Linux Candy

Linux Candy: Pywal – color schemes on the fly

Last Updated on May 25, 2022

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

Pywal is Python software that generates a color palette from the dominant colors in an image. This palette is then applied system-wide and on the fly in various programs.


You’ll need Python 3.5+, ImageMagick and python-setup tools installed on your system. Optional dependencies are feh or nitrogen (which sets the walpaper), and python2 to reload gtk2 themes on the fly.

There’s package in the official community repository for Arch. You may find there is also a convenient package in other distributions. But as Pywal is open source software, there’s always the option of manually installing the software. Here’s the steps which involve cloning the project’s GitHub repository, and using pip3, the package installer for Python.

$ git clone
$ cd pywal
$ pip3 install --user .
$ export PATH="${PATH}:${HOME}/.local/bin/"

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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