Color Range Mapping on GIMP 2.6: Getting it back.

This post was written by eli on June 5, 2010
Posted Under: gimp,Software

One of the nice things about upgrading software, is not only that there are a lot of new, confusing and useless features, but also that things that used to work in the past don’t anymore. At best, features which one used a lot have completely disappeared. Upgrading to Fedora 12, with its GIMP 2.6, was no exception.

It looks like the GIMP developers found the Color Range Mapping plugin useless, as is apparent from their correspondence.  As Sven Neumann says over there, “Let’s remove those plug-ins then if the code sucks that much. Are they in anyway useful at all?”

Let me answer you, Sven. Yes, it’s very very useful. I don’t know if Photoshop has a similar feature, but color range mapping is extremely useful in photomontage. That’s when you need one exact color at one place, and another exact color at another.

When the absence of the relevant plugin was reported in a bug report, it was said that “Looking at it again, the plug-in really was so badly broken, I would prefer if we would not have to add it back.” Broken or not, I love this plugin.

To fix my own problem, I followed this post and fetched myself an x86-64 rpm of an old version of GIMP. Matching architecture is important, because the plugins are precompiled binaries.

I downloaded just the first RPM I could find of GIMP, which was of version 2.4 and compiled for x86_64, and then extracted the files in an empty directory with

rpm2cpio gimp-2.4.6-1.fc7.x86_64.rpm | cpio -idvm

And then, as root:

cp usr/lib64/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/mapcolor /usr/lib64/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/

and that’s all! Restarting GIMP I found my beloved plugin there. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Update 14.7.21: In Gimp 2.10, there’s a separate directory for each plug-in, but all in all, it’s the same:

# cd /usr/lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/
# mkdir mapcolor
# cp /path/to/old/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/mapcolor mapcolor/

Reader Comments

I too found this plugin very helpful in the past. I would use it to make color variations for logos and such. I’m not very skilled with graphics…if there is a better way to do this, please let me know. Otherwise, do you know where I could get the binaries for Gimp for Windows?

Written By Scott on July 20th, 2010 @ 15:46

You can get version 2.4 of GIMP for Windows here:

I would try copying mapcolor.exe from the old version to the new one. The file can be found at {install-path}\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins

Written By eli on July 20th, 2010 @ 15:53

Anyone know how to do this on Ubuntu?

I miss that plugin so very much!

Written By frank on August 20th, 2010 @ 11:20

This procedure should work on any distro, including Ubuntu.

Written By eli on August 20th, 2010 @ 12:02

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