The missing piece of Linux puzzle - monitor calibration

When preparing my photographic self for transition to Linux there was this one last thing that was bothering me -  how on earth am I going to calibrate my monitor and will the gods of OSS accept my EIZO-labeled Spyder 3 colorimeter?! Well, worse case, I figured, I'll just find a windows laptop and fix myself an ICC profile on it; never tell anyone and live in shame for the rest of my days.

So, after I installed all of the other tools like Bibble and GIMP and Hugin, I got to work on the colors. First thing I do is plug in the USB cable of my Spyder 3. No whining or crying so far. Then look for some software for it... Initial googling around points to some strange command line tool - Argyll CMS it's called... At this point I am ready to take anything that goes as no page mentions support for Spyder 3 in a positive way.  Go to Add/Remove Software in Fedora System menu, Search for argyll, select both packages and install.

Reading through Linux Photography... Doesn't sound promissing, but I still go for the test:
sudo ./dispcal -v -y l ./test

A root password later I can clearly see that my Spyder 3 is recognized by the system (because Argyll states the device name clearly). The main menu appears and I am ready to rock! This seriously made my day! I was so happy with this whole color calibration working out :D and now I can easily shout out so that anyone can hear it:


Here is a screenshot of my Spyder being abused by Argyll to prove it:

There! And don't let the lack of info be misleading. It does work and it works like a charm!

The whole process of creating an accurate ICC profile for your monitor is described by Linux Photography in here. Yes, a lot of reading, but it will also allow you to understand better the process behind creation of the ICC profile.

The only thing that I would like to add to above post from LP is that there is a strange bug in the tool and when it says 'Press any key to continue' it actually means pres Enter. Took a while to get there as I was hitting a spacebar and was being kicked out of the program for a couple of minutes :)

OK, hopefully by now you have an ICC profile file. You need to add it to Bibble, GIMP and set it as the default system profile for this monitor.

System->Preferences->Color Management
Select the active monitor, click the dropdown menu to select the profile and choose Other profile... Find the file you have just created with Argyll CMS. Done with system default.

Bibble should automatically find the system default profile. Note the word should. Even BibbleLabs say that it's well worth the hassle to point out the same file one more time for the tool, just to be sure.

GIMP will not even try to find the profile, so jump into Edit->Preferences->Color Management and point the Monitor Profile to the ICC you've created.

For browsing the calibrated internet I use Firefox. Install 'Color Management' extension and point it to your newly created monitor profile. Restart Firefox and all photos you see will be as real as they can be! You can now try it out by exporting a raw picture from Bibble to JPEG and opening it in Firefox. What you see in Bibble should be almost identical to what you see in Firefox.

Seems like we're done now! All colors calibrated, tools set up and ready to go!

Enjoy your accurate colors ;)


Calibration said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank uCalibration

Anonymous said...

Man, thanks a lot!
i was wonder how to do that ICC.... and now i got the answer. THANKS (: