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A Quick Look At SuperX 3.0 Linux

SuperX 3.0 is a Linux distro from India, and is the latest version of this young release. As I have stated before, I will hop around Linux distros in a heartbeat, so I thought I would give this a try. It's not that I don't like or enjoy my usual distro (Linux Mint) - I absolutely do, but I also enjoy futzing around with other flavors. My setup allows me to do this relatively painlessly; I don't have a whole lot of data, and I have a set up that allows me to quickly restore my data and get to work after a reload.
SuperX is a desktop-oriented computer operating system based on Linux, using a highly customized KDE desktop environment. Originally developed in India, SuperX is published by Libresoft, a startup with a free and open source software business model. SuperX is available in multiple variants, from a freemium variant for home users to a professional variant for enterprise users. SuperX strives to be "Simple User friendly, Powerful, Energetic and Robust eXperience".
So, right off the bat I will confess that I don't really like the KDE Desktop; I typically stick with Gnome (Cinnamon or Mate versions). It's just a personal thing with me, I know KDE has a lot of admirers, and I understand the newer versions are very slick. Anyway, SuperX 3.0 ("Grace" - after the late great Grace Hopper) has a modified KDE Desktop (version 4 currently, 5 should be coming down the road), which I will describe a little more in a minute. 

The SuperX distro is based off of the Ubuntu LTS release and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, I downloaded the latter and burned to a live CD. I was a little confused by the reference above to the "freemium" and "professional" versions, as the only version I was aware of on the download site was a free (no cost) version. Perhaps the site is in the process of being updated, or I was not paying enough attention, not sure.

The installation process is pretty standard Ubuntu, with options for an automated install using the whole drive (which I usually choose), plus the ability to specify partitions, and to setup LVM if desired (I did not, in this case). Logical Volume Management can allow for easier resizing of partitions later and for taking volume snapshots.

Hardware detection on my few-year-old Samsung laptop was great, as is usual with recent distros; touchpad, display, wireless adapter and so on were all set up correctly. After an animated start-up screen (and a pretty ugly login prompt) the opening desktop screen is empty, with a stylized "mountain" wallpaper and a "Start" button at the bottom left. This button actually brings up not a start menu, but a screen of icons somewhat reminiscent of Ubuntu Unity.

This screen initially shows favorite apps and there is an "Applications" button that shows the remaining applications and utilities on the system, in a series of categories. There is a power button at the top of the screen, which brings up the shut down/restart options. The is also a search box at the top as well. While I really need to use this some more to give a fair opinion, it initially seems a bit clunky - or at least not super intuitive -  but I have not really tried any customizations yet.

Image for Softpedia (click to enlarge)

Performance seems great, everything is responsive - the only slowness I noticed was when I installed the Nautilus Dropbox client from the Muon Package Manager and the process stopped cold at about 60% for 5 or 6 minutes before completing successfully. No idea what that was about. It's been awhile since I had to install the Dropbox Linux client on my laptop - so maybe this is a "feature" of a newer version of the client?

There is a good selection of software installed, including VLC media player and Libre Office - all the usual stuff available in most recent Linux distros aimed at beginner or intermediate users. Multimedia support is ready to go; you can watch YouTube videos, etc. right off the bat.

Not being a KDE user, I can't speak to how much of the UI experience is pure KDE and how much is the tweaked version being used for this distro. I don't hate it, it's just different and at times is seems a little obscure. For example, if you copy a file from one folder to another, you get a system tray notification in the form of an animation. To actually see what is happening you can click it to show the file transfer progress. I am more used to just having a progress window pop up after the transfer is initiated.

The distro itself does seem quite polished and seems to work well, no weirdness other that the Dropbox install hesitation I mentioned earlier (and that was ultimately successful, Dropbox is working fine). I am going to keep it installed for a week or so at least, to get a better feel for it. If you are a KDE user, you may initially warm to this quicker that I did. There have been a few distros I have tried and quickly removed; this does not appear to be one of those.


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