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Revision as of 09:29, 4 January 2013

zh-CN:Taking a Screenshot This article explain different methods to take screenshots on your system.

General methods


An easy way to take a screenshot of your current system is using the import command:

$ import -window root screenshot.jpg

import is part of the imagemagick package.

Running import without the -window option allows selecting a window or an arbitrary region interactively.

Screenshot of multiple X screens

If you run twinview or dualhead, simply take the screenshot twice and use imagemagick to paste them together:

import -window root -display :0.0 -screen /tmp/0.png
import -window root -display :0.1 -screen /tmp/1.png
convert +append /tmp/0.png /tmp/1.png screenshot.png
rm /tmp/{0,1}.png

Screenshot of individual Xinerama heads

Xinerama-based multi-head setups have only one virtual screen. If the physical screens are different in height, you will find dead space in the screenshot. In this case, you may want to take screenshot of each physical screen individually. As long as Xinerama information is available from the X server, the following will work:

xdpyinfo -ext XINERAMA | sed '/^  head #/!d;s///' |
while IFS=' :x@,' read i w h x y; do
    import -window root -crop ${w}x$h+$x+$y head_$i.png

Screenshot of the active/focused window

The following script takes a screenshot of the currently focused window. It works with EWMH/NetWM compatible X Window Managers. To avoid overwriting previous screenshots, the current date is used as the filename.

activeWinLine=$(xprop -root | grep "_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW(WINDOW)")
import -window "$activeWinId" /tmp/$(date +%F_%H%M%S_%N).png

Alternatively, the following should work regardless of EWMH support:

$ import -window "$(xdotool getwindowfocus -f)" /tmp/$(date +%F_%H%M%S_%N).png


You also can take screenshots with GIMP (File -> Create -> Screenshot...).


xwd is part of the xorg-xwd package.

Take a screenshot of the root window:

$ xwd -root -out screenshot.xwd

See the man xwd for more information.


Note: According This Thread, scrot does not work with dwm nor xbindkeys.

scrot, which is available in the official repositories, enables taking screenshots from the CLI and offers features such as a user-definable time delay. Unless instructed otherwise, it saves the file in the current working directory.

$ scrot -t 20 -d 5

The above command saves a dated .png file, along with a thumbnail (20% of original), for Web posting. It provides a 5 second delay before capturing in this instance.

You can also use standard date and time formatting when saving to a file. e.g.,

$ scrot ~/screenshots/%Y-%m-%d-%T-screenshot.png

saves the screenshot in a filename with the current year, month, date, hours, minutes, and seconds to a folder in your home directory called "screenshots"

See man scrot for more information. You can simply automate the file to uploaded like so https://github.com/kaihendry/Kai-s--HOME/tree/master/bin


imlib2 provides a binary imlib2_grab to take screenshots. To take a screenshot of the full screen, type:

$ imlib2_grab screenshot.png

Note that scrot actually uses imlib2.

Desktop environment specific


If you use KDE, you might want to use KSnapshot, which can also be activated using Template:Keypress.

KSnapshot is provided by the kdegraphics-ksnapshot package in [extra].


If you use Xfce you can install xfce4-screenshooter and then add a keyboard binding:

Xfce Menu --> Settings --> Keyboard >>> Application Shortcuts.

If you want to skip the Screenshot prompt, type $ xfce4-screenshooter -h in terminal for the options.


GNOME users can press Template:Keypress or Apps->Accessories->Take Screenshot.

Note: If Template:Keypress complains about not finding gnome-screenshot or there is no "Take Screenshot" entry in your menu, you will need to install the gnome-utils package from [extra].

Other Desktop Environments or Window Managers

For other desktop environments such as LXDE or window managers such as Openbox and Compiz, one can add the above commands to the hotkey to take the screenshot. For example,

$ import -window root ~/Pictures/`date '+%Y%m%d-%H%M%S'`.png

Adding the above command to the Template:Keypress key to Compiz allows to take the screenshot to the Pictures folder according to date and time. Notice that the rc.xml file in Openbox does not understand commas; so, in order to bind that command to the Template:Keypress key in Openbox, you need to add the following to the keyboard section of your rc.xml file:

<!-- Screenshot -->
    <keybind key="Print">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>sh -c "import -window root ~/Pictures/`date '+%Y%m%d-%H%M%S'`.png"</command>


Output with ansi codes

You can use the script command, part of the util-linux package.

Just enter
$ script
and from that moment, all the output is going to be saved to the typescript file, including the ansi codes.

Once you are done, just type exit and the typescript would ready.

The resulting file can be converted to html using the package ansi2htmlAUR, from the AUR.

To convert the typescript file to typescript.html, do the following:

$ ansi2html --bg=dark <typescript >typescript.html

Actually, some commands can be piped directly to ansi2html:

$ ls --color|ansi2html --bg=dark >output.html

That does not work on every single case, so in those cases, using script is mandatory.

Virtual console

Install a framebuffer and use fbgrab, fbshot, or fbdump to take a screenshot.

If you merely want to capture the text in the console and not an actual image, you can use setterm, which is part of the util-linux package. The following command will dump the textual contents of virtual console 1 to a file screen.dump in the current directory:

# setterm -dump 1 -file screen.dump

Root permission is needed because the contents of /dev/vcs1 need to be read.