3 Free Color-Picker Tools for the Linux Desktop


Color pickers are tools that help you identify and pick colors from your desktop. This is very useful when doing image editing, web development work or other creative endeavors.

There are several ways to pick colors on the Linux desktop, but we will show you three specific tools that will get the job done for you in an efficient manner.

1. GPick

GPick is more than just a color picker tool; it can do a whole lot more than just that. You can, of course, pick colors from the screen if that’s all you need to do by using its “Floating Picker” Mode. It works desktop-wide so you can pick colors from whatever catches your fancy.

You can activate it by clicking the button with the eye-drop icon in the lower left corner of the window. This will produce a floating magnified representation of the area on which your mouse cursor is located.


When you settle the cursor on the part of the desktop you want to pick colors from, right-click at that point and select your preferred color code format to copy it to your clipboard.


Gpick also has tools for creating color schemes using its color wheel and adding them to a palette. In addition, you can also create a color palette from an image, create variations of lightness and saturation, and export your palette in a variety of formats such as CSS, GIMP/Inkscape palettes (.gpl) or Adobe Swatch Exchange File (.ase).

On Ubuntu Gpick is available in the official repository. Run the following command to install it on your machine:

sudo apt-get install gpick

2. Pick

Pick is a much simpler app that lets you pick colors from your screen and allows you to show picked colors in your choice format from HEX, QT, RGB, or GDK.

To install Pick head over to the official website and download the .Deb package file for your distribution. Only Ubuntu and Elementary OS are officially supported, but the installer should work for any other Ubuntu-based distributions (such as Linux Mint).

Once installed, launch the app and click the eye drop icon at the top of its window. A magnifier should appear on your screen and you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse (or two fingers on your touchpad) to zoom in and out so that you can obtain an accurate color sample.


Once you’ve picked a color, it will appear in the main window. You will see a small screenshot of where you picked it from and a name for the color sample along with its code. When you hover your mouse on a color sample, a copy button will appear for you to copy the code to your clipboard, ready for pasting into any application of your choice.

You can easily change the format of the code by clicking the drop-down labeled “Format” and then selecting your preferred option.

3. Color Picker

Color Picker comes with a very basic interface with no overwhelming settings or menus. All you get is a small window that allows you to pick colors on the screen using a zoomable magnifier similar to Pick. It also sports a history feature that remembers the last six colors that you selected and has an option where you can change the format of the color code.


Color Picker is specifically built for Elementary OS, so if that’s what you run on your machine, you can find and install it from the AppCenter.


Wrap Up

If you work with colors a lot, any of these tools should provide a painless way to pick samples from any part of your screen. Each of them have varying levels of functionality, so I’ll leave you to determine the one that suits your needs.

Let us know your preferred choice in the comments below!

Ayo Isaiah
Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox