Fix blue tinted video in Ubuntu


A strange issue has been identified in Ubuntu where video takes on a blue colored tint. Other descriptions of the problem include inverted colors, blue skin tones, or distorted video hues. The problems have been reproduced with Totem (Gstreamer), Totem (Xine), Mplayer, as well as VLC and other players.

The common theme with this bug seems to be the use of the Nvidia closed source drivers.

Update 3/11/2011: The problem has been isolated to the interaction between the proprietary NVIDIA driver and the X video extension. The fix should now restore correct video color to all players.

Here is an example showing the blue tint problem.

There are 3 fixes you can try. I have listed them from best to worst.

Fix 1: Install the recomended NVIDIA drivers

Change to the recommended drivers.

System -> Administration -> Additional Drivers

You should have 2 proprietary drivers available. Choose the recommended driver which should be your second option. Restart your system and you should be good to go!

Fix 2: Create a custom setting in gstreamer-properties

Make a change to gstreamer-properties.

Open gstreamer-properties from within a terminal.

Now click on the Video tab. From the Plugin dropdown box select Custom. Finally add the following line to the Pipeline box.

The window should look like this.


Fix 3: Turn off Xv optimizations

This is basically your last resort. This will fix your issues for all video players but will result in higher CPU utilization.

Make a change to gstreamer-properties.

Open gstreamer-properties from within a terminal.

Now click on the Video tab. From the Plugin dropdown box select X Window System (No Xv).

  • mantvydas

    does anybody know the specific steps for other players?


    • Jordan

      It is much easier to open nvidia x server settings, click on x server xvideo settings, enter –1 in the hue box and press enter. Accept changes and viola!

  • Kokx

    Well mantvydas, that is pretty simple. Most of the gstreamer settings are general, so with changing this settings will also have effect on VLC.

  • mantvydas

    unfortunately, doesn’t work on VLC… any other suggestions?

  • Andrew

    Thanks, works great for Totem. Hopefully there will be enough of us linux users soon that companies will have to stop making second rate products for us.

  • jkogut


    thnx for tips.
    It works for totem player perfectly.
    In case of MPlayer you need to play around with
    mplayer’s video preferences (I’ve switched driver xv —> gl) and everything looks great.


  • mikel

    Great hint. Thank you and the google.

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  • Eduardo Sanchez

    worked great! thank you very much 🙂 !

  • weston

    Thanks a bunch. Very helpful.

  • Atli Þór

    Thanks. Worked great.

    Worth mentioning that if you -like me – automatically sudo’ed the gstreamer-properties command, this will not work. I guess that sets the properties for the root user, not your current user.

    … Now if I can only get rid of the video-tearing, I can free up my Windows partition for good 🙂

  • Nick J

    See workaround in this bug: , assuming you’re using the closed-source nvidia drivers:
    # open totem via Applications > Sound & Video > Movie Player
    # open the preferences window via Edit > Preferences
    # select the Display tab
    # click the Reset to Defaults button

    … that fixed the blue tint problem for me in mplayer, VLC, and totem.

    • Brinley

      Reset to defaults in Movie Player’s preferences didnt work for me but setting gstreamer-properties worked great. Thanks.

    • Daniel

      Thanks mate, that one worked well for me.

  • Nick J

    Worked like a charm, cheers

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  • Jeremy

    Thank you, it solved my issues with weird colors video playback on all players on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. But I use ATI closed-source drivers, so it seems to be not only NVidia problem.

  • Dead

    Thank you!!!!I was really start to think that I am doomed with the new drivers of nvidia…

  • Lewisimon

    Thanks Nick J what a hero 🙂

  • dwicki


  • ogui

    For me the problem was in the “NVIDIA X-Server Settings” and the tab called “X Server XVideo Settings”. The HUE was at the wrong setting ( all the way down ). Use “Reset hardware defaults” to bring it back to its nominal value. Voilà!

    • km

      this was the only helpful solution i found.

  • ogui

    Thanks Nick J, your solution works

  • plaga

    Thank you for your help. It works.

  • putz3000

    I tried the gstreamer-properties solution which fixed the issue for the Totem player but that left all other video players with the same problem. Tonight I decided to try changing my NVIDIA driver to the one not yet active. I also removed the Totem property setting for testing purposes.

    After rebooting I popped a DVD in and Totem appeared to display the color correctly and so does VLC which previously displayed the color incorrectly. So then I changed the video driver back and….still no problems. I think one of the Ubuntu system updates that I have applied after the fix described in this post must have fixed the problem in general.

    Can anyone else confirm that this problem has gone away (after updates) system wide?

  • yuan

    open: system->Administration->NVIDIA X Server Setting
    Click the tab “X server XVideo Setting”, then you will see “Hue” tab,While open your video player,DIY the Variable until the color is adpated.

  • Player Profiles

    You you could edit the webpage name Fix blue tinted video in Ubuntu | to more better for your subject you make. I loved the the writing however.

  • adarsh

    guys simple change your NVIDIA 731 driver to recommended………

  • jakobiyem

    its wonderful !!
    thank youu

  • Hussein

    Go to NVIDIA X server sittings >> X server display configuration >> and choose reset

    this fixed my problem hope it help anyone goes here

  • Natty

    My fav tip of the day!

  • Brasileiro

    Thx, about two yaers laters, it always work, I could fix that pb with ur help, thanks again.

    • Ryan

      I’m glad that this helped you out!

  • Tyagss

    worked like charm…thanks !!!

  • Chris

    Unfortunately, none of these solution work for me on Ubuntu 10.04 for Xine on a Macbook.

  • Andrew Kwitko

    Thanks so much. Fix number 2 solved this very annoying problem!
    Appreciated 🙂

  • Joker21

    THANK YOU! fix 2 worked perfectly.
    since i wanted the driver because it ran the ubuntu effects more smoothly, I didn’t want to remove it.

  • Manoj

    THX fix 1 works perfectly.
    I am using ubuntu 11.04 and nvedia8400GS.

  • teo

    Fix 1 is not a feasible solution because the “recomended” NVidia driver is completely broken; it may fix the blueshifted colors, but it screws up almost everything else (I wonder why it has been released, it’s still beta crap)
    I’ll try fix 2

  • teo

    Fix 2 works great!! 🙂

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  • teo

    Any news about the real fix? If the bug has been isolated already 3 months ago I can’t believe the fix hasn’t been released yet.

    Note that the “recommended” NVidia drivers (which now can be used on ubuntu 11.10) does NOT fix the issue at all.

  • Gareth Halfacree

    I found that nothing helped with my blue-shifted YouTube problem, until I told the Flash plugin to stop using hardware acceleration. Result? Mahoosive CPU utilisation, but no Smurfs. Right-click on a playing YouTube video, choose ‘Settings,’ untick ‘Use hardware acceleration.’ Bosh.

    • RackemRack

      THIS. Needs to be closer the top, the only thing that fixed my problem – ubuntu 10.04

      • JK

        I second this, from Ubuntu 11.04. This issue appeared only recently (something like 2 weeks ago, perhaps some flash update, dunno), and this was the only thing that fixed it.

        • AKoine

          Same thing here, that was the solution on my OpenSUSE 12.1

    • Carl K.

      Thanks Gareth Halfacree, work fine for me, now youtube see normal, but the video very slow :(.

      Thanks 😀

      • Viv

        Thanks Gareth!! That was the only thing that worked for me as well!

        • Viv

          One other thing – for some reason I couldn’t click on my flash player settings unless the video was in full screen. Don’t ask me why but it’s working now!

    • Lisa

      Yes! Thank you! I tried everything else mentioned above, which did nothing. This worked perfectly – 11.10 here.

    • zvib

      +1 for me under Ubuntu 10.04 for YouTube videos.

  • name

    turning off hardware acceleration in flash was the only thing that fixed the blue tint for me – i wasn’t having the blue tint in anything but flash 11, its a flash bug not an nvidia one.

  • Shamanista

    Simply click on:
    1. Show extended Settings on VLC
    2. Display
    3. Image Adjust
    4. Set the Hue to the middle (it was all the way to the left)
    5. BAM, that was it, it works, forget all the other complex ´solutions´

    • dragonGeorge

      lol… incredible…

  • Hollis

    Robin J,
    I am new at this. Thank you, I thought I was watching AVATAR. The third fix worked!

  • Zakk

    Thanks for the fix

  • imbezol

    “name” – thanks.. turning off flash hardware acceleration fixed it for me too. I remember seeing this bug a couple years ago in all video and tried all the tricks and wasn’t getting anywhere. This is indeed a flash only problem I’m seeing now.

  • bonezzzzzzzzzzz

    Rolling back to flash player also fixes this problem. Download is available from the flash website (

    Simply download the version, extract it, then extract whichever version you want (32 bit, 32 bit debug or 64 bit), then extract the linux archive.

    Purge your current flash installation

    sudo apt-get purge adobe-flashplugin

    Then copy (from the final folder you extracted) to /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin (if it doesn’t exist just create it).

    Then copy everything in the usr folder to the same folders on your hard drive (make sure to merge the folders, not replace them or you will screw up everything).

    Once everything’s copied youtube videos should work like they used to (un-smurfed).

  • Your Mother

    None of these worked for me. But what did work was going to youtube, going full screen, right clicking on the video, selecting “Settings” and then turning off Hardware Acceleration in the first tab.

    • son of a b*tch

      thanks mom!

  • str1der

    What worked for me was to run nvidia-settings -> x-server xvideo settings -> sync to VBlank

  • Mehdi

    Thank you my frieand

  • komi

    This is an issue for me in latest karmic with version 185.18.36-0ubuntu7

    Using gstreamer-properties didn’t work so I tried nvidia
    settings. Unlike Scott from above, my hue setting was 0, but when I
    moved it to something else then back to 0 the video was fixed. In VLC I
    managed to work around the problem by setting the video output to

  • quaki

    I had the same issue but only within vlc player (Youtube videos worked fine for me)

    Turns out some one had tweaked my vlc settings to display negative colors. You can correct the issue by going to Adjustments & Effects >> Colors >> Untick Negate Colors.

    This solved the issue for me. Posting this just in case some one faces the same issue on Ubuntu