GNOME Color Manager

Well, you could say I’ve been busy. I’ve had a couple of days off this week, and instead of relaxing like normal people, I wanted to fix ICC profiles on GNOME.

First the hard bit. You have to go to your screen vendors website, and download the “drivers” for your monitor. They’ll likely come in a zip file with other junk like .inf, .cat and other windows driver stuff. Somewhere in there should be a .icm or .icc file which contains the data you need specific for your monitor.

Double click on a ICM or ICC file.

Double click on a ICM or ICC file.

Then go to System->Prefrerences->Color Profiles and select the correct file for your monitor. There are also some other test files you can play with.

The default display

The default display

Then you can set any gamma or contrast or brightness settings if you wish. The gamma defaults to 2.2 just like newer Apple systems and Windows XP, but if you don’t like this you can set it back to 1.0.

The advanced display

The advanced display

You’ll need shared-mime-info from git master (for the double click to work) and gnome-color-manager from gnome git.

There’s still lots of work to do, such as:

  • New project icon
  • Help and man documentation
  • A website of some description
  • A mailing list
  • The calibration button to be wired up with hardware devices

I’ve ordered myself a Pantone Huey hardware calibration device, and soon hope to have this wired up to gnome-color-manager to make accuratly calibrating a device as easy as a single click.

Now, I’m all out of time for this little bit of fun, as I have to return back to fixing PackageKit and DeviceKit-power for the impending F12 release, but if anyone wants to help me with this I would be very grateful.

38 responses to “GNOME Color Manager”

  1. Michael

    Looks nice… will we see RPMs of this for F12 at some point?

  2. Daniel Berrange

    I’m not sure that it makes sense to have fine tuning of gamma, constrast & brightness after providing a ICC profile. When I created an ICC profile with argyllcms, those were things you had to tune before the profile was created and IIUC the resulting profile is only accurate when used with those same settings.

  3. Mattias Bengtsson

    Should this perhaps be integrated with the Display-capplet instead?

  4. zombiepig

    This looks fantastic – great work!

  5. Adam Williamson

    Seems to work as described, but it had pretty…radical effects on one of my monitors, making it look like an old NES game or something, I could only distinguish about 8 different colors! That was with what’s supposed to be the correct profile from the Windows driver package. Any idea what might be going on there?

  6. Anders Brander

    Nice work! :)

    But… Does this work as expected? I have only been reading the code, no success in compiling on my old Linux-system.

    It looks to me as only gamma curves and/or single channel CLUTs is used – and everything else from the profile is ignored?
    Is there a plan to support the _ICC_PROFILE atom? (Will this conflict with uploaded gamma tables?)

    I would love to participate in a discussion about this at some point in time, it’s a really needed feature in GNOME.

    One could start looking for answers at the CREATE list…

  7. Rob J. Caskey

    You know, anyone who cared enough to buy a meter and calibrate their display might be inclined to hit OK if they were presented with a “upload your profile to our database” button…When you find enough profiles that are similar enough…

    1. Anders Brander

      That would not be trivial. First of, no two models of the same monitor is equal. And the generated profile would depend on the monitor settings. For example some monitors allow for a optional wide gamut colorspace (ie. AdobeRGB) and then you have the whole brightness/contrast/lightness/saturation and whatnot.

    2. Duncan Lock

      That’s what I was going to say – having something akin to what Jockey and OpenPrinting ( does for printer drivers, but for colour profiles, would be really excellent.

    3. Daniel Berrange

      The problem with that is that monitors’ colour response tends to “drift” over time. This makes vendor supplied profiles not nearly as useful as you might think they are, and user supplied ones would not really be any better. You’d be going from ‘not calibrated’ to ‘wrongly calibrated’, neither of which is going to give you accurate colour – they’d merely be different. There’s no substitute for getting a hardware calibration device, and performing calibration on a monthly basis to deal with the monitors’ changing response over time.

  8. Yann

    Two words: Thank you!
    And 2 more: a lot!!!

  9. Xav

    Now you need a central database to avoid the downloading/unzipping for non-power-users.

  10. Matthew Holloway

    Just considering the boundary cases, are any of the maximum or minimum values enough to make a screen unreadable? If so you might want to ensure people can’t shoot themselves in the foot by either disallowing those values or having a timeout message like “Do you want to preserve this colour setting? If so click within 7 seconds…”

  11. Markku

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  12. drago01

    “The gamma defaults to 2.2″ I don’t like this everything looks too bright with this changing this as default isn’t a good idea imho.

  13. Timothy Moll

    This looks amazing! Been needed for two long. Great work!

  14. Pascal de Bruijn

    You Rock!

    I’m glad to read you decided to buy a Huey, instead of a Spyder… DataColor has reknowned to be hostile to OSS, and their Spyders require non-re-distributable firmware, and some are even reported to have a broken USB implementation, which can break when hubs are between the colorimeter and the system.

    I have a Huey too, and it works like a charm… X-Rite’s EyeOne should be great as well, these get rebranded alot like the LaCie BlueEye, Eizo, NEC and HP relabel them as well…

    You might want to checkout my blog as well, I’ve written a couple things about color management on Linux as well, including digital camera profiling, I do need to update a couple of posts though.

    I’ll be keeping a close eye on your blog.

    Your efforts are MUCH appreciated.

  15. prokoudine

    Cool. So what about Oyranos? :)

    1. Milan Knizek

      I would vote for a close integration/cooperation with Oyranos, too.

  16. Jon Pritchard

    Looks really great, you work at such an amazing pace. I never used to really care about the way colours look different on different monitors until I realised my colour-coded calendar entries looked almost completely different from device to device – this looks to to be the thing to solve it. Thank you.

  17. Glen

    Nice! I look forward to using it.

    Please take a look at dispcalGUI which acts as a front end for ArgyllCMS. I’ve been using both of those with a DTP-94 with very nice results.

  18. Ross Burton

    drago01: gamma 2.2 is the sRGB standard, what Windows has been using forever, and what Macs now use. If everything looks too bright then either your brightness setting is wrong, your profile is wrong, our you have got used to a badly calibrated display. :)

    1. drago01

      No, it looks too much like crap that it can’t be right, with 1.0 it just works i.e I plug the display in and it looks sane.

      With 2.2 it is awefully bright/colors are way off … so I prefer the “just work” vs “you need to play with the settings to get decent colors” …

      Also tested the same display under windows, the colors are the same no wierd “very bright” screen like with gamma 2.2 (and no this is not specific to one display)

      1. Milan Knizek

        What about double calibration? The display profile most probably has gamma 2.2 included already and setting another gamma additionaly is not needed.

        If adjustments to vendor’s profile are required, I would expect +/- gamma instead (the same like xgamma utility).

  19. Muhammad Shalaby

    Hi,nice work, congratulations, i installed it, and i v found a icm profile for my monitor but it doesnt work with double click,so what can i do to import my profile?

    1. Garrett


      Right click on the profile and click “Open with other application”. There should be a list of applications and one of the is “ICC profile installer”. Click that and there should be a pop up asking if you want to install the profile.

      – Garrett

      1. Muhammad Shalaby

        It’s not thee either, i am sorry to bother you, but is there any solution?

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