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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.

    gnome.png

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.

    kde.png

    {i} Read ksnapshot handbook for more information.

Using Xfce

The xfce4-screenshooter is an utility for the Xfce Desktop Environment that can be used to take snapshots of your desktop screen. A panel plugin is provided too.

The xfce4-screenshooter application allows you to capture the entire screen, the active window or a selected region. You can set the delay that elapses before the screenshot is taken and the action that will be done with the screenshot: save it to a PNG file, copy it to the clipboard, open it using another application, or host it on ZimageZ, a free online image hosting service.

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshots/x/xfce4-screenshooter/10420_large.png

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshots/x/xfce4-screenshooter/10421_large.png

You can also use the commandline to take screenshot more quickly with xfce4-screenshooter.

More information about xfce4-screenshooter usage: http://docs.xfce.org/apps/screenshooter/usage

Using command line

Just open a graphical terminal and type:

  •  sleep 5; xwd -root | convert - capture.png
    or 
     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
    or 
     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; first run xwininfo and it will prompt the user to click on the desired window. xwininfo output will start with a line similar to:

  • xwininfo: Window id: 0x1600077 "Modifica "ScreenShots" - Debian Wiki - Iceweasel

which contains the ID for that Window (0x1600077 in this example).

To capture a screenshot of that window, use the "import" command passing the window ID in its "-window" option:

  • import -window 0x1600077 screenshot.jpg

The above command will create a .jpg file, but other file formats are available.

To capture a screenshot of the whole desktop (with a 5 seconds delay) use this command:

  •  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).

Console

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).

Framebuffer

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