Differences between revisions 22 and 23
Revision 22 as of 2010-08-29 09:04:43
Size: 4791
Comment: added screenshot of a single window from command line + fixed paste with middle button +link it
Revision 23 as of 2012-07-22 17:48:03
Size: 4844
Comment: Document imagemagick import
Deletions are marked like this. Additions are marked like this.
Line 45: Line 45:
Similar results can be obtained combining the {{{xwininfo}}} utility in DebianPkg:x11-utils with DebianPkg:imagemagick 's {{{import}}}. Similar results can be obtained combining the {{{xwininfo}}} utility in DebianPkg:x11-utils with DebianPkg:imagemagick 's {{{import}}}:
 sleep 5; import -window root screen

Translation(s): English - Español - Italiano

(!) ?Discussion

How to make a screenshot under Debian ?

Using Gnome

Gnome has built-in capability to make a screenshot (package gnome-utils). Simply press:

  • "Print Screen" key to take a screenshot of the whole screen.
  • Alt+"Print Screen" key to take a screenshot of the current active window.


More options are available in "Gnome Application Menu/Acessories/Take Screenshot" (like delayed screen shot).

Using KDE

KDE has the capability to make a screenshot (using package ksnapshot). Simply press:

  • "Print Screen" key to take a screenshot of the whole screen.


    {i} Read ksnapshot handbook for more information.

Using command line

Just open a graphical terminal and type:

  •  sleep 5; xwd -root | convert - capture.png
     sleep 5; xwd -root | xwdtopnm | pnmtopng > capture.png

The command xwd is a standard xorg tool, which creates a pnm file. You can then use imagemagick 's convert, or netpbm 's xwdtopnm tool

Similarly the screenshot of a single window can be obtained by not specifying a target window to xwd:

  •  xwd | convert - capture.png
     xwd | xwdtopnm | pnmtopng > capture.png

the mouse pointer then becomes a crosshair and the user must click on the desired window.

Similar results can be obtained combining the xwininfo utility in x11-utils with imagemagick 's import:

  •  sleep 5; import -window root screen.ps

A powerful alternative tool is scrot, which can directly save files as png (and other formats), and generate a filename. See scrot(1).

Console / Xterm

Rather that making a graphical snapshot of the console/command line or X-window terminal, it's usually better to copy the actual text content (select the region with a mouse).


To you use the mouse on the Console screen, you need to install gpm (run apt-get install gpm).

  • Select the region to copy by pressing the mouse's left-button, then drag.
  • Open your favorite text editor, then paste the selected text using the middle button.

Advanced tip: if you don't want to use a text editor, you can run cat > /tmp/outfile.txt, then paste the content using middle-button, then press Ctrl-D (once).


If your system is using framebuffer (vga=XXX kernel argument, etc.), you can use fbgrab to capture and convert the framebuffer content.

  • fbgrab fb.png screen.png

Hint: If fbgrab isn't installed when you want to capture the screen, you can use cp /dev/fb0 screen.raw, then use fbgrab -f screen.raw -w 1024 -h 768 -b 16 screen.png .

Other Tools

Debian provides some other (advanced) tools to make screenshot, including gimp .

Debian Installer GUI screenshots

DebianInstaller's GUI has a take "Screenshot" button.

  • DebianInstaller/GUI/installgui-parititiondisk-small.gif

To fetch the captured screen :

  • Click "Go Back" until you get to the main menu of the installer (this can be postponed until a later point in the installation).
  • Select the "Save debug logs" option.
  • Select one of the three option : "floppy", "web server" or "mounted filesystem". (The web server way is very convenient if you have another computer around).

  • Then follow the instructions in the next dialog.
  • When you get back to the menu, resume the installation at the next step (which should be the one that is selected when the menu is displayed).

If you complete the installation, the screenshots can also be found in the directory /var/log/installer/ (after the reboot into the installed system).

License of screenshots

Screenshots are considered as derivative works (according to SPI legal counsel), see http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2008/08/msg00016.html.

See Also

  • screenshots.debian.net, is a public repository of screenshots taken from applications contained in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution