Gutenprint linux - assigning ICC profile for printer/paper combo

Hi, I’m new to printing in Linux (not new in OSX).

I have an Epson 3880, and some color profiles for the paper I’m using (Red River Paper). I am using Gutenprint driver, and the GIMP printing add-on.

I see no way of adding the printer profile in Gutenprint (when i choose Print>>Print with Gutenprint). I can change on the Output tab of the print dialog the Color Correction dropdown to ‘Uncorrected’. However there is no means of assigning an ICC profile there.

The only way I see I can assign an ICC profile is under system settings (I’m on Mint 20.1), choosing Color and then assigning the ICC profiles there (I choose one at a time). However when I do that, I see no difference in the print output. (My Eizo color edge display is calibrated, and there’s a distinct yellow color shift in the print)

Perhaps this is just a missing feature of Gutenprint? Any advice on how to load a profile for the paper I’m using?


If you use Darktable to print you simply apply the ICC profile there and print with driver set to ‘uncorrected’. However, unless you (or someone else) made the ICC profile specifically for the gutenprint driver you are wasting your time. Vendor-supplied profiles were made for the official Epson driver only and won’t work properly with anything else.

Thanks, but I am using GIMP, Gutenprint plugin.

I have ICC profiles generated for a specific paper and this printer.

In Gutenprint dialog I have set Color Correction dropdown to ‘Uncorrected’. So thats like on Mac driver where you can override the Epson driver and then opt for an ICC profile. Trouble is there’s nowhere in the print dialog to load a different profile.

I don’t quite understand what you mean by “Vendor-supplied profiles were made for the official Epson driver only and won’t work properly with anything else”. Does the gutenprint driver not support ICC profiles whatsoever? If so, then maybe I need to avoid Linux for printing if I have zero ability to set and create and set an ICC profile for a printer.

I just printed the print from my Mac onto same printer, same ink. Rather than using the Epson color management, I selected the ICC profile for the printer/paper combo.

It came out perfectly.

With Gutenprint driver there is a very noticeable yellow cast and some gloss differential in the shadows.

Does anyone know how to resolve? Is there an alternative driver, or a means of assigning ICC output profile perhaps?

Hi Rob,
what spinor want to say is “a color” on paper come from the relationship ink+paper+driver and the profile you download from epson is for the relation :

windows: ink ( epson original fro that printer)+paper (the paper you choose)+ code who drives the printer hardware ( windows code)

mac: ink ( epson original fro that printer)+paper (the paper you choose)+ code who drives the printer hardware ( Mac code)

Linux: there’s no ICC for ink+paper+driver relationship or put in another way … it’s unlikely you find an ICC profile with your Gutenprint driver setting…

Hence what is the solution??

You have to make your ICC profile by yourself by a spectrometer and Argyll FOOS software.

I hope to be been clear :slight_smile:


Gabriele, thank you for the explanation, it makes sense. I will have to get new profiles created, that’s ok.

However, what I believe is missing is a place to enter the ICC profile (once created). There is no place in the UI (either in the gutenprint plugin in GIMP, or the printer settings) for that profile.

In the Epson print driver for Mac and Windows there is the ability to choose the output ICC profile in the print dialog. In the Gutenprint driver there is no UI.

This is my question

Thank you.

Hi, would be cool to have a location where to put icc profile in gutenprint interface but there is not…
When you print by gimp you have to convert the image to printer profile and print the image …which is what do a section where you could put the icc profile…

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OK, makes sense.

In GIMP: Image >> Color Management >> Convert to Color Profile

It isn’t very user-friendly, but I guess that’s FOSS in general until someone writes some code.

This isn’t going to be very good for batch printing. I may instead investigate running a Windows VM and print from within there, and use some commercial tools instead.

Thanks for the responses

I found this:
and this

You might need (or not) to install a color profile manager or the UI depending your distro, or not, then you can assign a color profile to a chosen device (your printer in this case)

If you have access to Mac or windows, you can download the Epson driver, extract it, and find the PPD file. You can load that PPD file into cups, and that may help your situation.

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I have a color manager already in Linux Mint. I can assign ICC profiles to the printer in system settings >> Color

However, that doesn’t do anything as far as I can see.

I will take a look at that, see if I can figure that out. Thanks

OK, so little searching on the interweb lead me to TurboPrint. It is a commercial print driver for Linux.

I read the manual, downloaded some profiles from their site to give a whirl (they have softproof and output profiles for my printer including both Epson and ConeColor which I use). It is a perfect match! Very easy to use once you configure each paper type you use in the settings.

Only problem really is the price at $70, but I guess it has solved my problem. They also offer a custom profile service. I will try for the month.


many thanks for pointing out to TurboPrint.

I’m reviving an Epson R2400 that was sitting there for a couple of years.

My software environment is Ubuntu.

During the weekend I printed a test image from darktable and gimp through gutenprint. It was never possible to obtain a neutral look on the gray only areas of this image (greenish cast).

I have installed now TurboPrint and the first print looks neutral enough! Not perfect in the very dark patches where I can still distinguish some greenish stuff. But definitively much better than before.

I suppose that the difference is on the default parameters that TurboPrint uses. Perhaps it is just a matter of recognizing what those are and copying them over to gutenprint. But I cannot tell where to look really. It could also be that really is all due to TurboPrint driving the printer.

Thanks again for your posting. Even though my test print still require some improvement, I’m regaining confidence that I could stay in Linux to print color and black and white photos.

@ramestica For turboprint make sure you read the manual first - there’s a PDF on the website to download.

Note that the driver is distinctly separate to gutenprint. You have to:

  1. Install the driver
  2. Configure the printer - in the turboprint configure tool you must add the printer there.
  3. Then go here (for your printer) and find both the ICC profile for softproofing (e.g. in GIMP you can add a softproof profile in the settings). Then also download the profile for the Turboprint driver to print with, which is in the table beneath the ICC profiles. Note these are TWO separate files: TurboPrint | Printer Drivers
  4. In the turboprint config tool you then add the profile in there by setting up a paper +ink combo for that printer. When you enter that in the dialog, then you click Import to load the profile (NOT THE ICC profile!). The printer profile is a different file type.
  5. Then you print in whatever application. You choose the Turboprint version of the printer (not your previous one you added a while back). Then you choose the paper/ink combo you named in step 3 in the printer dialog.

Then your prints should come out with no strange cast issues. Mine came out perfectly. I am actually converting mine to Cone Color ink and there’s even a profile for that on the turboprint site.

If you are struggling to revive your printer, check out the cone color piezoflush available at inkjetmall. It helps unclog heads that have been sitting for a while. There are some good videos on inkjetmall on how to do it.

Good luck!

Out of curiosity, did you tried the Epson Driver for Linux?

@PixLab there’s no Epson driver for Stylus Pro series of printers at least. I guess maybe I should go Windows, it may be less of a headache and about the same $

Hello Rob, apart from Turboprint, which is probably the best choice to print in linux with guarantees in color reproduction (but it is not opensource most of code) there is a printing application, a small Rip, developed by Alastair Robinson a long time ago that allows assign printer profiles and print directly from the program. On the attached screen you can see the color profiles dialog.

As of Ububtu 20.04 it is no longer included in the repositories but downloading the version photoprint_0.4.2 ~ pre2-2.5_amd64.deb plus libgutenprint2_5.2.13-2_amd64.deb from Ubuntu 18.04 can be installed and configured. Of course, the printer’s ppd files and the icm files are necessary.

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I hope not to be veering the discussion away from Rob_Brown’s intent.

But PhotoPrint is based on gutenprint and, therefore, as said earlier in this thread, chances are very low for an ICC profile matching gutenprint driving the printer. In that case, the question would be from where comes the ICC file on the PhotoPrint snapshot presented before? (…Fine Art MK.icc) Is it really helping with the actual print rendition?

@PixLab, nope, I was not aware of an Epson Linux driver for the R2400. Thanks for the link. Something I should check at some moment. However, not with much hope. The included readme file shows that the driver was last modified on 2011, and the available options do not include fine tuning like neutral color.

I own just a Canon Selphy but that already gave me the headache. I’m quite glad I did not start with big printer.
@Rob_Brown you already figured out that you need to assign profile to picture before print, that’s good.
My thoughts on Turboprint vs Gutenprint after over a year with just a Selphy snapshot printer:

  1. Turboprint is expensive! The license for me equals price for Selphy (used one),
  2. Turboprint is slow. I do not know why it thinks and thinks and thinks before starting.
  3. I don’t understand and fear to use all those knobs in Turboprint. They could be useful!
  4. Gutenprint once you get it is fast and simple!
  5. UI for Gutenprint is old and … well

And the huge disadvantage of Gutenprint:

  • Manual says that from version to version driver can change and you may need to redo your ICC profiles .

For me, just a Selphy user, Gutenprint 5.2 was excellent. I did profile this printer and the results were very good (as for that type of printer).
Now for Gutenprint 5.3 I just can’t make it work as it did before :frowning: The images have color shift, are washed out and are a bit blurry. That all was the same for 5.2 before profiling.
I’m not sure if this is just Gutenprint or other components. I also upgraded from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04.
I’m not sure if I have a will to redo profiling one more time or switch to Turboprint.

It would be lovely to onw fine printer (like 3880) but for me for today and foreseeable future it is cheaper and more reliable to use printing service (Canon iPF8400 - 12 pigments).