Switching to greyscale?

Hi altogehther,

I´m asking this question on behalf of a friend of mine who (like me) uses Lubuntu 20.04.

She´s very interested to learn if there´s a way to make the display greyscale, i.e. black-and-white.
She says she´s easily overwhelmed by the abundance of colors presented on various sites and thus often distracted. So switching to greyscale would come in handy to her.

Of course she still needs the possibility to toggle back to color - varying from case to case.

Could this be achieved in any way?

Thanks so much for your help in advance.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t know, but I’ll provide my only thought.

I’d explore the use of redshift. If you’re familiar with it, you’ll know it proves it’s possible, the answer is just how to achieve it.

Redshift is geared at reducing color-temperature late in the day. When I first discovered the program (years ago), I played with it looking at what it could do (not just as intended, but playing with all settings just to see what they looked like, and what I liked/disliked). I eventually came up with a reshift.conf file I’ve used ever since.


(there are likely better resources, but I prefer using Ubuntu ones, upstream’s example can be seen here)

It may not achieve a pure B&W as asked for, as that wasn’t the programs intention (that may require a modification to the program), but you may get something that achieves your aims even if it has some color in it.

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Hi Chris,

thank you so much for your suggestion.

I am familiar with redshift; in fact I use it on a daily basis. However I start it manually in the terminal with just some basic settings like Longitude/Latitude and the color values for day and night.

The reason I do it this way is the fact that not every day is the same as far as brightness and color temperature are concerned.
On cloudy days i choose other values than on sunny days. :wink:

I myself woudn´t have thought of redshift in the context of greyscale (or whatever comes closest to it). So that´s a thought worth considering.

Thanks also for the link you provided. :+1:

Looking at the redshift.conf file I noticed there are lines beginning with a semicolon.
Am I right in assuming those lines are comments?
Because I would´ve thought comment-lines begin with a hash (#) as in bash-scripting.


I also heard of desaturate_all : GitHub - laerne/desaturate_all: Desature the entire gnome workspace .
It seems to be a recommended way of achieving the goal (setting display to monochrome). See also: ubuntu - How can I make the screen black and white? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

But: I think this one is is for gnome only. We´d need such a thing for LXQt.

Still: your suggestion of tinkering with redshift settings is certainly a good idea. I´ll pass it on to my friend. :wink:

Thanks again so much for your kind help.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Yep. A couple of scripting/conf files use “;” as comments (it’s the standard for one environment, BSD maybe but that could be wrong, so programs or those written by programmers from that environment see it as the norm).

It was so long ago that I did my experimenting with redshift, Unity 7 was still the default Ubuntu desktop (Lubuntu still using LXDE) and I’ve used that .conf file ever since (regardless of my desktop; as I use multiple-desktops on most of my boxes; I love that I can use redshift in all and just disable any others (eg. GNOME’s night light is disabled should I switch to GNOME on this box))

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With Lubuntu I don’t know. But my monitor’s got that function: it’s called ePaper. So it’s a hardware, not software.

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Hi all,


Thanks a lot for the confirmation.
O.K. then, perhaps I could do a little experimenting with the redshift.conf file myself then.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi and thanks for the info. Good to know.
My friend however uses a laptop and I think she´s after a software solution.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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