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I wrote a bash script as below:

echo "Enter a file name"
read filename
import -window root $HOME/Desktop/$filename.png

I expected this script to take a screen shot and save the image with the given filename on my desktop.

Problem: My Ubuntu terminal is giving error:

import: Command Not Found

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You need to install the package imagemagic to use import command.

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Install via the software center imagemagick Install imagemagick

This will allow you to use import command. Also try out graphicsmagick-imagemagick-compat package.

other alternatives to import are

  • scrot

    To install scrot: sudo aptitude install scrot

Install via the software center scrot Install scrot

usage: `scrot screen.png`
  • gnome-screenshot

sudo aptitude install gnome-screenshot

Install via the software center gnome-screenshot Install gnome-screenshot

share|improve this answer
hi devav2...I am getting a message that says -- unable to locate package scrot.. any suggestions – Prabhu Kl Oct 18 '12 at 9:22
Prabhu, Try to find the package in Ubuntu Software Center or try changing your software source server to a different one. – devav2 Oct 18 '12 at 9:28

You can use the best screenshot tool shutter Install shutter for use in scripts too! And I believe, this is the most powerful tool and give you most advanced and fine-tuned options to use in scripts.

Install it with the command in a terminal

sudo apt-get install shutter

or using the software center (by clicking the big button below)

Install via the software center

And after installation, use this command to take a screenshot of the whole display and save the screenshot in a file named, myshot.png

shutter -f -o myshot.png -e
  • The -f tells shutter to take a screenshot of the whole display. You could also use -a to take a screenshot of the active window, or tell it to take a shot from any specific window.

  • The -o option is used for telling shutter the output file name. You could specify any file name

  • The e option causes shutter to exit after taking the screenshot.

The output of shutter --help is given below for reference.

    shutter [options]

    Example 1
            shutter -a -p=myprofile --min_at_startup

    Example 2
            shutter -s=100,100,300,300 -e

    Example 3
            shutter --window=.*firefox.*

    Example 4
            shutter --web= -e

  Capture Mode Options:
    -s, --select=[X,Y,WIDTH,HEIGHT]
            Capture an area of the screen. Providing X,Y,WIDTH,HEIGHT is

    -f, --full
            Capture the entire screen.

    -w, --window=[NAME_PATTERN]
            Select a window to capture. Providing a NAME_PATTERN (Perl-style
            regex) ist optional.

    -a, --active
            Capture the current active window.

            Capture a section. You will be able to select any child window
            by moving the mouse over it.

    -m, --menu
            Capture a menu.

    -t, --tooltip
            Capture a tooltip.

            Capture a webpage. Providing an URL ist optional.

    -r, --redo
            Redo last screenshot.

  Settings Options:
    -p, --profile=NAME
            Load a specific profile on startup.

    -o, --output=FILENAME
            Specify a filename to save the screenshot to (overwrites any
            profile-related setting).

            Supported image formats: You can save to any popular image
            format (e.g. jpeg, png, gif, bmp). Additionally it is possible
            to save to pdf, ps or svg.

            Please note: There are several wildcards available, like

             %Y = year
             %m = month
             %d = day
             %T = time
             $w = width
             $h = height
             $name = multi-purpose (e.g. window title)
             $nb_name = like $name but without blanks in resulting strings
             $profile = name of current profile
             $R = random char (e.g. $RRRR = ag4r)
             %NN = counter

            The string is interpretted by strftime. See "man strftime" for
            more examples.

            As an example: shutter -f -e -o './%y-%m-%d_$w_$h.png' would
            create a file named '11-10-28_1280_800.png' in the current

  Application Options:
    -h, --help
            Prints a brief help message and exits.

    -v, --version
            Prints version information.

    -d, --debug
            Prints a lot of debugging information to STDOUT.

            Clears cache, e.g. installed plugins, at startup.

            Starts Shutter minimized to tray.

            Disables systray icon.

    -e, --exit_after_capture
            Exit after the first capture has been made. This is useful when
            using Shutter in scripts.
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I love shutter as a GUI app, this is a great detail of the CLI, thanks! – TryTryAgain Mar 21 '13 at 22:06

To install imagemagick, containing the program import, see the other answer. However, you can also launch gnome-screenshot from command line by calling gnome-screenshot. The applet will take the screenshot without delay and show a dialog to enter a file name:

enter image description here

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gnome-screenshot command is working good...Thank you...Is there a way to pass a string argument to this command so that the screenshot is saved with the given string name? – Prabhu Kl Oct 18 '12 at 8:16
No, fully automatic screenshots are better done with import. – January Oct 18 '12 at 8:35

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