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Some applications, such as Gimp, Geeqie and Rawstudio claim to be able to use system color profile in their color management, but how do you setup such a profile? How do you see, if such a profile has been set, and if it has been set, how do you see which profile is used? I don't see how to do it in Lubuntu and Xubuntu.

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You can now use xiccd to avoid the need for any Gnome/KDE/Unity dependencies when using colord; askubuntu.com/q/427821/25639 explains how to install it. –  unhammer Jun 8 at 10:04

2 Answers 2

This is a good question, as Xubuntu and Lubuntu don't have the same system settings > color menu that the standard Ubuntu has, and installing gnome-color-manager does not allow you to set the profiles in a Xubuntu or Xfce session, as you you can only use that utility properly when running a gnome session, as it depends on gnome-settings-daemon and gnome-control-center. This fact is clear from the useful diagram presented here in this article.

System Tools

However, on Xubuntu and Lubuntu, the colord package is still automatically installed and takes care of color management, and you can access it on the command-line using colormgr. You can query your devices such as printers and scanners by using command-line switches such as colormgr get-devices, which are delineated at the official site.

However, while colormgr get-devices will list all the automatically color-managed devices on your system, it will not list display devices on xfce.

On xfce, colormgr get-devices-by-kind display will not work and you will not be able to set the icc profile for the display on the command-line, but only by using tools such as xicc or xcalib (see further below). This is explained here by Richard Hughes:

XFCE has no session component for colord. You need to either run gnome-settings-daemon (which has a color plugin), kded with colord-kde installed, or write something lightweight for XFCE.

Colord only detects system devices like scanners and webcams, and then CUPS registers printers. It has no access to the session, and relies on a session component to talk to X and register devices.

In a gnome or kde session (which you could be running on Xubuntu) you should be able to use colormgr to enter colormgr get-devices-by-kind display and set the icc profile for the display manually, so for completeness I present this method.

You first have to add your profiles to ~/.local/share/icc and run colormgr get-profiles to list them, and then choose the icc profile, such as


Now add it to the desired device (this time it is the default display) with

colormgr device-add-profile /org/freedesktop/ColorManager/devices/xrandr_default /org/freedesktop/ColorManager/profiles/icc_86894053ff74b24d0c304fc3bd0e9c76

Then you can make it default with

colormgr device-make-profile-default /org/freedesktop/ColorManager/devices/xrandr_default /org/freedesktop/ColorManager/profiles/icc_86894053ff74b24d0c304fc3bd0e9c76

Other useful Utilities

Note: Custom icc profiles should go in /home/$USER/.local/share/icc; the system directory is /usr/share/color/icc.

It is possible to use tools such as xicc or xcalib if you want to setup a specific icc profile on Xubuntu or Lubuntu. All you need do is point either of these tools at your icc profile and place that command in startup:

xicc /location/of/profile

or with xcalib you can specify gamma correction as well using

xcalib -gc 1.8 /location/of/profile

However, as the question below shows, you may need to delay the execution of the command so the system does not override your choice:

Alternatively, you may want to use xicc, as the profiles set with that application are designed to be picked up by certain applications such as Gimp- this is exactly what you refer to in your question, and this program is probably what you were thinking of. To load a profile, just run xicc /location/of/profile; you can specify the display if necessary.

The package notes for xiccexplain that

This utility lets you set an ICC colour profile for an X display, so that applications can use it to display colour calibrated images. Applications have to specifically look for this atom but several applications such as Gimp and Krita already do.

Alternatively, you can usually set profiles explicitly in applications such as the Gimp (see screenshot below) and other programs. This may be necessary if you are working with RAW images that may demand a specific colorspace.

enter image description here

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Thank you for diverse answer. As for xicc, I wonder what kind of "atom" do they mean. Is it just the system monitor profile option that is displayed in the screenshot? –  jarno Jan 9 '13 at 22:36
I get no output for colormgr get-devices-by-kind display. I guess that indicates that system display profile is undefined. –  jarno Jan 9 '13 at 22:54
@jarno see my edit re colormgr on xfce systems. –  user76204 Jan 13 '13 at 23:25
It seems to me that xcalib and xicc are not alternatives to each other, but they complement each other: xcalib sets X server gamma ramp according to data that may be included in the provided ICC profile, and that setting has effect regardless of applications, whereas xicc sets system display profile that may or may not be applied by applications. –  jarno Jan 15 '13 at 14:52
It might be difficult to apply different settings for different monitors, if you use extended desktop: In my setup xcalib changed settings for the integrated monitor of my notebook only and I did not find a way to set calibration for an external monitor, when extended desktop is in use. I didn't test xicc in this respect, but I guess it is the same. –  jarno Jan 15 '13 at 15:02

As an alternative, there is an excellent german howto all necessary things manually: http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Monitor_profilieren_mit_ArgyllCMS

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