News archive

Version 0.23

2020-10-29: Superkb is now available in Debian Bullseye! This mean that you can install it by just issuing apt install superkb if you are running the testing branch. It will eventually be released into Debian 11. Thanks to Luciano for helping this to happen.

2015-03-15: We now have full gallery of screenshots of different models of keyboards as defined by X11, painted by Superkb 0.23. Take a look at it in the Screenshot section; maybe your keyboard model is there!

2013-09-01: It’s now official: the source code for Superkb is now hosted at Github. Links in online material have been updated with the new information.

2013-08-31: Superkb 0.23 is out! This is is mostly a maintenance release. This release includes some aesthetic fixes, compilation warning fixes and fixes to make the job easier for package maintainers.

Version 0.22

2013-07-13: Superkb is now available in the main Fedora repositories! Thanks to Rubén Guerra Fedora users can now install Superkb using the yum package manager with a simple yum install superkb and installation will be done by magic. Thanks again.

2011-03-18: Superkb 0.22 is out! After a year of inactivity, we have important fixes and hopefully an improved keyboard hinting window. Also, the Wiki has been renewed after the horrible spam wave. Try it out and let us know what you think on the Superkb-devel mailing-list. If you find a bug, please report it to us on the Bug tracking system.

Version 0.21

2010-03-07: Superkb 0.21 is out! There has been a lot of work for this version also. See the changelog for details. Don’t forget to check out the new Wiki and the Bug tracking system.

Version 0.20

2009-11-20: Superkb 0.20 is out! This version includes support for drawing the keyboard using Cairo, which gives better rendering. Though some details might be unpolished, it is pretty much ready for dialy use. Lots of bugs and crashes have been fixed, compilation for x86_64 has been fixed, and a lot of messages are friendlier now. Try it out and report any issues in the bug tracking system.

Version 0.17

2009-09-21: Superkb has a bug tracking system at Launchpad. Any bug you might find should be raised up there so they can be properly followed up.

2009-03-18: Superkb 0.17. We have Superkb source code hosted under Git, and this is why this version took so long to get released. The Git repository includes all of the history from CVS and SVN, and it is looks very nice. So, what’s new in 0.17? Support for Xinerama. No official screenshots yet, but some in-the-meanwhile pictures can be seen on a post (in Spanish) from my blog.

Version 0.16

2008-04-04: This is one version I’m very glad to announce. The text drawing code now uses Xft, and there is a very ugly race condition fixed. Sorry, no screenshots yet.

Version 0.15

2008-02-20: Superkb 0.15. This one has two major changes. First, two new, experimental and configurable painting methods. Please see the screenshots for details. The second one is the rewritten code for label painting. This code has better criteria for choosing the size and position of key labels.

Version 0.14

2008-02-07: Happy New Year! Superkb 0.14 is just out of the oven. The important change is that keyboard actions now can get launched even if the Super key is released before the binding key.However, this must be configured by setting SUPERKEY_RELEASE_CANCELS to 0. And guess what, we also have an Ubuntu package! It is absolutely not tested, so go with it on your own. It shouldn’t break anything, though.

Version 0.12

2007-12-07: We have screenshots for Superkb 0.12 now, where Superkb uses different feedback handlers.

2007-11-13: Superkb 0.12 has been released! Some inspiration has been happening these couple of days, and two features were introduced: initial feedback support and hotkey replay. The first one is merely experimental, intended to let you know what have you launched. The second is helpful for keyboards without Super keys (like Thinkpads).

Version 0.11

2007-09-16: To prove we are back, we have released version 0.11 with two important bugs fixed and initial support for opening arbitrary documents with a document handler (like gnome-open, xdg-open, etc.).

Version 0.10

2007-09-08: Hopefully, we are back. After a good while, source is now in SVN and development will be easier again. There are some bugs that should be fixed and distributions now include the fixed X Window Server.

2006-12-28: We now have a Documentation section in the website! Take a look at it before it gets cold!

2006-09-17: We have a brand new website! As you can see, the site has been cleaned up a little bit but the looks are much better. Kudos and thanks go to Oscar Estrada.

2006-08-10: After more than 3 months, I’m very glad to announce development version 0.10 of Superkb. Most of the work has been done to enhance the prototype and ease the installation and configuration process. Check a more precise changelog on the downloads page for more information. All user feedback is welcome at

Version 0.3

2006-05-27: Check out the new screenshot, showing Superkb’s rendering of an IBM Thinkpad keyboard.

2006-04-24: Releasing a version right after another just to fix some bugs is humiliating. That’s why it took me 14 days to do it. But here it is: 0.3. The important change is that in case Bitstream Vera Sans isn’t available it falls back to a recommended X11 font, so it’s A Good Thing.

Version 0.2

2006-04-10: Version 0.2 released. So it turns out that the program crashes on lack of Bitstream Vera Sans font. Shame on me. Download the new version.

Version 0.1

2006-04-08: VERSION 0.1 RELEASED! Now that I tried -proto3 myself and fixed some horrible bugs, I decided that Superkb is ready to meet the world. See what Superkb does and download it yourself. I hope you all like it. All comments are welcome to alvarezp at I’d like to thank all freenode#xlib participants, specially mmc, tybalt89, ppl and whatah for all their help.

Version Initial development

2006-03-18: Okay, I was testing it myself and I realized that Proto3 was not executing bound commands so I fixed it and commited it to CVS. I’ll gather other bugfixes and release a 0.1.

2006-03-16: GREAT NEWS! Finally, the first usable version (according to me) is ready. the program is still very fool as to detect some circumstances, but it is in a works-flexibly-for-me and I hope for you too. Downloaded quick from Downloads section before it gets cold. You must get prototype

2006-03-11 23:00:00: TARBALL! After a month, there are some important changes in the source code. The most important one is that icons are now displayed on top of bound keys, as per configuration. Even though configuration is still hard coded, Superkb is now prepared to accept code to read settings from an external file. Once this is done we can say that the program is in a usable state.

2006-02-11 12:00:00: TARBALL! I uploaded a snapshot to the Downloads section.

2006-02-11 11:00:00: New commit! Drawkb now detects the best outline available for drawing a shape –instead of bounds– and uses it. Note that my keyboard always uses “approximate outline” so I don’t know if “primary outlines” will work properly.

2006-01-28: New commit! Instead of loading a png file with the keyboard drawing, Superkb now uses XKB to load the keyboard geometry. This adds a lot of flexibility. The module drawkb.c does this. It just drafts the keyboard for now by drawing “bounds” instead of the actual key shapes.

2006-01-06: New commit! I managed to load the keyboard into a GdkPixbuf and put part of it on the screen. Because of this, I had to s/kb/superkb_kb/ in superkb.[hc] because of nameconflict. Also, the window now stays on top and doesn’t have decorations. Now it looks more like the original idea. Keybindings are still hardcoded, but easy to code. I’d really like to thank tybalt89, mmc, raster and all the

2005-12-24: CVS has been updated! Superkb has been modularized. superkb.c holds the keyboard handling functions while main.c holds the configuration and drawing of the keyboard. It also supports being interrupted by kill -SIGUSR1. Try downloading it using Sourceforge’s instructions for anonymous CVS.