Stupid color management/Distro question


Hi all,

I write “stupid question” because I have been smitten by Distro Fever since the mid 1990s, so I really ought to know the answer myself :frowning:

From what I gather, gnome handles color management very well. And that presently, the best distro probably would be Fedora Labs’ Design Suite.

Sounded like great fun. It was, until I discovered that Fedora kindly refuses to boot when it detects a Ryzen 7 cpu and a Crosshair VII Hero motherboard.


What’s your opinion about color management and distros? Have you got a nice, working combination?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Mica) #2

If you want ease of use, a full desktop environment like Gnome or KDE Plasma is the way to go. You can graphically set all the things in them. I think both of them work equally well for a color managed workflow. Also this is on X11. As @dutch_wolf recently pointed out, wayland leaves a bit to be desired.

My main editing box is a very minimal Debian Stable. I use i3 WM and rofi to launch my programs. I use xcalib (I think that’s the name?!) to load in my monitor’s ICC profiles, which have been profiled using DisplayCal.

I use the appimages of GIMP, HDRMerge, and LuminanceHDR. I use the flatpaks of darktable, rawtherapee, and geeqie.

I work mostly in AdobeRGB (Actually its my working profile in darktable… which is probably terrible) since my main output is my Epson SC P600 or sRGB for the web. It works well, what I see on screen is what I print.


Cinnamon has good color management, too. colord-kde is ok if you have only 1 screen. For more than 1 screen Gnome or Cinnamon are the best DEs.
You can also use other DEs or window managers. If you use apps that do not depend on colord or xatom. And do not do screen calibration with thehelp of software (Displaycal), only profiling. You can set the profile manually in most graphics apps - the only exception is darktable, as far as I know. You can set the profile manually in dt, too, for one session, but it forgets your choice when closed.

(Christian Kanzian) #4

Debian 9: No problems using dispcalGUI and colord-kde for KDE. But colord-kde isn’t part of the stable release. It is still stuck in experimental today. :angry:
Next Debian release is coming and I don’t know what is blocking and needs to be done to get it into testing. This are the only open bugs:;dist=unstable

OT: But there is one even more important lib blocked for Debian 10: exiv2 is still stuck at v0.25. Because of security issues v0.26 is still in experimental. Best would be to have 0.27.

In my case it doesn’t forget the choice.


Ok. I just realized that you are the one who helped me the other day with dt color management (right?).
Anyway, this is my experience. I think it really is not the distro. Cinnamon and Gnome work well with all distros as far as CM is concerned.


More distro dilemmas:
From what I have gathered so far, Fedora/Gnome is supposed to be quite good at color management…

Ref: and other sources.

Sounds fine, right?

But not after having spent far too many hours trying to get a live USB image to boot. Other fedora versions come alive, but not the one I want; Nvidia gfx and a Ryzen cpu are components that fedora severely dislike :frowning:

Ah well…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden


Well, I guess my advice that the distribution does not really matter in this respect was not so helpful? :smiley:
I do not know. I did not try Fedora in years, probably. I kind of prefer Cinnamon. Looks nicer. So my main Linux system at the moment is Manjaro Cinnamon.
Normally, I would stick to Mint, but at the moment the Mint kernel is not very new and installing my Wacom tablet is kind of complicated.


Good Evening, Anna,

The distro is important (of course), but also the DE, i.e. the desktop environment.
Manjaro/KDE darktable-cmstest reports

while Manjaro/xfce just had the X atom field filled.

By the way: you have noticed that in darktable’s settings, you can tell dt which profile to use; the one in X atom or the one in colord?


I think whichever distro/DE gets out of your way and lets you do the work (process images) is the best for you. Don’t go for the bleeding edge unless your hardware requires it. Go for the DE you like.

I like all of them but I think something Debian-based and stable with KDE works best for me.
I have two monitors and there is no issues with them on recent versions of KDE. (5.9.0 and later)


how do you set the profiles in KDE? colord-kde? displaycal? command-line? dispwin?


One of them using colord-kde,
the other using displaycal.


Actually I wanted to ask this @Andrius


I use displaycal to create profiles.

Then each software e.g. digikam or geeqie can apply them if needed.


@paperdigits which driver do you use for Epson SC P600? Turboprint?

I use i3 too but with gnome settings (i3-gnome-flashback) since I’m Ubuntu user.

(Mica) #15

I am printing now from macOS, but I’d like to switch to gutenprint.


I think I am going to try Fedora.
I think that Arch-based and Ubuntu-based Linuxes are good. Actually my favorite would be Mint, but, as I mentioned before, Mint has an older kernel which does not support my graphics tablet out of the box. Also, what I do not like about Ubuntu-based distros is the fact that they always place the EFI-files on the first HD (sda), even if there is an EFI-partition on the drive where you install LInux. That is different with Manjaro. MX is basically a good distro, too, but the software is really old.
Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros have the advantage that they are probably the most popular Linux. Before I switched to Manjaro I had Xubuntu with additionally installed Cinnamon. But Kubuntu is probably good, too, if you only have one screen.


Have you considered this distro:


No I did not know about this one. Appears to be similar to Ubuntu Studio


Wouldn’t working in an even larger color space like Prophoto make sense? And even for web, since most browersers are color managed these days?


OK. I think I just found out the most important difference between Ubuntu Studio and Fedora Design Suite: US comes with XFCE which has no color management. So FDS ist definitely better. However, I tried it on a virtual pc and apparently installation and partitioning is not so easy, anyway completely different than what I know from Ubuntu and Manjaro.