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I need a small tool to ‘pick’ a colour anywhere on the screen (so that I basically get the hex code for it). Earlier, I've used KDE's KColorChooser for this.

According to this page, "Gpick" sounds like what I want, but:

$ apt-cache search gpick
<returns nothing>

Any recommendations?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

That's strange, as I get the following :

apt-cache search gpick
gpick - advanced GTK+ color picker

I suppose it could be in a source that you currently don't have enabled..

That being said for simple colour picking I prefer gcolor2 - Nice and simple to use and should do exactly what you require.

You can install it with following command:

sudo apt-get install gcolor2
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Thanks! Hmm, looking around at, it seems gpick just isn't available for 11.04 (Natty). However, gcolor2 does exactly what I want, so I won't investigate the gpick issue further :) – Jonik Nov 23 '11 at 16:34

I like to use the software agave. It's a simple software that gives your color combinations, and it has a color picker.

sudo apt-get install agave

Worth give it a try!


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+1. Agave does this too, and it seems to use the exact same component that is basically the gcolor2 tool. (I'm accepting gcolor2 because it's a nice minimal solution, giving this functionality and nothing else.) – Jonik Nov 23 '11 at 16:29

If it wasn't mention, gcolor2 can also sample color from all over the desktop.

But I got curious about gpick, and tried to install a newer version on Natty. So I got:

  • liblua5.2-0_5.2.0-2_i386.deb for precise (there's no earlier); installs in natty via GDebi Package Installer
  • gpick_0.2.5-1_i386.deb from their website; installs in natty via GDebi Package Installer (with previous dependency installed)

... however, at this point:

$ gpick 
gpick: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.15' not found (required by gpick)

Then I tried getting libstdc++6_4.6.3-1ubuntu5_i386.deb and extracting (not installing) it; and using this:

$ LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/user/Desktop/libstdc++6_4.6.3-1ubuntu5_i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu gpick
gpick: symbol lookup error: gpick: undefined symbol: g_dbus_object_manager_server_new

... damn, so it needs more dependencies satisfaction (and if one starts messing with libc, one may as well update the OS :) )

Anyways, back to gpicks webpage, there is a link PPA at Launchpad there - so I got gpick_0.2.0-1~ppakarmic1_i386.deb from the PPA Packages ... page. Installed it again via GDebi Package installer (removing the previous, newer one first, with sudo dpkg -r gpick) - and it works! And even if it's not the latest version, I think it looks quite awesome.

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I recommend GPick:

sudo apt-get install gpick

Applications -> Graphics -> GPick

It's got a lot more features than gcolor2 but is still extremely simple to use - click on one of the hex swatches, move your mouse around the screen over the colours you want to pick, then press the space bar to add to your swatch list.

It also has a traditional colour picker (like gcolor2) in the bottom right-hand corner of the window to allow you to pick individual colours with magnification.

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