10 Best Modern Screenshot Apps for Linux

8 min


We review some of the best Linux screenshot apps with their strengths, helping you make an informed choice based on your desktop environment, preferences, and desired features.

Whether you are documenting any process, troubleshooting an issue, reporting something or simply showing your desktop – capturing and sharing screenshots is an integral part. By default, every operating system maps screenshots to the print-screen key on your keyboard. However, if you need some special features, such as a delay before taking a screenshot, etc – you need to look for some additional screenshot apps in Linux.

While deciding on a screenshot app for your workflow, here are a few things you should note. These are pretty basic & I think, important features of any screenshot app.

  • Window screenshot
  • Area screenshot
  • Entire screen
  • Screenshot of the pointer or cursor
  • Timer
  • Autosave of the image file
  • Option to copy the image to the clipboard
  • Basic annotation
  • Wayland support

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best screenshot tools available (for all desktop environments) for Linux, each with its own unique features and strengths.

Best screenshot apps for Linux

GNOME Screenshot (legacy)

GNOME Screenshot was once the default screenshot tool for the GNOME desktop environment. Though replaced by a built-in utility in GNOME Shell version 42, it remains a popular choice for its simplicity and flexibility. One of the best features of this legacy utility is the simple user interface, timers, keyboard controls and more.

GNOME Screenshot app
GNOME Screenshot app

Here’s what you get & don’t get using this screenshot app:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileNo
Option to copy the image to the clipboardYes
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install gnome-screenshot
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install gnome-screenshot
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S gnome-screenshot
FlatpakNot available

Official Resources:

Please note: GNOME Screenshot is no longer actively developed. However, it remains a functional and lightweight tool for basic screenshot needs.

GNOME Shell Screenshot

While GNOME Screenshot was once the default, in GNOME Shell version 42 and later, the screenshot functionality got integrated directly into the shell itself. While not a separate app, it still offers several features for capturing your screen. If you are using modern GNOME in Ubuntu, Debian or Fedora, while pressing the print-screen key activates this built-in app. There is no such separate GUI available.

GNOME Shell screenshot app
GNOME Shell screenshot app

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerNo
Autosave of the image fileYes
Option to copy the image to the clipboardYes (auto)
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportYes

You can’t install it separately. It comes by default with the GNOME desktop environment.

Flameshot

Flameshot is a feature-rich, open-source screenshot application that goes beyond basic captures. It’s loved by Linux users for its intuitive interface, powerful annotation tools, and seamless sharing options.

It is one of the best which comes with annotation features before taking the screenshot and very handy.

Flameshot
Flameshot
Flameshot configuration options
Flameshot configuration options

Features:

  • Capture modes: Screenshot entire screen, specific window, custom area, scrolling windows, or web pages
  • Annotation tools: An arsenal of tools like arrows, lines, text, rectangles, blur, pixelate, and even custom brushes
  • Editor: Crop, resize, rotate, adjust brightness and contrast, add shadows, and more

Here are the comparisons of this screenshot app with others in this list:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileYes
Option to copy the image to the clipboardYes
Basic annotationYes
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install flameshot
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install flameshot
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S flameshot
Flatpakflatpak install flathub org.flameshot.Flameshot

Official Website: https://flameshot.org/

Shutter

Shutter is a popular screenshot tool for Linux known for its balance of powerful features and user-friendliness. It offers a comprehensive set of capture options, built-in editing tools, and seamless sharing capabilities, making it a favourite for many users.

It is one of the oldest screenshot apps for Linux, which comes with amazing annotation tools and many features. However, it might be a little buggy in Wayland at the moment, but it can perfectly do the job.

Shutter in Fedora
Shutter in Fedora
Shutter annotation features
Shutter annotation features

Here are the feature highlights of Shutter:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileYes
Option to copy the image to the clipboardNo (manual)
Basic annotationYes (advanced)
Wayland supportYes (few features may not work)

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install shutter
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf copr enable geraldosimiao/shutter
sudo dnf install shutter
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S shutter
FlatpakNot available

Official Website: https://shutter-project.org/

Screenshooter

Screenshooter (Xfce4-screenshooter) is a lightweight and efficient screenshot tool designed for the Xfce desktop environment only. While seemingly simple, it does have all the basic features you need in a screenshot app. If you are using Xubuntu or any distribution with Xfce desktop, this comes as default and is mapped to the print-screen key.

xfce4-screenshooter
xfce4-screenshooter

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileNo (manual)
Option to copy the image to the clipboardNo
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportNo

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install xfce4-screenshooter
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install xfce4-screenshooter
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S xfce4-screenshooter
FlatpakNot available

Official Website: https://docs.xfce.org/apps/screenshooter/start

KSnip

KSnip offers a feature-rich environment for capturing and editing screenshots. It supports various capture modes, including full screen, selected regions, and specific windows. KSnip’s user-friendly interface, coupled with advanced annotation tools, makes it a perfect choice for KDE desktop fans. Although it integrates well with the Qt-based desktops, you can still use it on non-Qt platforms as well.

As one of the readers reported, it was not actually developed by the KDE team, despite it being based on Qt and having the “k”.

ksnip 1.9.0 runing in GNOME
ksnip 1.9.0 runing in GNOME

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileYes
Option to copy the image to the clipboardYes
Basic annotationYes
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install ksnip
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install ksnip
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S ksnip
Flatpakflatpak install flathub org.ksnip.ksnip

Official website: https://github.com/ksnip/ksnip

Spectacle

The KDE team brings a stunning screenshot app, Spectacle. It is the default screenshot tool for the KDE Plasma desktop. It comes with a sleek UI but packed with features. It supports multi-monitor screenshots, annotations and more.

In my opinion, Spectacle is better than KSnip if you compare them. But for some unknown reason, it doesn’t have a Flatpak but provides a Snap!

Spectacle Screenshot tool
Spectacle Screenshot tool

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileNo (manual)
Option to copy the image to the clipboardYes
Basic annotationYes
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedUse Discover to find it for Kubuntu. Not available for others as apt.
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install spectacle
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S spectacle
FlatpakNot available!

Official website: https://apps.kde.org/spectacle/

ImageMagick

For users comfortable with the command line, ImageMagick provides a powerful and flexible solution for capturing screenshots. Its extensive capabilities go beyond simple screenshot capture, allowing users to manipulate images, apply filters, and perform various image processing tasks.

But, it works only in X11. Not in Wayland.

For example, if you want a simple screenshot of the current desktop with a filename with timestamp, use the following command.

import -window root -pause 3 Capture-$(date --iso-8601=seconds).png

To learn, visit “import –help” from the command line for more options.

Commandline screenshot using imagemagick
Commandline screenshot using imagemagick

Installation of Imagemagick:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install imagemagick
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install imagemagick
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S imagemagick

Official website: https://imagemagick.org/index.php

GIMP

Many users don’t know that GIMP, the powerful image editor, also offers a screenshot-capture feature. It allows users to capture screenshots, edit them, and save them in various formats. GIMP’s extensive editing capabilities make it suitable for users who need more than just basic screenshot capture.

To take a screenshot using GIMP, from the file menu, select File > Create > Screenshot. You can then add options such as timer delay, area, and so on in the next window. It’s a pretty neat feature if you want more out of GIMP and better for your workflow.

But, being a raster graphics editor, you can’t add annotations in GIMP without importing separate image files of arrows, circles and so on.

Screenshot option in GIMP
Screenshot option in GIMP
Screenshot settings in GIMP
Screenshot settings in GIMP

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileNo (manual)
Option to copy the image to the clipboardNo (manual)
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install gimp
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install gimp
Arch Linuxsudo pacman -S gimp
Flatpakflatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Official website: https://www.gimp.org/

ScreenGrab

ScreenGrab is a lightweight, user-friendly screenshot tool that caters to users seeking simplicity and ease of use. Its intuitive interface provides essential screenshot capture capabilities without overwhelming users with unnecessary features.

It mostly comes pre-installed in LXQt desktop-based distributions such as Lubuntu, etc.

Screengrab screenshot app
Screengrab screenshot app
Screengrab settings
Screengrab settings

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileYes
Option to copy the image to the clipboardNo (manual)
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install screengrab
Fedora and relatedsudo dnf install screengrab
Arch Linux sudo pacman -S screengrab
FlatpakNot available

Official website: https://github.com/lxqt/screengrab

More

Kazam

Kazam goes beyond traditional screenshot tools by offering screen recording capabilities. It allows users to capture screenshots as well as record their desktop activities. Kazam is an excellent choice for users who require both screenshot capture and screen recording in a single, user-friendly package.

Kazam screenshot app
Kazam screenshot app

Here are the feature highlights:

FeaturesSupport
Window screenshotYes
Area screenshotYes
Entire screenYes
Screenshot of the pointer or cursorYes
Delay TimerYes
Autosave of the image fileNo (manual)
Option to copy the image to the clipboardNo
Basic annotationNo
Wayland supportYes

You can install it using the commands present below:

Distribution type/Install typeCommand
Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and relatedsudo apt install kazam
Fedora and relatedNot available
Arch Linux (using yay helper)yay -S kazam
FlatpakNot available

Official website: https://launchpad.net/kazam

Recommendation

  • Casual Users: For users who want a simple and straightforward solution without additional complexities, consider GNOME Screenshot (legacy) or Screenshooter. You can try Screengrab also.
  • GNOME Environment: If you are using the GNOME desktop environment, GNOME Shell Screenshot is seamlessly integrated and offers a smooth user experience. Better to use that. But only drawback is there are no timer delay option.
  • KDE Environment: For KDE Plasma users, Spectacle and KSnip provide feature-rich options tailored for the KDE desktop.
  • Power Users: Users comfortable with the command line may find ImageMagick. For more advanced usage, try Flameshot.
  • Comprehensive Features: If you require a comprehensive tool with advanced editing and annotation features, consider Shutter or Flameshot.

Closing Notes

Choosing the best screenshot apps for Linux depends on your unique workflow and taste. You can try experimenting with the above screenshot apps and see which one fits better for you.

Cheers.


Arindam

Creator and author of debugpoint.com. Connect with me via Telegram, 𝕏 (Twitter), or send us an email.
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