How to Take a Screenshot on Linux Ubuntu: A Comprehensive Guide


Linux Ubuntu offers a robust and user-friendly environment, but taking a screenshot might not be as straightforward as on other operating systems. In this guide, we will explore various methods to capture screenshots on Linux Ubuntu, catering to both beginners and advanced users.

Understanding the Basics

Before delving into the methods, let’s understand the fundamental concepts. A screenshot is a digital image of what’s currently displayed on your screen. In Linux Ubuntu, you can capture the entire screen or specific portions, depending on your needs.

Method 1: Using the Print Screen Key

One of the simplest ways to take a screenshot on Linux Ubuntu is by using the Print Screen key on your keyboard. When pressed, this key captures the entire screen. To capture only a specific area, you can combine it with other keys, such as Alt or Shift.

For a full-screen screenshot, press the “Prt Sc” key. To capture a specific area, use “Alt + Prt Sc” or “Shift + Prt Sc” for different functionalities.

Method 2: Utilizing the Screenshot Tool

Linux Ubuntu comes equipped with a handy screenshot tool that provides additional features. To access it, go to the Applications menu and search for “Screenshot” or “Screenshot Tool.” This tool allows you to capture the entire screen, a specific area, or a window. Additionally, you can set a time delay to prepare your screen.

To capture a specific area using the Screenshot Tool, click on the “Select area to grab” option, then drag to select the desired region.

Method 3: Command Line – The Powerful Approach

For users comfortable with the command line, the gnome-screenshot command offers a powerful and flexible way to take screenshots. Open the Terminal and use the following commands:

# Capture the entire screen

# Capture a specific area
gnome-screenshot -a

# Add a time delay (e.g., 5 seconds)
gnome-screenshot -d 5

Method 4: Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts

Linux Ubuntu allows users to customize keyboard shortcuts, providing a convenient way to set up your preferred method for taking screenshots. To do this, go to “Settings” > “Devices” > “Keyboard Shortcuts.” Look for the “Screenshots” category and assign your desired shortcuts.

Method 5: Using Snipping Tool Alternatives

If you’re accustomed to the Snipping Tool on other operating systems, Linux Ubuntu has equivalent alternatives. Applications like Shutter or Flameshot provide advanced screenshot features, including annotation and image editing. Install them using the package manager:

# Install Shutter
sudo apt-get install shutter

# Install Flameshot
sudo apt-get install flameshot

Method 6: Automatic Screenshots with Cron Jobs

For advanced users seeking automation, setting up a cron job can regularly capture screenshots at specified intervals. This is particularly useful for monitoring system changes or creating time-lapse documentation.

# Open crontab for editing
crontab -e

# Add the following line to capture a screenshot every hour
0 * * * * gnome-screenshot

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite the user-friendly environment, you might encounter issues when taking screenshots. Ensure that your keyboard shortcuts are correctly configured, and if using the command line, verify the installation of the gnome-screenshot package.


Taking a screenshot on Linux Ubuntu offers multiple methods catering to diverse user preferences. Whether you prefer the simplicity of the Print Screen key, the versatility of the Screenshot Tool, or the command line’s power, Linux Ubuntu provides options for everyone. Experiment with these methods and find the one that best suits your workflow. Capture and share your screen effortlessly in the open-source world of Linux Ubuntu.

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