[Openicc] Profile installation and association for Linux/Unix/X11

Graeme Gill graeme at argyllcms.com
Sun Apr 20 21:09:56 PDT 2008

Hal V. Engel wrote:

> I am not sure I understand the concern here.  Wouldn't a user logged into the 
> same machine through more than one X11 session want to use the same color 
> configuration for all sessions?  After all the color configuration is 
> specific to the hardware not the user or the X11 session.
> In addition, I tend to think of things like the color profiles and gamma 
> tables for a display, for example, to be system level attributes which by 
> default would be located in $XDG_DATA_DIRS\color\icc and 
> $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/<?color?>/<???>.  Rather than being user specific they are 
> machine or device specific.  But there could be other color related settings 
> that were user specific such as preferred rendering intents for each device.

In an ideal world there would be only one profile/calibration for the display,
but the reality may be different. There are security implications as well,
should any user be allowed to set the system wide profile/calibration for a display ?
What if different users have different preferences (setups) they want to use ?

If you look at OS X and Vista, they distinguish between system wide and
user level installation and association of profiles with devices.

If you have sufficient authorization you can install a system wide
profile, or you may just want to install a profile for the current
user. On OS X the profiles are stored in different directories depending
on the usage:


The first being for profiles that are stored centrally,
the second for profiles supplied with the system installation,
the third being the local system wide profiles,
and the last being the per-user profiles.

For historical reasons, Vista seems to store all the
profiles in one place (I'm not sure how/if it copes
with clashing user profile names!), but does distinguish
between local system wide profiles and user profiles.

So I thing that having system wide and per user profiles
and associations is certainly desirable.

Graeme Gill.

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