Sun Microsystems Driver

Download the driver package. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard. If the Found New Hardware Wizard screen is displayed, click Cancel. The autorunutility automatically runs after you have extracted the files. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun for short) was an American company that sold computers, computer components, software, and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating system, ZFS, the Network File System (NFS), and SPARC microprocessors.Sun contributed significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies.

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Type 6

Sun Microsystems Type 6 keyboard is one of the worst. The following shows the one that is the keyboard for Sun Ultra 5 computer (year 1998).


This keyboard i used around 2000. (photo taken during that time) The key feel is mushy.It's using rubber dome switch.

[see Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms]

Some interesting aspects:

  • 2 columns of extra function keys on the left: {Stop, Props, Front, Open, Find, Again, Undo, Copy, Paste, Cut}.
  • The CapsLock is at the lower left corner, and Ctrl on the right of A key. [see Control Key and Capslock Key Positions in Old Keyboards]
  • Big Help button on the top left.
  • A blank key on top left.
  • Escape key is to the left of 1.
Sun microsystems acquisition

I hardly ever use this keyboard or sit in front of this computer. So i don't know what these keys actually do. Not sure the Copy, Paste, etc keys actually work out of box in Solaris. I don't think most of these special keys do anything useful by default. The desktop on unixes at the time (CDE) is quite unusable.

This is CDE. This is how i remember X11, ~1999. Mac OS of the time, or even Windows, is ten times better.

[see The Unix Pestilence]

Most of the time, i just telnet/ssh from the PC running Windows NT, using a generic cheap PC keyboard. This Ultra5 is used as a server, it is one of the test bed for releasing our ecommerce software.

Meta Key

The key marked with a diamond (U+25C6: BLACK DIAMOND) is the Meta key, a key inherited from Lisp Machine's keyboards and today mostly known for its use in Emacs. Sun's documentation call this key Meta.This key is similar in purpose to the Command key ⌘ command onApple computer's keyboards, or the Windows key ❖ Window onPC keyboards.

See also:

Compose Key, Alt Graph Key

Note the Compose key and Alt Graph keys. They are both used to input special characters such aséäç¿£¥©.

[see Alt Graph Key, Compose Key, Dead Key]

The sound key and screen brightness keys seem funny to me, because i'm not sure these keys work out of the box on a typical unix workstation in the 1990s. Not sure if these machines typically have sound capabilities at all (For example, a sound card).

Sun Microsystems Type 7 Keyboard

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Sun microsystems keyboard driver

Sun Microsystems Keyboard Type 7 Driver

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