In everyday work I use Ubuntu as main OS, but when doing graphic work or photo retouching I use a virtual Windows machine to run Photoshop (using Virtualbox).

Now someone lent me a Spyder3 display calibrator and I managed to calibrate my monitors on Ubuntu, but then I was wondering if I needed to calibrate my Windows virtual machine too ..

Any ideas ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting... I would tend to think not, but since I don't know, I'll be curious to see what the responses suggest. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


No, you do not... Unless you did something wrong of course ;)

The importance is to calibrate your monitor to sRGB color space. Once it is setup that way, then giving it a known input will result in a known color. My setup is OpenSUSE with Parallels Desktop and only the monitor needed to be calibrated.

Some people calibrate their graphics cards instead of the monitor which can give banding issues but should affect both your system and the virtual machine, unless the VM's machine bypasses the cards calibration. In this case I would not know if it works with your setup or not.

Some applications can be calibrated themselves which makes them change the colors they send to the monitor in order to get the desired color. If you did that, then only that application would produce the right colors.

  • \$\begingroup\$ One small thing to note... with certain VMs, there is the option to use the graphics acceleration capabilities of the host. I don't know if this would bypass the card's own calibration, but something to keep in mind. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 17:36

Calibrating your monitor produces an ICC profile. That ICC profile can be used in whichever OS your using on your computer so long as the controls for the monitor white point are set the same.

Do not intentionally calibrate your monitor to sRGB or any other device independent color space, but just profile your monitor, and that will allow you to view using any device independent color space that's smaller than your monitor space.

High end monitors are much larger than sRGB so it's not a great plan to intentionally calibrate any device to match that. What you may find is that both OS's may display the same image differently. That may be because Ubuntu's Color management system is not quite there yet.


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