Taking Screenshots in Linux

20 Jan 2005

In Windows, to take a screenshot you simply press the "prtscn" key and you're good to go. What about Linux? Is taking screenshots as easy?

Well, in Linux you've always got choices. In this article, we'll explore three different choices we have of taking screenshots in Linux.

In Gnome

Gnome has what is probably the easiest method of taking screenshots. You simply press the "prtscn" key and a window will pop up.

You'll have the options of saving the screenshot to a file, to the desktop, or (if you have a web server properly configured) to a web page.

Simply choose one of the options, and you'll have your screenshot.


If you boot up in KDE and press the "prtscn" key, you'll quickly notice nothing happens.

Despite the extra steps you have to take, getting screenshots in KDE is a bit better than in Gnome, in my opinion.

To begin, you'll have to make sure you have the package "Kdegraphics3" installed.

Once you've got that installed through YAST, the easiest way to run the screenshot program is to press ALT-F2 and enter "ksnapshot" in the space provided.

Click the "Run" button and you're good to go.

The program starts and a window pops open with quite a few more options than in Gnome.

With KSnapshot, you are able to take multiple shots without closing the program. You can also print straight to a printer without saving.

Another really cool feature of KSnapshot is the ability to take shots of individual windows, instead of the whole screen.

If you click on the "Full Screen" drop down, you'll see the options allowing you more control.

You can also delay the shot, so you have time to go and click to modify the screen as you see fit.

All in all, KSnapshot is a great program to get quick screenshots of just about anything you need.

The Gimp

If you prefer, you can also easily use The Gimp to get your screenshots.

First, open The Gimp and click on File -> Acquire -> Screen Shot

This will open the following window:

Gimp has pretty much all the functionality that KSnapshot does, and a little friendlier user interface.

One of the main reasons I like using The Gimp to get my shots is the fact that it loads the shots right into Gimp, so I can easily edit and re-save them if need be.

So, to answer the original question: Can Linux take screen shots? Yes... Yes it can, and you've got a lot more choices than you do with that other operating system.

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