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Best Screen Capture Tool for Linux

— Best Screen Capture Tool for Linux— This awesome open source tool is the best screen capture tool for Linux. The clean and simple user interface allows you to easily capture pictures of your desktop by either drawing a rectangle or selecting a window. You may also use the numeric keypad to quickly select a rectangular region of your screen. The screenshots are automatically saved in PNG format. This tool has been designed specifically for Linux users; hence, compatibility with most screen capture software has been greatly improved.

The screen capture utility is used on computers with the Windows and Linux operating systems. The screen capture software used in Linux is usually called screenshot utility. The screenshot tool helps to grab screenshots from the desktop of the computer or laptop.

If you’ve ever needed to use screen capture tools, then you know there are many people who are interested in a Linux screen capture tool. This is because there isn’t a screen capture tool that comes standard with Linux. However, there are some useful programs that will help make it easier to take screenshots of the monitor, desktop, or a portion of the interface.

Screen capture tools are essential for recording the images and videos of computer screen and create tutorials, videos, articles and presentations. Some of the best screen capture software that are available online are listed here.

Best Screenshot Tools for Linux

1. Shutter

If you are looking for an easy-to-use screen capture tool for Linux, Shutter is one of the most popular options that should not be missed. It will allow you to capture the entire screen or just a portion of it.

One thing that most people enjoyed is how you can immediately edit the images that have been captured. You can highlight specific parts of the captured images and leave important notes. This is unlike in the case of other screen capture tools where you will be required to use an external tool for editing images. It also has an integrated feature that will allow you to easily share the captured and edited images, such as in online forums. Even if it is your first time using this screen shot tool, you will not experience any complication as it is built with the needs of users in mind.


2. Imagemagick

Imagemagick is a free open-source software for displaying, converting, and editing images and vector image files with the support of more than 200 image formats. It also comes with the ability to take screenshots on Linux by using a rich set of commands.

With Imagemagick screen capture tool, you can take a screenshot of the entire screen or the currently active window, or take a screenshot of a selected area of the screen.

3. Gimp

Gimp is one of the most comprehensive and free image manipulation software available on Linux. It is also a free open-source image editor with the ability to edit, resize and retouch images and take screenshots of the whole or fixed area of the screen as well.

Taking a screenshot with GIMP is easy, just click Create Screenshot option from the File menu, and then select the area that you want to take a screenshot. After the screenshot, you can also apply some effects or edit the image per need.

gimp screenshot

4. Kazam

Whether it is a screenshot or screencast, Kazam will prove to be handy. The video file of the screen recording can be played in VP8/WebM format. Aside from visuals, this tool will also allow users to record accompanying audio from a compatible source. If you are using Ubuntu, to get this app, you simply have to type “Sudo apt-get install Kazaa”.

Kazam is excellent because it offers versatility. If you do not want to record the entire screen, you will have the option to record only a selected area. It is also a good thing that it is a light file that won’t consume too much memory space. However, it does not come without any problem. Many of those who have used such complained about the lack of webcam viewers. It is also not usable in all configurations.


5. GNOME Screenshot

GNOME Screenshot is a default utility that comes along with Ubuntu in GNOME desktop, used to take screenshots or record the screen activity. It is a powerful screenshot tool to capture the whole screen or a particular area of the screen for Linux. You can use the shortcut keys to take a screenshot and record the screencast, or take a screenshot in the GNOME Screenshot GUI.

In the GUI interface, you can choose to grab the whole desktop screenshot, grab the currently active window or select a particular area to grab. You can also set up the effects such as including the pointer or including the window’s border and apply some effects.

You can check the official user guide about how to take screenshots and screencasts with GNOME here.


6. ScreenStudio

This Java-based screen capture application is known for its excellent performance, as well as user-friendly interface. It can be run on any distribution; you only have to make sure that you have “avconv” installed on your computer.

The team behind the creation of this screencasting tool continuously creates improvements for a better user experience. You will be able to record in either MP4 or FLV format. The quality and size of the recording can also be easily changed.

There is no need to have the extensive technical knowledge to make the most out of this application. Adding a text overlay is also possible, making it excellent when it comes to customization. If you are using this application, make sure to frequently check for updates to be provided with an improved way of using such a tool.


7. Simple Screen Recorder

As the name implies, it can make a screen recording a task that you can easily accomplish. It was created to offer users a simple app for Linux screen recording. It comes with sensible default settings, which means that there is no need to change any option to enjoy basic screen capture functionality.

Through the improvements, however, the simple functionality has been added with more options for customization, making it a more extensive tool. It comes with a QT-based graphical interface, and it is also faster than the performance of FFmpeg/Avon and VLC.

It also allows recording the entire screen or a portion of it. Audio synchronization is also possible with this screencast tool. There is an integrated hotkey, which can be pressed anytime to pause video recording.

Simple Screen Recorder

8. Record My Desktop

This is the screen capturing tool that started it all for Linux, as this is the first of its kind. While it offers several options for screen recording, one of its significant drawbacks is that there is no option for just taking a screenshot.

There is also no included webcam viewer. With this tool, you will have the option to pause and resume video recording. The tool is generally divided into two parts. A first part is a command-line tool, which is basically the one that is responsible for capturing and encoding. The second part is an interface that exposes the functionality of the program.


9. Collabshot

Collabshot is one of the feature-rich Linux screenshot tools of recent times. It is a real-time screen grabber that is built to fit modern requirements. Users can take instant screenshots of their desktops, and a link will be added to the clipboard for sharing it with friends right away. All the images are stored on the web for better accessibility and storage. Moreover, Collabshot also offers support for live, multi-person sketching, and chat communications.

Collabshot screenshot tool
Install Collabshot on Ubuntu

Collabshot is not available in the official Ubuntu repositories yet. It can be installed using the Appimage. Simply download the Collabshot Appimage package from its website. Now, right-click on it and enable execution permission to run the app.

10. ImageMagick

ImageMagick is a free yet powerful editing application for Linux distributions. However, it also allows users to take a full or partial screenshot of their system. So, if you already have ImageMagick installed, you do not need to install other Linux screenshot tools. To take a snapshot, you need to use the import-im6.q16 program of the ImageMagick package. Use the below command to save the entire desktop screen.

$ import -window root desktop.png

To save a particular window, use the following command. It will change the cursor to a crosshair. Now, click on a window and import will grab that screen.

$ import window.png
Install ImageMagick on Ubuntu

ImageMagick should be installed during a normal Ubuntu installation. However, if your system does not have it, use the following command to install this package.

$ sudo apt-get install imagemagick

11. Gyazo

Gyazo is an easy to use Ubuntu screen capture tool that can be used to take screenshots on the fly. It allows users to select an area of the screen, save it, upload the image, and grab the URL. Moreover, Gyazo also supports screencasting features which allow for fullscreen video capturing in HD formats. Thus, it is a suitable choice for people who are looking for flexible Linux screenshot tools with support for both image and video capture.

Install Gyazo on Ubuntu

Run the following commands in your terminal application to install Gyazo on your Ubuntu machine.

$ curl -s | sudo bash
$ sudo apt-get install gyazo

12. ksnip

ksnip is an awesome Qt-based application for taking snapshots and editing them on Linux machines. It is loosely inspired by the Windows Snipping Tool and offers additional features for Linux. It offers a nice, graphical interface and allows capturing the entire desktop, a selected window, a specific area, and more. Moreover, ksnip comes with default support for a command-line mode and can upload captured snapshots to Imgur directly.

ksnip tool
Install ksnip on Ubuntu

ksnip is available as a snap package on the snap tore. Run the following command to install this Linux screen capture tool on your Ubuntu machine.

$ sudo snap install ksnip

You can also download the Debian binary installation package from the release page of ksnip and install it by running the following commands.

$ curl -L --output ksnip.deb <KSNIP-VERSION.deb>     # replace < > with actual URL
# download v1.6.2 by running the following

$ curl -L --output ksnip.deb 
$ sudo dpkg -i ksnip*.deb

13. Lightscreen

Lightscreen is another simple but useful screen capture tool for Linux. It focuses largely on automating the process of saving and tagging screenshots. Lightscreen provides excellent accessibility by means of a flexible system tray and offers features like an integrated image viewer and configurable global hotkeys, among others. The images can also be uploaded to Imgur for easy storage and sharing. It is available for Windows alongside major Linux distributions.

Install Lightscreen on Ubuntu

Lightscreen does not provide pre-built binaries for Linux. So, users need to compile it from the source. You can download and compile the package by running the following commands in the terminal.

$ curl -sL --output lightscreen.tar.gz
$ tar zxvf lightscreen.tar.gz
$ ./configure
$ make
$ su -c "make install"

14. xfce4-screenshooter

xfce4-screenshooter is one of the most lightweight Linux screenshot tools you can use to take snapshots. It is the default screenshot utility for the XFCE environment and thus works very well on older computers. It allows users to take either full screenshots or for a selected window or region. Although minimalist in nature, xfce4-screenshooter offers additional support for Imgur uploads as well as delay timers, image previews, and quick sharing.

xfce4 screenshooter
Install xfce4-screenshooter on Ubuntu

You can install the xfce4-screenshooter package easily on Ubuntu by running the below command in your terminal.

$ sudo apt-get install xfce4-screenshooter

15. Nanoshot

Nanoshot is another simple yet practical screenshot taker that runs well on legacy hardware. You can take screenshots of the current window, a specific window, and the entire desktop. It also supports full-size screenshots as well as taking snapshots from web pages. Moreover, Nanoshot allows the user to take screenshots from video files using the using Gstreamer and Mplayer utilities.

Install Nanoshot on Ubuntu

You can install Nanoshot on Ubuntu by running the following commands.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nanoshot/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install nanoshot

16. HotShots

HotShots is a multi-platform screen capture tool built on top of Qt. It runs on all major Linux distributions as well as Windows. The main offering of HotShots is its built-in snapshot editor that allows users to edit the screenshots right after they are taken. This allows users to annotate the image, draw shapes, and apply effects. Additionally, HotShots can upload the images over FTP and other image hosting services like Imgur and FreeImageHosting.

hotshots Linux screenshot tools
Install HotShots on Ubuntu

You can install the HotShots package by adding its PPA on Ubuntu. Use the following commands to do this.

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dhor/myway
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install hotshots

17. xwd

xwd or X Window Dump is a very flexible terminal package that can be used for taking screenshots on Linux. It is one of the best command-based Linux screenshot tools and works extremely well with cron jobs. Moreover, you can use xwd to capture screenshots on remote machines over ssh. Use the following command to capture the entire screen.

$ xwd -root > screenshot.xwd

It will save the image as screenshot.xwd. To convert this image to PNG, use the convert tool of the ImageMagick suite. The next command creates a PNG image from screenshot.xwd called image.png.

$ convert screenshot.xwd image.png

To take a snapshot of a specific window, use the first command without the -root option and select the window using the resultant crosshair.

Install xwd on Ubuntu

xwd will be available on all systems that have the X window system installed. So, you do not need to install it manually.

18. Screener

Screener is a Linux terminal app that allows users to take snapshots easily. It can be used for taking fullscreen snapshots as well as for a selected area of the screen. Screener also offers a timer feature and cloud vision, the ability to select text from the screenshot. Moreover, Screener also provides the capability of uploading images to Imgur. A GUI version of this app also exists, which is called ScreenerQt.

Install on Ubuntu

Screener is available as a snap package, which can be installed by running the below command.

$ sudo snap install screener

19. Mate Screenshot

Mate Screenshot is one of the simplest Linux screenshot tools you can install on your Ubuntu machine. It allows users to take screenshots from either the GUI interface or from the command-line. The application allows us to take snapshots of a particular region of the screen, a specific window or the whole desktop screen. It is also possible to beautify the border using effects and set time intervals.

mate screenshot
Install Mate Screenshot on Ubuntu

You need to install the mate-utils package to use this Ubuntu screenshot tool. You can do this by running the following simple command.

$ sudo apt-get install mate-utils

20. Lookit

Lookit is a simple and free snapshot taking application that can be installed on most Linux distributions. It allows users to take quick screenshots and upload them using FTP or SSH. Images can also be shared on Imgur. Users can take fullscreen screenshots as well as pictures of a selected region or desktop window.

Install on Ubuntu

You can install Lookit on Ubuntu by running the following commands in your terminal.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lookit/daily
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install lookit

Bonus Tool


ScreenCloud is a free, simple cross-platform tool for taking and sharing screenshots. It allows you to save or upload the screenshots. It also supports the addition of an FTP server.

ScreenCloud tool

To install screen cloud on Linux

$ sudo snap install screencloud


With the ever growing presence of Linux in the geek community, it’s easy to assume that you can do without some of your usual desktop tools. However, if you’ve tried to take a screenshot or anything similar on your Linux machine you know that capturing your screen contains some additional quirks that are not present on Windows and Mac.

Easily capture your screen utilising the best open source application for Linux, called Shutter. Features include Easy to use, Command line options available, Upload images to Flickr, FTP uploads are supported, Unlimited number of screenshots, Zoom in and out of highlights automatically

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