Screen capture

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Revision as of 15:03, 23 August 2011 by James Eder (talk | contribs) (Virtual console: add the other framebuffer SS tool)
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An easy way to take a screenshot of your curent system is using the import command:

import -window root screenshot.jpg

import is part of the Template:Package Official package.

In case you only want to grab a single window you can use the xwininfo tool to find the window's ID. Just run the following command and click into the window you want to take a screenshot of.

import -window `xwininfo |grep 'Window id:' |cut -d" " -f4` screenshot.jpg

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 the active/focused window

The following script takes a screenshot of the currently focused window. It'll use the current date as a filename as well, to avoid overwriting previous screenshots.

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


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


xwd is part of the Template:Package Official package.

Take a screenshot of the root window:

xwd -root -out screenshot.xwd

See the xwd man page for more information.


Template:Package Official, available in the [extra] repository, provides for 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

saves a dated Template:Filename file, along with a thumbnail (20% of original) for Web posting. It provides a five second delay before capturing, in this instance.

See the scrot man page for more information.


If you use KDE, you might want to use KSnapshot, which can also be activated using <Prt Scr>.

KSnapshot is provided by the Template:Package Official package in [extra].


GNOME users can press <Prt Scr> or Apps->Accessories->Take Screenshot.

Note: If <Prt Scr> complains about not finding gnome-screenshot or there is no "Take Screenshot" entry in your menu, you will need to install the Template:Package Official 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 <Prt Scr> key to Compiz allows to take the screenshot to the Pictures folder according to date and time. Notice that the Template:Filename file in Openbox does not understand commas; so, in order to bind that command to the <Prt Scr> key in Openbox, you need to add the following to the keyboard section of your Template:Filename file:

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

Virtual console

Install a framebuffer and use Template:Package Official, Template:Package Official, or Template:Package Official to take a screenshot.