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I'm using gnome-shell on Ubuntu 12.04. When I hit PrtSc to take a screenshot, it works, but it automatically saves the screenshot in my Pictures folder. There's no dialogue asking where to save. It does show the dialogue box under unity though.

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up vote 29 down vote accepted

Assuming that I have read this bug-report correctly...

This is by design. No really!

Comments #37 onwards talk about this.

The current unity patches state:

on Unity sessions display a confirmation dialog after taking screenshots with the keybindings, the auto saving behaviour is confusing our users

The thread carries on:

but your fix doesn’t help when I don’t use Unity. Why did you think this only applies to Unity users?

With the reply:

because we keep being asked by GNOME upstream and GNOME user to let their desktop alone and ship it as designed so that's what we try to do, we stick to upstream behaviour for GNOME environments and take design decision for Unity

So there you have it. The Gnome-Developers are insistent that their desktop environment should behave this way. Its an upstream issue. The Canonical Developers are respecting this decision and hence the "divergence" - Unity users have the Save as dialog whilst gnome-shell users have the by-design no dialog functionality.

Thus if you are using gnome-shell/gnome-classic, all the screenshots are saved in your home pictures folder ~/Pictures

Note: You can override the screenshot location with gsettings (command-line) or dconf-editor (GUI):

  • set the org.gnome.gnome-screenshot auto-save-directory to file:///home/yourusername/wherever/you/want
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is it possible to make gnome-screenshot automatically save without showing dialog ? – geoh Mar 28 '13 at 6:28

try using Shutter instead, its the best screen capture tool (as it site says :)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppa    
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install shutter

app site:

To configure Shutter as the default tool to take screenshots with when you press PrtSc or Alt+PrtSc, here’s what you need to do:


1 Go to Edit ▸ Preferences in Shutter
2 In the Keyboard tab, enable both the “Capture” and “Capture with selection” checkboxes:
3 That’s it! Now the usual PrtSc and Alt+PrtSc keybindings will use Shutter to take the screenshots.

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There is no Keyboard tab. – username Dec 20 '12 at 16:28
There is no keyboard tab. – Gaurav Agarwal Jun 2 '13 at 15:05… – mac Aug 22 '13 at 6:46

I'm late to the party, but I just tripped over this and want to offer a slightly different answer.

Basically, in the latest Gnome 3 / Gnome Shell then they are no-longer using Gnome Screenshot. That means any changes to Gnome-Screenshot's default settings (like default save location) won't affect anything.

Instead, you need to go to your Keyboard settings, disable the "Save a screenshot […] to Pictures" shortcuts and add your own custom shortcuts that call gnome-screenshot with no args (auto-save to its gsettings-defined location), -a (save area), -w (save current window) or -i (if you want the options dialog back). You can obviously mix-and-match some settings, or add more from man gnome-screenshot.

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Hey guys this might help, I was poking around in the gnome menu as I noticed that with the new version of shutter enabling the hot key was not as simple and found that the iBus daemon wasn't started on my machine while in 'gnome fallback'. I found this by going to the gnome menu > system tools > Preferences > Keyboard Input Methods. I clicked it and started it as requested by a dialog and now printscreen works. Although the dialog used in unity doesn't show up, I found that it saved into ~/Pictures by default so no biggy, hope I could help someone as this frustrated me as well.

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