Dilemma - making a printer profile



Hi all,

I fear that I have found a Catch 22 when trying to create a good printer profile (using Argyll, Ubuntu Studio, Epson XP-960).

I am following the steps outlined in https://www.ludd.ltu.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html, and it seems to work all right (except for the fact that Argyll cannot handle a 6-ink printer yet) – until I start thinking about Step 4: Print the test target page.

How on earth do I print a proper target when I (under Linux) am unable to “disable any color management”? That must mean that my test print is “contaminated” already from start? Or?

Please, what have I overlooked?

Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Morgan Hardwood) #2

Hey @Claes
To get help, you need to include the name and version of the printer drivers which you’re using.
I would then contact the people who maintain those drivers and ask them how to “disable color management”.

(Gabriele ) #3

Hi Claes,
Yesterday I got a print with good color and no color casts.
I use Slackware 64 current as OS, and Rawtherapee as raw developer and GIMP.
When I have to print the patches target I open the TIFF from Argyll into GIMP. It assigns the sRGB built in profile because the TIFF has noone but it (GIMP) do not alters pixel values.
Hence I send those values to the printer which are the same of the original TIFF.

I hope this help



The dilemma has become more complicated!

During the last few days I have learnt that when printer profiling, Argyll can not handle a 6-color printer :frowning: Sigh.

Also, there seems to be no way in Linux to send a file to a printer with colour management turned off (which is a must when profiling a printer). Sigh.

Profilingly Yours,
Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Mica) #5

Which driver are you using for your printer?

(Morgan Hardwood) #6

Are you sure? How do you know?
Unless he wrote that himself, I would email Graeme Gill about this, see “contact me” at the bottom of the page: https://www.argyllcms.com/




Epson ESC/P-R, but i am not a fanatic, should you have a better solution for me, I am all ears!

Have fun,
Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Morgan Hardwood) #9

@Claes yes, that’s one of several pages I ctrl+f’d through but found nothing, could you quote the relevant part?

Is is that? These descriptions of “N-Color” don’t make it clear to me whether they apply only to X-Rite’s industrial technology or whether they also apply to commercial 6 color printers:

(Gabriele ) #10

Hi Claes,
I do not know if I’m wrong… are you on Linux OS, aren’t you (at the top you write Ubuntu Studio)??
I am on it !

I use Gutenprint as printer driver which can drive my EPSON Stylus Pro 3800 (8 colors P-MK LK LLK C LC M LM Y). What is your printer? Is it supported by Gutenprint?

I know the printer is a CMYK device but I let Gutenprint make proper setting to the CMYK color space and I use RGB color space.
Therefore I think as I have a RGB printer.

I use ArgyllCMS and I make RGB ICC profiles as follow:


  1. I make a targen target with -s switch to make a Single channel steps chart.
  2. I create a printtarg image with -T300 dpi
  3. I print the target
  4. I read the chart with chartread
  5. I create calibration curves with printcal

6) I create a profile target with targen
7) I create a printtarg image with -T300 dpi
8) I print the target
9) I read the chart with chartread
10) I create a profile with colprof
11) I apply the calibration curve to the profile with applycal

With these steps I was able to get a good image with almost neutral tint.
It seems I didn’t lost nothing…

PS. I am a novice into color management and ICC profile; I’m still studying…:thinking::slightly_smiling_face:


(Gabriele ) #11

On Gutenprint there is the Epson XP-820…
the one your could be the new version …
It’s better you mail on the maillist



Yes, Morgan, you found the culprit :slight_smile:

If one follows the book (https://www.ludd.ltu.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html) properly, one of the very first steps is to generate a target, using targen.

It is true that targen has a bunch of options, for instance 15 different colorant combinations. -d6 CMYK + Light CM would fit the needs of my Epson XP-960 – but in a further step, colprof is needed and it “currently” only accepts RGB, CMY and CMYK colorants.

I am presently experimenting more using the dual OS method…
Cumbersome, yes, but so far, it looks promising.

Have fun!
Colourfully Yours,
Claes in Lund, Sweden


Ciao, Gabriele,

Calma, calma! So am I :blush:
Still I consider it worthwhile, interesting and mentally rewarding (ahem).

Thank you for describing your steps – your Epson is more skilled than mine [ :sob: ] . I have a 6-color XP-960.

Since you have 8 colors, the targen/colprof problem will apply to you, too (see my reply to Morgan, above).

Thank you for the idea of using targen’s -s step. I must try it!

Have fun!
Cordiali saluti,
Claes a Lund, Svezia

(Gabriele ) #14

I think, I can’t make a CMYK or CcMcYK profile because I can’t print CMYK ( Gimp, which I want to use, is in RGB only). When I’ll convert from RGB color space of GIMP to CMYK printer colorspace GIMP will say it couldn’t.
Therefore I let Gutenprint make RGB->CMYK conversion because Robert on Gutenprint I think he is making a good job.