color picker ubuntu app

If you’re on the hunt for a quick and easy way to ‘pick a color’ from your screen give the aptly named ‘Pick’ a try. 

Small, compact and totally open-source, Pick lets you zoom in on any part of your screen to find the exact pixel whose color you wish to sample. In one click you can copy its color value to your clipboard for pasting elsewhere.

The python-based color dropper tool is developed by Stuart Langridge. Stuart describes the app succinctly on the official project page:

”Pick lets you pick colours from anywhere on your screen. Choose the colour you want and Pick remembers it, names it, and shows you a screenshot so you can remember where you got it from.”

Yup, it saves your color samples.

This is an insanely useful feature because it not only stores a screen snippet to make it easier to identify which colour is from where, but it also names it (e.g., ‘Plum’, ‘Light Blue’, etc) shows a color swatch next to it


The app outputs swatches in a range of formats that span pretty much every possible colour value format you’re likely to need, be it for for web, mobile and desktop app development. This includes Hex, CSS RGBA and QML Qt.RGBA (cos hey, you might be making an awesome Ubuntu phone app ;)).

A quick click of the copy button lets you add the value (in your chosen format) to the clipboard ready for pasting into your text editor, SDK or graphics app of choice.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 18.30.33

Right-click the Unity Launcher item to quickly access a quicklist:


Pick is not the first app of this type to be built for Linux and plenty of other color sampling apps are available.

But in choosing to focus on one specific feature (i.e. color sampling) it comes free of the baggage and feature creep that other, similar tools are burdened with.

For a quick way to sample any pixel you see on your screen Pick is well worth a place in the toolbox of serious and budding designers and developers alike.

Pick Tips:

  • Use your mouse scroll wheel to adjust the size of the magnifier
  • Use the ‘red square’ in the centre of the magnifier to accurately sample a color
  • The swatch between the color value shows previews the color you’ll select

Install Pick on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Above

Pick is available for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 15.10 and 16.04 LTS via a .Deb installer available to download from the project page (below).

This installer will also work dandy on any Ubuntu-based distribution, e.g., elementary OS, Linux Mint, etc that is based on Ubuntu 14.04 or later.

Visit the Pick Website

Since I made it to the end of the post without making a ‘Pick is my pick of the…’ puns, here’s a video of the tool in action:

Apps Video colour designapps pick