The dummies guide to using ArgyllCMS

If you’re reading this then you probably already know what ArgyllCMS does. What you’re likely here for are simple instructions on how to use it. If you’re like me and just want your display reasonably well calibrated for photo processing then read on.

As you already know, ArgyllCMS consists of a bewildering array of small utils, 48 at last count, that form part of the core package. The doco is actually quite good once you find what you need and make sense of it. Buried pages and pages deep, in amongst mentions of workflows and scenarios is the one liner I dare say 90% of people actually need.

dispcal -v -o <outputfilename>

Assuming you’ve got a colorimeter supported by ArgyllCMS that doesn’t require too much stuffing around to get working, just run that command, choose number 7 from the menu, and you’ll get your .icc file at the end of the rather long calibration process.

Frontends that make using the tool easier to use exist, such as DisplayCAL, but hasn’t been updated in many years. It also doesn’t run on Apple Silicon Macs. There’s a fork thats been updated to work with Python 3 (the real problem why the original doesn’t run anymore), but you’ll need to jump through hoops to compile it, and at that point you might as well just use dispcal directly.

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