Linux color management


As far as I can see, in Linux there is only one simple (graphical) color management/profile loading tool which works really well: the Gnome color manager (which also works with other desktop environments such as Cinnamon or Budgie). Other reliable options might also be various command line tools (which I am not really an expert of).
Unfortunately, color management with gui-tools does not really work well with XFCE and KDE: The Displaycal profile loader regularly forgets the profile which was installed/selected after a while, and kde-colord cannot interpret or choose profiles correctly (oversaturation, I think in my case, it always used the profile for the laptop display, even though the right profile was selected for the external display and/or applied the profiles twice; so there is probably a reason why the tool is not installed with the desktop environment by default).
I think it is really a pity that there is no integrated color management in XFCE. That’s why I have been wondering how command line tools work. I have been googling a lot but I think I am still too confused.
Am I seeing things right?

Thanks in advance for the answers

(Morgan Hardwood) #2

Never had issues under KDE, XFCE, Awesome and whatever else non-GNOME desktop environment I used, using DisplayCAL’s “Install display device profile”. Endless problems with Oyranos, kolor-manager, etc. Don’t mix different systems, that will cause issues.

“Install” the profile into the _ICC_PROFILE X11 atom, load the calibration curves into the VCGT.
Watch the console output when you “Install display device profile” using DisplayCAL to see how it does that.
To clear the VCGT, argyll-dispwin -c
To load the calibration curves into the VCGT, argyll-dispwin -L

To learn more, read the documentation for:


I have been using colord-kde for years without any such problem. Given that all it does is telling colord in the background what to do and not doing any color transformtions itself I don’t see how any of the described problems could be due to colord-kde. You could try using darktable-cmstest to see what is configured in your system.


That is exactly the problem with colord-kde: when I run darktable-cmstest, the result is that x atom uses the profile for the laptop and colord uses the profile for the external screen. However, most applications appear to use the profile for the laptop. I think there is no problem if you only have one screen.


Maybe try updating colord-kde so you have


the trouble is, no matter how and how many times I delete the wrong profile, it keeps coming back when I log out form kde/plasma and log back in

darktable-cmstest says:

HDMI1 the X atom and colord returned different profiles
X atom: _ICC_PROFILE (1156 bytes)
description: Aspire V3-372
colord: “/home/anna-kde/.local/share/icc/PL2492H #1 2018-09-28 22-39 120cdm2 D6500 S XYZLUT+MTX.icm”
description: PL2492H #1 2018-09-28 22-39 120cdm2 D6500 S XYZLUT+MTX

Better check your system setup

  • some monitors reported different profiles

now using manjaro