LCDnurse: Stuck Pixel Fixing Tool for Ubuntu Linux

Having a Dead or a Stuck pixel (they’re different from each other) on your LCD/LED panel is a nightmare. And I don’t know why, but I never had that much luck with LCD/LED screens and have had the pleasure of being struck by Dead and Stuck pixels on more than one occasion. My old Laptop ended with huge number of stuck pixels and the new Dell Vostro V131 also has a single stuck pixel in it!.

What is a stuck pixel?

In simple terms. A “stuck pixel” is a bright pixel (can have a color of Red, Green or Blue), that’s always turned “on” and doesn’t know how to turn “off”. So it’s a pixel that’s partially working. And because of this, most of the time, these pixels can be fixed.

What is a dead pixel?

A “dead pixel” on the other hand, is a pixel that’s not receiving any power (colored in Black). Because of this, according to the experts, unfortunately you cannot fix them (sometimes they get activated automatically, if you’re lucky).

Anyhow, concerning that stuck pixel of mine, to make it worse, I realized that almost all PC manufactures “assume” that having a certain number of dead or stuck pixels in LCD/LED is a natural phenomenon (due to various technical details) thus, most of the time, unless you have like 5 or more of those naughty pixels, they won’t even consider replacing it!.

So please remember that and make sure to thoroughly test before buying a LCD/LED panel or a Laptop etc to avoid such complications (I shouldn’t have bought it on eBay! ;-)).

I’ve tried a lot of methods (massaging, tapping, or software tools that change colors rapidly etc), including a fair number of tools in MS Windows. But none has worked so far for me.


But the thing is, if you use GNU/Linux (Ubuntu in this instance), other than the online tools, there aren’t that many you can try. But I just found a utility called “LCDNurse”, a small but a handy stuck pixel “fixer” that runs in GNU/Linux and Mac OS X. So if you’re in need of such a tool, then this will come in handy.

Man features …

*. It has a simple GUI. But also has a reasonable amount of command-line parameters that you can use with it as well (more at the end).

Just like any other similar tool, once setup, it changes the colors around the stuck pixel, rapidly, which is a standard technique used to bring back stuck pixels to life.

*. You can adjust change the blinking speed & the colors.

*. Change the background color.

*. Rather than running it in the whole screen, you can use the mouse and draw a rectangle around the stuck pixels so it’ll only change the colors within than region.

*. Saves your preferences automatically (colors, flickering interval etc).

That’s it!.

However, please remember that, unlike many other tools, “LCDnurse” occupies your whole screen when running.

For instance, let’s say that your stuck pixels are located at the bottom of your LCD/LED screen, then wouldn’t it be nice if we could use the computer while “LCDnurse” runs within that small area? (so you can run it for few hours, even while using the PC)

Now of course, once selected, it blinks colors only within that selected area, but it kinda locks the whole screen (you can press “Esc” key to exit) and you cannot open any other applications while it’s running which is the issue. So perhaps that’s something the developer can add in the future releases ;-).

Anyhow …

If interested, you can install “LCDnurse” in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by using its official PPA.

For that, as usual, open your Terminal and enter the below commands.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:colingille/freshlight

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install lcdnurse

How to use it?

1. To launch it, you can locate it in the desktop menu or if you use the Unity desktop, then search for “lcdnurse” and it should locate it for you.

2. Once opened, locate your stuck pixel or pixels (it’ll automatically make the background to Black making it easier to locate them) by simply clicking on that area. This should open up a new window as shown below.

From that window, choose the preferred color that you want to use for blinking.


3. After that, you can use your mouse and draw a rectangle covering the area where those stuck pixels are located.


4. Once that’s done, if you want to adjust its flicking speed, then adjust it under the “Period” section. After making those changes, click on the “Repair” button and it’ll start blinking around that area. That’s it!.

You can press the “Esc” key to bring back the “LCDnurse” window for changing settings or for quitting the app anytime you want.

It also has a number of other tweaks that you can apply before launching the GUI. For that, please refer to its manual (I think it’s worth reading, as it does contain a lot of tweaks) by using the below command in your Terminal window.

man lcdnurse

How long should I use it?

I don’t think there’s any way of knowing the exact time frame required. Some say 5-15 minutes is enough under most conditions. But I’ve even heard some claiming that they had to use these type of tools for about 12-16 hours (continuously) to fix them!.

But my suggestion is that, first run it for about 10 minutes. If that doesn’t work, then run it for about another 15 minutes. If it fails too, if you can, try running it about 8-10 hours continuously. And even if that doesn’t work, well then, perhaps it’s beyond repairing.

I’ve tested it for about 15 minutes on my LED panel, and bugger is still there! ;-). But I will run it for few hours (when I have the time) and if it fixes it, I’ll let you know.

However, again, please remember that, no tool can guarantee you of complete success, still, it’s worth trying, because you never know ;-). Good luck.

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.

6 thoughts on “LCDnurse: Stuck Pixel Fixing Tool for Ubuntu Linux”

  1. I just discovered LCDnurse after rebuilding a damaged ASUS laptop into an Ubuntu 12.04 Linux machine. After installing a new screen, I noticed a very bright green spot just to the top right of center. Upon discovering that the seller didn’t consider a single pixel defect as reason for a return/exchange, I thought I was out of luck. I read about the “pressure” method, but of course did not want to apply too much pressure to the area and wind up causing further damage. I had just about decided to accept it, although it was annoying to watch video, when I ran accross some tools to exercise the stuck pixel. I first tried an on-line app with negative results and the next possibility only ran under windows. After searching and finding LCDnurse, I installed it and set up a small green area to work with. At first you could run it and still see the stuck pixel was brighter than the rest. I ran it for about 20 minutes with no success, but then tried lightly pressing and releasing contact with the area using the back of my fingernail. I didn’t move in circles, but just pressed enough to see the area lighten, then released. Within a few seconds I saw the bright green pixel reach the same brightness level as the others. Upon clearing the screen to black, the pixel was no longer stuck. I couldn’t believe it! Inconceivable! Apparently, the combination of pressure cycling and exercising with LCDnurse works. This was the first time I tried to unstick a pixel, so I don’t know how long it will last, but I did power the machine off and back on and, so far so good.

  2. Hi ,
    I have brought a dell vostro from flipKart and it has a stuck pixel, and they are not replacing it.I should have brought it from dell exclusive shop only.My bad that i went for online. I have run some continues color changing videoes for almost an hour but still that pixel is there.I am a student an have invested almost all of my savings on it.What should i do now 🙁 ?

    • I’m afraid Vijay that you’ll have to live through it :/ . But I can tell you from my experience that as time passes by, you’ll hardly notice it anymore. So be patient and you’ll just get over it.


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