Printer Calibration

Does anyone know if there is a way to calibrate your printer, paper & ink on Linux. Like I can using Spyderprint on a Mac or Windows.

I’m not familiar with the printer calibration process as such, but I think argyllcms should be capable if it supports your device:

I dont believe it supports the spyderprint4. Colorhug+ is supposed to be able to do it but there doesn’t seem to be any move on it.

Printer calibration and profiling requires a spectrometer and is done the same way regardless of operating system.
ArgyllCMS supported instruments: Operation of particular instruments
Printer profiling: Argyll Usage Scenarios
Printer calibration: Argyll Usage Scenarios

I was led to believe that it isnt exactly the same because there are driver differences, i.e. if I print out using the Mac it uses the drivers designed for the mac but if I then use the ICC on say Linux or windows there can be differences in the prints afterwards (although same) because the each driver might be slightly different. Especially when using official drivers on MAC/Windows and then using Gutenprint drivers on Linux

Even if that is the case, it’s irrelevant. You’re still profiling your printer-paper-driver-etc chain.
If you actually own a SpyderPRINT (you didn’t state that anywhere) then just go ahead and give it a try, otherwise get a Colormunki like Claes did and follow his thread.

I do have a spyderprint4 (i thought I said I had) so i will give it a go. last time I checked I didn’t see if being supported in argylcms on Linux but I will check again. Or are you saying print out on a link’s system read on a windows/mac. I wonder if I sent the job from windows to a shared printer on Linux would that take the linux driver into account and make a more accurate Linux based ICC. Thanks for the help.

Old post but I noticed the comment needs a spectrometer.

It’s possible to calibrate a printer without one but it needs a scanner and a test card. The general idea is that the test card is used to calibrate the scanner then prints can be scanned and profiles generated for it.

The test cards can be expensive however someone produces them in batches rather than taking readings of them individually which makes them a lot cheaper. Pretty sure details are on Argyll cms web pages.


@ajohn Wouldn’t it be possible simply to locate a test chart JPG on the internet and then get it printed out at your preferred lab/printing service? They should have calibrated printers - or at least you will get an output reference for this lab.


The colour patches on the test card need to be precise otherwise the scanner can’t be calibrated accurately. Getting one printed may work out but it’s unlikely to be so accurate as one printed for calibrating things.

The cheap source is here
Another source is mentioned here

This is something I have never done but one day I may try calibrating my cameras. It’s a similar process as Argyll needs to know that the colours on the card that’s been photographed are accurate. I believe it’s also possible to use a camera to profile a printer but due to colour temperature variations it’s more difficult.

The only cheapish spectrometer I am aware of is the colormonki design. The dearer version I am told just has better software. On colorimeters the colormonk display is much the same - pay more for different software plus no firmware changes to slow it down.

:hushed: I’m a bit upset at the moment. Given that I use an odd ball panel and make use of a 10bit LUT I should probably buy a spectrometer. :rage: but I don’t want to.


I have a colormunki photo, which let me calibrate my paper/printer and monitor. It works well for me and I don’t regret the $495 price tag, as my stuff is all calibrated now.

@Claes could shed some light backed by experience.

Hm… the best light to be shed is shown here:

Yes, the ColorMunki Photo is well worth its cost…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

:rofl: I only said I don’t want to buy one. It’s debatable for me as I don’t generally print. The only printer I use on odd occasions is the Canon post card printer. On that I do get visually accurate results. That may be down to my monitor being calibrated - the printer must be too also for it’s paper. I have also printed with a laser a few times out of curiosity. The one I tried was nvg at feeding photo paper but again the results were acceptable.

I probably will buy one actually but really cash should go to a 7-14mm m4/3 lens. Rather a lot of it for the Oly version but having spent some time comparing I might go for the panasonic one.