Screen capture

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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 imagemagick package.

In case you only want to grab a single window you can use the xwininfo tool to find out it'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 xorg-apps package.

Take a screenshot of the root window:

xwd -root -out screenshot.xwd


Scrot, 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 directory bash was at when the command was launched.

scrot -t 20 -d 5

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


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


You 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 gnome-utils package.

Other Desktop Environment or Window Manager

For other desktop environment such as LXDE or window manager 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.

Virtual console

Install a framebuffer and use Template:Package Official to take a screen shot. Another option is to use Template:Package Official, but that tends to corrupt the image by inverting colors.