I need to show my desktop in gray-scale mode. On MacOS I can do it in accessibility mode. I tried with compiz config but the color filter was removed from Ubuntu 14.04.

Who can help me?

I use Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity.

  • Sorry not a duplicate. I misread your question.
    – hg8
    Aug 7, 2015 at 9:33
  • could you repair ? Aug 7, 2015 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


You can use the Opacity, Brightness & Saturation plug-in.

  1. Open ccsm Compiz manager
  2. Go to Accessibility → Then enable: Opacity, Brightness & Saturation
  3. Open it, Go to Saturation tab
  4. Add new rule:

    Windows: any Value: 0

I got all windows in grayscale only unity dash & top panel still in color, may be needs a reboot. :) sorry not the time to test that.

enter image description here

BTW, it is possible to get a hardware solution for VGA with just few resistors to make an RGB channels merger/mixer.

  • 2
    Note that you might have to install "compiz-plugins" (sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins) to have this option in ccsm.
    – Marc
    Apr 20, 2018 at 9:06

I think you can achieve what you want with xcalib If it's not installed:

 sudo apt-get install xcalib

try something like

 xcalib -i -a

 xcalib -invert -alter

 xcalib -co 70 -a

To reset screen

 xcalib -c

For more info about xcalib check out http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/man1/xcalib.1.html


xcalib -h

Following link may also help out How can Ubuntu be made grayscale?


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