When I try to assign these keys to the corresponding functions under
KDE (via System Settings > Shortcuts and Gestures > Standard Keyboard
Shortcuts) I get the error message "The key you just pressed is not
supported by Qt". Changing the keyboard layout in System Settings >
Input Devices > Keyboard to Sun Type 5/6 still results in the error
(and of course changes the layout for both laptop and USB keyboard so
I would need to constantly change it; but the Compose Key works as per
normal use under Solaris which is handy and shows that KDE/Qt does
understand the keyboard at some level).

As KDE/Qt recognised the key-swap under udev I added the following
lines to /lib/udev/keymaps/sun-type-6:

0x70078 f13 # Stop
0x70079 f14 # Again
0x70076 f15 # Props
0x7007A f16 # Undo
0x70077 f17 # Front
0x7007C f18 # Copy
0x70074 f19 # Open
0x7007D f20 # Paste
0x7007E f21 # Find
0x7007B f22 # Cut

Now when using the udev keymap tool on the console the generated
keypresses are reported by the new names (ie. F13, F14, etc), but
KDE/Qt is still giving the not supported error message.

Does anyone have any experience with getting KDE/Qt to play nicely
with Sun keyboards?  Or any ideas on how else I can get the most from
this keyboard?

Many thanks

PS. I'm using Kubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.9 from the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

Skype: bjorn.ballard
Twitter: bjornballard

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