Gentoo Sparc kernel 2.4 Xorg and Sun Type 5 keyboards

I noticed from the web search terms in Awstats for my blog that some of the hits I’ve been getting is from people searching for help with Sun Type 5 keyboards, 2.4 kernels and Xorg 6.7/6.8 on Sparc(64), in some cases, using Gentoo.

For that reason I’ve decided to make another post on this as I’ve done some more digging around, but still don’t have a solution. The point of this post is to point people searching for this problem at the stuff I’ve found.

It seem this is a known issue with Xorg, 2.4 series kernels and Sun Type 5 keyboards. I refer you to Gentoo Bug 61940. I’ve read the bug report and all of the comments and it seems theres no quick workaround at the moment.

The issue is that for Xorg 6.7/6.8, the old keyboard driver is deprecated and people needing that driver should use the new kbd driver. Unfortunately, the kbd driver doesn’t work properly with Sun Type 5 keyboards.

The best solution seems to be to use a Gentoo 2.6 kernel (apologies if you have this problem and aren’t using Gentoo) but this doesn’t look straightforward (but possibly easier than installing Gentoo in the first place ;)), or compiling Xorg with the deprecated keyboard driver, but I haven’t looked into how to do this yet. I guess it’s just a question of having the time to do it for me. I guess using XFree86 is another option but I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, I’m not sure if Gentoo are still shipping it.

In the meantime, I offer a list of Gentoo Sparc links:

Misc Sparc Wiki.
Gentoo Sparc Development.
Gentoo Sparc forums.
Sun Type 5c keyboard Sparc forums thread.
Ferris McCormick (Gentoo Sparc guy).
Ferris’ notes on the keyboard problem (at the bottom).

I aim to make more comments/updates as I work out how to sort this out.

2 thoughts on “Gentoo Sparc kernel 2.4 Xorg and Sun Type 5 keyboards

  1. Hi, I’m not sure if you still care about Gentoo Sparc and the sun keyboard problem but when I was trying to solve this problem I came accorss your site, and thought I’d say thanks for the info.

    I made a post in the gentoo sparc forum that fixes the problem that I had, which sounds the same as yours.

    If its of any use feel free to post the config file in your blog so that other people can find it easily.



  2. hi! seems like a common problem on the gentoo forums but even searching through the old posts at the gentoo forum i haven’t been able to find a solution to this problem:


    eth0 does not exist

    now i’m using the integrated Marvell Yukon Gigabit nic integrated into my asus k8vsedx and there are 2 options when compiling the kernel under networking support -> ethernet (1000mb). one is deprecated and one is experimental. i’ve tried marking both with a “*” and neither of them have worked…

    i’m using the instructions for recompiling and installing the kernel found here. i’m manually confguring so section 7.c is what im using .

    any advice?

    edit: i’ve also downloaded a bz2 file from for the nic but i don’t know exactly where to extract it. i know i’d have to modularize it in menuconfig and probably add it to the /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6.12-gentoo-r4 file right?

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