A Professional Photo Workflow for OpenSolaris

I am not a professional by any means, but I like to know I can get the most out of my tools if the need arises. That means shooting in RAW along side JPEG so I can take control of image processing settings or correct little mistakes such as under-exposure or incorrect white balance. RAW files contain raw sensor data from the camera (duh) and must be processed by special programs before they can be printed or shared. My camera came with the Canon Digital Photo Professional software which I’ve heard is pretty good. There are other (expensive) commercial options such as Adobe Lightroom. Obviously none of these work in Solaris (though they might work in Wine), so I decided to explore the open-source offerings.

Fortunately, this is a good time in the open-source world for RAW processing. Tools like UFRaw and LensFun are maturing rapidly and beginning to give their commercial counterparts a run for their money. I spent the past week porting them, and the color management software, Argyll, to OpenSolaris.


Argyll is a suite of color management tools for Unix and Windows. It can be used to calibrate displays, cameras, scanners, and printers. When all of your equipment is properly calibrated, then colors should appear the same on all devices. So if I were to photograph a stop sign, it would appear to be the same red on my monitor as in real life.

Color Calibration Tools

Color calibration requires special equipment. For your monitor, you need a colorimeter. I already had an X-rite i1Display to calibrate my TVs, and it works just fine with Argyll and Solaris (using libusb). Following these instructions I was able to calibrate my monitors in a few minutes. It was so easy I did my work monitors and laptop too!

Camera calibration was just as easy following Pascal de Bruijn’s instructions. I picked up a very affordable IT8.7 target from Wolf Faust. It arrived from Germany in about a week.

Argyll can be installed from my software repository by typing pfexec pkg install SFEargyll.



UFRaw with lens correction support using LensFun can be installed from my repository by typing pfexec pkg install ufraw. I went through hell trying to port this and its dependencies. LensFun was particularly terrible with its crazy Makefiles (please use Autotools!) and non-standard C++ which Sun Studio choked on.

I don’t have much else to say about this yet, I’m still playing around with it.

7 thoughts on “A Professional Photo Workflow for OpenSolaris

  1. Bibble 5 is just about competent if nowhere near as good as Lightroom. You might better spend your time trying to coax it to work under a Linux branded Zone than playing around with ufraw.

  2. Bibble 5 does look interesting. What OpenSolaris could really benefit from is a Linux compatibility layer similar to FreeBSD, where Linux apps could run right in the global zone. It is just too much work to set up a lx branded zone for one application.

  3. I am running OpenSolaris snv_134, I just installed Argyll from your repository. For some reason it does not recognize my Hue colorimeter (even though I tested it with Argyll on several Linux boxes). Cfgadm shows: “usb5/1 usb-input connected configured ok” – my guess is that it must be somehow related to libusb – any hints?

    • It should just work. Do any devices show up in the output of dispread -?. Just as a curiosity, have you tried running it as root? Do you get any errors in your system log?

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