Fixing washed out colors in Ubuntu 16.10

How I improved the colors and brightness/contrast and the appearance of fonts on my Ubuntu 16.10 PC monitor

After moving to Ubuntu from Windows, one thing that has been constantly annoying me was the washed out/stark colors on my monitor and ugly-looking fonts in Firefox. I have spent hours fiddling with my monitor’s settings, color profiles on the Color tool, and various random font-related hacks using the terminal to no benefit.

Today I finally found the solution. It was to connect my monitor to my PC using a DVI cable instead of HDMI. Apparently there is an issue with communication between the Linux Kernel and most (if not all) monitors when they use HDMI and DisplayPort, at least this is what I understood from this discussion on Kernel.org.

One other possible solution is using this command (replace HDMI1 with the name of your display as given by the command /usr/bin/xrandr -q --prop | grep ' connected'):

xrandr --output HDMI1 --set "Broadcast RGB" "Full"

When trying the above, I kept getting this error:

BadName (named color or font does not exist)

Not wanting to spend the rest of my day troubleshooting this error, I took the brute-force approach of using a DVI cable that I fortunately had lying around in a closet.

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