Do you own a monitor calibration device? Ever wonder if you could do better than the manufacturer's software that spits out a profile with 30 test patches in 5 minutes? Want to do it in Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows? Think I should stop asking questions? Well enter Argyll CMS.

Argyll is an incredibly powerful open-source colour management suite. I'm not going to explain why having a well-profiled monitor is essential to photographers, graphic artists, video editors, and for all sorts of other things. Chances are, if you've paid for a colour calibrator, you already understand how important profiling is. If you own one of the devices listed here, you can use Argyll instead of the manufacturer's software to generate an ICC profile for your monitor.

Why not use the supplied software? A number of reasons: you've lost the serial number for the software or you got it off eBay without the number, you want finer control over profile generation, you want a more accurate profile, and the reason I use Argyll  the software that came with my Spyder2 was the express version and ColorVision wanted to charge me extra to set my own gamma and temperature.

Reasons you may want to stick to the supplied software: You're in a great hurry, or the thought of having to work on a command line makes you faint.

If you're still conscious and reading, let's get started.

Step 1: Get Argyll

The latest version of Argyll can be downloaded here. Download the executable for your operating system and unpack it somewhere. The location is not particularly important.

Connect your device (don't use a hub).

On Windows only, it is necessary to load a new driver for your colour calibrator if it is a USB device (steps might be different on non-XP versions of Windows):

Open the System Control Panel. Click the hardware tab. Click Device Manager. Find your device in the list, right-click it and choose Update Driver Software... Choose No, not this time, hit Next, choose Install from a list or specific location, hit Next again, choose Don't search. I will choose the driver to install, hit Next, and click Have Disk. Find the .inf file for your device in the libusbw folder in the Argyll folder. Click OK, Next, then Finish.

A few devices or system configurations need extra steps to work. See here.

Open your operating system's command line:

Mac OS X: Applications/Utilities/Terminal
Windows: Start>Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt
Linux: Since there are many different terminal apps on linux, you're on your own here. Just make sure that it's in a window manager, not a tty.

Change your working directory to the "bin" folder inside your newly extracted archive:

All OS's: Type (without quotes) cd then a space. then drag the bin folder into the command line window. You shoud have something like the following:

Mac OS X/Linux:
cd '/home/mdryden/Argyll_V1.0.4/bin/'

cd "C:\Program Files\Argyll_V1.0.4\bin\"

Hit enter.

If you are using the Spyder2, like me, you need to copy the device's firmware from the manufacturer's CD. With the CD in the drive, simply type ./spyd2en(Mac/Linux) or .\spyd2en.exe (Windows) and hit enter. See here for more details.
This is very interesting indeed. I have a Spyder2 (and the pro software version), but I've never been happy with the interface or the options. I'm using a 26 in. Doublesight S-IPS monitor. I think I'll try it... (I'll get back to ya.)
You might want to give <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.argyllcms.com/doc/spyd2en.html">this</a> a quick look over before you start; the Spyder2 needs to have firmware extracted from the install cd to work. Good luck, and if you have any questions, I'll do what I can to help.<br/>

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