I am using an Acer Aspire 3680 with Intel GMA 950 video running Ubuntu 16 and I cannot find the command to adjust the screen contrast setting. Too many colors and grays are washed out on the current setting.

What command or graphical utility will do this?

  • Enabling the setting for creating Negative screen contrast may help you. Here is the link- askubuntu.com/questions/113031/how-do-i-change-screen-contrast/…
    – Sepero
    Apr 12, 2012 at 2:08
  • That is… not useful in my situation.
    – CyberSkull
    Apr 5, 2013 at 9:51
  • Sorry. There are 2 ways to adjust contrast 1) On the physical monitor settings 2) With the graphics card software settings. Here is a link with similar issue, hopefully it help: superuser.com/questions/96539/…
    – Sepero
    Apr 5, 2013 at 12:06
  • @Videonauth This question is a year older.
    – CyberSkull
    Dec 2, 2017 at 12:09
  • and you hadn't had the chance to pick a correct answer for your problem to accept?
    – Videonauth
    Dec 2, 2017 at 12:12

4 Answers 4


On command line (Terminal), try writing

xgamma -gamma 0.3

You should see a very noticeable difference. Experiment with different values. 1.0 is normal value. Setting a lower gamma will increase the contrast of bright values (decrease white washing), and setting a higher gamma will increase the contrast of dark values (but increase white washing).

  • 1
    Gamma is not contrast
    – User
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:40

maybe you can try "xcalib".

sudo apt-get install xcalib


xcalib -c

Load ICC file:

xcalib ICC_file.icc

adjust contrast:

xcalib -co 70 -a

PS. number means percentage, -a means alter if you want to adjust more, ask "man"! lol

man xcalib

hope that is helpful!!

  • Where are the icc profiles kept?
    – CyberSkull
    Jan 11, 2012 at 8:18
  • Ah, found some in /usr/share/color/icc.
    – CyberSkull
    Jan 11, 2012 at 8:20
  • Well, it does something, but it is not fixing the contrast issues.
    – CyberSkull
    Jan 11, 2012 at 8:31
  • This works only for current session. When I restart again it doesnot work
    – user43941
    Jan 28, 2012 at 13:47
  • I installed xcalib and it seems to only decrease contrast: "xcalib -co 80 -a" decreased it, "xcalib -co 100 -a" left it unchanged, "xcalib -co 90 -a" decreased it some more... It seems multiplicative rather than on an absolute scale, but trying numbers >100 gives an error. Help? How can I get my original contrast back?
    – weronika
    Apr 24, 2017 at 0:01

I had no luck with xgamma, compizconfig-settings-manager or xcalib.

In the end, I was able to use xrandr to successfully change my screen's contrast (and other settings).

This was on an MSI laptop with an Nvidia Geforce GTX graphics card.

To install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-utils

First run xrandr to see the available screens. eDP-1-1 is the only connected screen in my case. Then run xrandr --output <your screen> --gamma r:g:b

See below for my terminal's output.

$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 32767 x 32767
HDMI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
eDP-1-1 connected primary 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 193mm
   1920x1080     60.01*+  59.93  
   1680x1050     59.95    59.88  
   1600x1024     60.17  
   512x384       60.00  
   400x300       60.32    56.34  
   320x240       60.05  

$ xrandr --output eDP-1-1 --gamma 0.8:0.8:0.8

I have written a gui front-end for xcalib, which can be found on https://github.com/Ablinne/kolorcontrol.

It provides sliders for brightness/color and gamma for red/green and blue channels respectively. It will display the commands for an autostart script.


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