Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Transition Guide


The Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Transition Guide helps you make the transition from the OpenWindowsTM environment to the SolarisTM Common Desktop Environment (CDE).

Solaris CDE is an implementation of the CDE standard developed by Sun Microsystems, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Novell. It makes applications running on UNIX® systems portable and easy to use. CDE applications are more intuitive and consistent with other operating environments than the OpenWindows environment is.

Solaris CDE is web-enabled, allowing you to seamlessly view and manipulate web pages, files, and mail messages. This book discusses the CDE graphical operating environment under the following standard headings:

Where helpful, the differences in behavior between the OpenWindows and CDE platform features are identified. The answers to frequently asked questions have been integrated into the relevant topics.

This book gives only an overview of CDE features and functions. For a detailed discussion of any aspect of CDE mentioned in this book, see Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide and the CDE online help volumes.

Note -

Solaris Common Desktop Environment is generally referred to as CDE hereafter in this book.

Ordering Sun Documents, an Internet professional bookstore, stocks select product documentation from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

For a list of documents and how to order them, visit the Sun Documentation Center on at

Accessing Sun Documentation Online

The docs.sun.comSM Web site enables you to access Sun technical documentation online. You can browse the archive or search for a specific book title or subject. The URL is

What Typographic Conventions Mean

The following table describes the typographic changes used in this book.

Table P-1 Typographic Conventions

Typeface or Symbol 




 The names of commands, files, and directories; on-screen computer output

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% you have mail.


 What you type, contrasted with on-screen computer outputmachine_name% su Password:


 Command-line placeholder: replace with a real name or value

To delete a file, type rm filename.


Book titles, new words, or terms, or words to be emphasized. 

Read Chapter 6 in User's Guide.

These are called class options.

You must be root to do this.

Shell Prompts in Command Examples

The following table shows the default system prompt and superuser prompt for the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell.

Table P-2 Shell Prompts



 C shell promptmachine_name%
 C shell superuser promptmachine_name#
 Bourne shell and Korn shell prompt$
 Bourne shell and Korn shell superuser prompt#