Convert, adjust colors and add effects to Black-and-white images with ‘BlackSilk’

‘BlackSilk’ is a new (still at Alpha stage) Black-and-white image manipulator that lets you convert colored images into Black-and-white and adjust various other settings for fine tuning images with ease. It’s a cross platform utility (MS Windows XP, 2000, Vista, 7, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux) and is completely free to use.

At first it might not look like much, but thanks to excellent implementation of the carefully chosen buttons (or the layout in general), enabling/disabling effects and adjusting other settings is extremely easy!. I don’t like to repeat myself, but if you’re into the whole black and white imaging, then I think you’ll love the user-friendlessness of this little tool.

BlackSilk’s main window has 6 buttons to the left side: The ‘Mixer‘ (for tuning the RGB values. You can use built in presets or can use the mouse or the keyboard for mixing the color values), the ‘Curves‘ (for adjusting the light settings of your image), the ‘Sharpen‘ (Not yet implemented), the ‘Vignette‘ button for the ‘vignetting’, ‘Film Grain‘ for adding noise and lastly (my favorite) we have the ‘Split Tone‘ button.


Some effects have built-in presets and some don’t. You can Zoom in/out images (fit to the current window or show the actual size), Undo your changes and enable/disable an effect by clicking on its button as well. Windows and Mac users can also use it as a Adobe Photoshop plug-in too.

Installing in Ubuntu (I’m using 12.04 Precise Pangolin) …

The GNU/Linux version only has a 64-bit package at the moment. So unless you’re using a 64-bit version of Ubuntu, you cannot run it (but I’m sure it’ll get a 32-bit version when it’s officially released).

Step 1: First go to this ‘BlackSilk’ download page and get the package under the Linux 64-bit sub heading.

Step 2: Once the download completes, extract the content into your ‘Home’ folder.

Step 3: Now, open your Terminal and enter the below commands.

cd BlackSilk_Alpha_0.2.0_linux64


The name ‘BlackSilk_Alpha_0.2.0_linux64 …’ will change as it depends on the version (if you have downloaded a newer version for example).

Nevertheless, if the above command doesn’t work for you and don’t know how to find it, then once you’ve extracted it and opened the Terminal, enter the below command.

Again, the name may change according to the package version that you’ve downloaded …


Then simply look for the folder named ‘BlackSilk …’ and use your mouse and copy its full name (as illustrated below). Then after typing ‘cd’ (make sure to put a ‘space’ after typing ‘cd’) right click on the Terminal window and from the menu choose ‘Paste’ and press Enter.

Step 4: Now enter the below command.

sudo python

That’s it.

Now close your Terminal window and whenever you want to run ‘BlackSilk’, open the extracted folder using Nautilus (file manager) and double click on the file called ‘’. Then when asked, simply choose ‘Run’ (as shown below).


That’s it, now ‘BlackSilk’ should be running on your Ubuntu PC. Enjoy!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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