How Do I Use the SunRay Thin Clients?

The SunRays are thin client machines which provide a display and input interface (keyboard and mouse) to a SunRay server system. Currently the LPL SunRay server is running Solaris and is called The SunRays also provide:

  • Audio output to build in speaker and/or headphones
  • Security via use of a SmartCard, such as a CATS card
  • Local access to USB flash drives


Many programs will work with the default audio setup from the SunRays, using the builtin speaker. For other programs, which expect to use the Unix device /dev/audio, may need to be explicitly given the output device $AUDIODEV. For example: play -d $DEVAUDIO sound.wav.

The audio is controled by the Audio Control tool. This tool should be available from the desktop. If using CDE, right click on the desktop, choose Applications and select the Audio Control option. This control panel allows the user to set the output volume as well as location (the Master Outputmay appear grayed out, but it should still function).


As a security measure, the SunRays can use a SmartCard to allow access to a session. The UofA CAT Card has a SmartCard chip which can be used with the SunRays. By inserting a CAT Card into the slot on the SunRay only that user can access a session. By pulling out the card, the session is disconnected. The user can then go to another SunRay, insert the card into that system, and re-establish the same connection. (Or come back to the original system, eg. after lunch.) Meanwhile another user can use the same SunRay for another session.

A SmartCard is not required to use the SunRay. It simply provides another level of security (a user needs both the account/password, as well as the card) as well as more functionallity (the ability to "move" a session to a new SunRay).

USB Flash Drives

The use of USB flash drives, aka pen drives, aka thumb drives, aka those little do-dads, can easily be use with the SunRays. Simply inserting the drive into one of the USB connectors on the back of the unit, the disk should be mounted on the SunRay server (wanachenee). The drive will be mounted with a name something like:


The owner of the USB file system will be set to the owner of the current SunRay session.

Modifying Display Settings

The command to adjust the display parameters on the SunRays is /opt/SUNWut/bin/utxconfig. In particular, you can use the "-l" option to see the current settings and "-r WIDTHxHEIGHT" options to modify the settings. (setenv MANPATH /opt/SUNWut/man; man utxconfig for more info)

Changes will only restart once the X-server restarts. That means that you at least need to log off on the SunRay. You might need to reboot.

To connect to the LPL Windows terminal server from a Sun Ray client, use /usr/local/bin/rdesktop. To specify the geometry so that your local window manager will control the window and allow me to minimize the connection, issue the following UNIX command: rdesktop -g 1024x768 -a 16 -r sound:local terminalserver

The /opt/SUNWut directory is where the SunRay server stuff lives, so, in a pinch, that's a good place to look for answers.