I have noticed that many people use images in their Ask Ubuntu answers. What software are people using?

  • I disagree with the duplicate action. The other question is more general, not only screenshots releated. And this one is also more specific to AskUbuntu with question regarding how to publish them. Which is not covered in the other question.
    – Huygens
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 20:54
  • 2
    for questions specific to AskUbuntu (Like where to host and upload images) please ask on AskUbuntu Meta Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 20:55
  • @Marco, can you move it to the Meta? Or is it better to close it here and reopen it there?
    – Huygens
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 20:58
  • The question was modified to make it acceptable for general use here. I'll leave it for @RunningUtes (or another user) to ask the Meta Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 21:09
  • 1
    You may also be interested in this question: askubuntu.com/q/3578/667
    – dv3500ea
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 21:09

16 Answers 16


As of Jan 2022, I do see updates and fixes being released for Shutter so the below update I do not think is still apt. For e.g. they just pushed a release 0.99.2 on Oct 24, 2021.

As of Aug 2018, Shutter project hasn't had a release or security fix since 2014. Many key libraries are depreciated, it may not exist beyond Ubuntu 18.04. Consider a newer maintained alternative, such as one of the projects listed below. Know of something new and missing? Add it!

I am using Shutter Download Shutter.

If you don't find it, you can check the detailed installation instructions which will give you a PPA for it.

It's a really handy screen capture application with easy to use plug-ins to give a nice touch to your screenshot and as many other to easily share the files.

It offers in-house image editing and special effects (via plug-ins) to enhance the quality of your screenshot. You can access this options via the menu (1), or the toolbar (2).

alt text
The effects here are all done with Shutter (Plug-in Reflexion and Edit auto-increment shape).

And then to publish them, I just right click in Shutter and choose Export (3). Then I publish it via Ubuntu One. I go to the directory where I published the file, right click on it and select Copy Ubuntu One public URL.

Finally here when I comment, I click on img in the small tool bar and select From the web and paste the link that was copied in the previous step.

It's easy and fully integrated.

For those on 10.04, check that you have all shutter dependencies. As you might miss some of the plug-ins. For user on Ubuntu 10.10, this should be fixed.

  • 1
    Shutter OWNS. Best screenshot utility ever. Upload to FTP? Send straight to flickr? Customized format / output ? Yeah, good enough for me.
    – emf
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 6:20
  • 2
    My vote for Shutter. Initially I thought it had way too many features, e.g. the image editing capability, but I found its use intuitive, it really nicely fits the my workflow for making and postprocessing screenshots. Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 15:24
  • 1
    see also unix.stackexchange.com/questions/155352/… Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 15:30
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    2018 Shutter is outdated & crufty. Latest instructions for Shutter PPA are for Ubuntu 9.10. I suggest Flameshot Included in Ubuntu 18.04 repo :: askubuntu.com/a/1028370/139249 Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 15:36
  • 1
    2019 Shutter homepage is Nginx 502 Bad Gateway :(
    – noahlz
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 14:47

GNOME Screenshot Download Gnome Screenshot

I find the GNOME screenshot tool to be the most effective of all. And it is installed by default!

My favorite is the use of shortcuts to quickly generate images. For example - Print Screen which takes the entire desktop and Alt+Print Screen for the current focused window.

Furthermore the interface is extremely simple and powerful for such a small tool.

Screenshot showing Gnome Screenshot interface

It provides nearly the same functionality as the Snipping Tool in Windows via the Select area to grab option, but you can also make a screenshot of a window without the window frame and shadow.

  • 4
    This screenshot is exemplary of the reason I prefer not to use Gnome Screenshot – I have yet to figure out how to get it to include the window borders.
    – ændrük
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 23:52
  • 1
    It is Compiz-related, yes. I don't believe I've seen a screenshot tool that can include window borders in the presence of Compiz. Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 0:52
  • 1
    @Marius Shutter takes screenshot with Window Borders, in presence of Compiz
    – LFC_fan
    Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 12:50
  • 1
    Incidentally Alt-PrintScreen is also used by the kernel (and is known as Magic SysRq). Depending on your kernel version it may not be passed to the screenshot tool. Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 12:33
  • 1
    @Piskvor: that's an interesting statement, but my experiments show it is not true. Either of the Alt keys are treated as the magic SysRq here. Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 21:25

Since Ubuntu 14.04, including 16.04, and 18.04, simply press

  • Prt Scrn to take a screenshot of the desktop,
  • Alt+Prt Scrn to take a screenshot of a window,
  • Shift+Prt Scrn to take a screenshot of an area you select.

The screenshots will be saved to ~/Pictures.

It is included in Official Documentation online help, Ubuntu Stable: Tips & Tricks: [Screenshots and Screencasts] 4.

  • 2
    Its the most relevant answer I would say which does not requires an external software. Thanks for sharing the shortcut key! Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 6:24
  • 1
    I wish I could upvote 10 times) Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 9:03
  • Sorry, I don't get which key is Prt Scrn ? Any help would be appreciated
    – Ced
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 8:01
  • Ced, on my keyboard its called PRTSC, and is shared with the END key. I have to hit a key labeled FN with the END key to 'press' the PRTSC button. Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 1:34


A powerful open source screenshot and annotation tool for Linux, Flameshot has a varied set of editing tools available, including:

enter image description here

  • Freehand drawing
  • Lines
  • Arrows
  • Boxes
  • Circles
  • Highlighting
  • Blur
  • Save image, or upload to Cloud (Imgur), or copy to clipboard
  • Add Text (Available in version 0.6 )

You can customize the color, size and/or thickness of many of these image annotation tools.


Flameshot is directly available in 18.04 from the universe/graphics repository. Usage info in man page.

Additional installation options, such as how to compile with latest features or installation on older/other distros, are available on project page. Note: Latest version installed from source has cool features (not yet released); but will be included in version 0.6.

  • 1
    Came here to see if I could find flameshot listed! It looks beautiful and does what it's asked to. Amazing!
    – streppel
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 18:47
  • It's sooo much better than Shutter: no delay, upload, arrow tool, highlight tool…
    – banan314
    Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 17:51
  • Definitely a tool that changed my life! It super light and does almost anything you'd expect from such a tool. 10/10
    – Taz8du29
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 10:53

I recommend using the command line tool scrot as it is easy to use and, unlike import, it supports transparency.

To install:

sudo apt-get install scrot

To capture a screen area:

scrot -s /tmp/foo.png

Screencloud Install screencloud

There is a new kid on the block of screenshot utilities: screencloud

Enter image description here

It's a pretty cool tool, available in the Ubuntu Software Center (at least on Ubuntu 12.04). Install via the software center

It has many nice features to easily share the screenshots via the Internet, hence its name.

  • Upload the screenshot to screencloud. The link is automatically pasted to your clipboard;
  • You can use an FTP or SFTP own server for this kind of sharing
  • It's multi-platform.
  • What annotation features does it have? Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 0:52
  • @DanDascalescu I haven't used it for a long time. I can't remember it, sorry.
    – Huygens
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 6:25
  • 2
    This apparently no longer exists. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 6:03

I use GNOME Screenshot, but for the sake of the reference and for all the old timers you can use xwd from the command line:

For a screenshot of your entire screen:

xwd -root | convert xwd:- out.png

I use GIMP. It has a nice tool which allows you to pause (to move it out of the way) and to select just a portion of the window. Usually I crop or edit a screenshot after taking it, so I want to be in GIMP anyway.

GIMP 2.8.10 on Ubuntu

  • This wouldn't be my first choice , but with the way Ubuntu handles the ALT key only fullscreen screenshots allow for scenarios like taking a screenshot of a drop down on a web page . GIMP's screenshot timeout feature makes that possible ...then you've got the rest of GIMP to modify the image if needed . Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 20:43

There is also Nanoshot - more simple than Shutter.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nanoshot/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nanoshot

GNOME Screenshot does the job fine for me, but there is also ImageMagick for CLI-oriented folks:

import screenshot.png
import -window root screenshot.jpg

But, same as xwd, it will not work well with Compiz.

  • 4
    Funny story: almost every time you write a Python script, forget to start it with #!/usr/bin/python, chmod +x and run it, you end up taking screenshots of random windows and writing them to files called 'os' and 'sys' in the current working directory, thanks to this. Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 0:54

There is ksnapshot from KDE. Well, to me, this one is the winner because you can select whether you want a screenshot of a specific window, whether you want to have the mouse cursor visible and so on.

Moreover, it should not be forgotten that gnome-screenshot requires lots of "alien" components to be installed. So if you don't have said components installed, gnome-screenshot will bail out with the following ugly error message (under Ubuntu and its "remixes"):

** Message: Unable to use GNOME Shell's built-in screenshot interface, resorting to fallback X11.
  • 1
    ksnapshot also has a a very nice "Send To" feature that opens the captured screenshot directly in various applications such as GIMP or other image viewers. That doesn't seem to be present in most of the other programs listed here. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 10:34

It is simpler with the Compiz plugin called screenshot.

Open the CompizConfig Setting Manager, search for the screenshot plugin, and activate it.

To use it, hold down the windows key (super key), click and drag the screen that you want to grab, release, and KAZAM, your screenshot on the desktop.

For a video and tutorial, see Shawn Powers' LinuxJournal article Quick Compiz Screenshots.


I use 5CM Uploader.
It has built-in editor and can upload screenshots to the image hosting.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:luza-mbox/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install 5up

Click on icon or press Ctrl+Print Screen for taking screenshot.

  • Is the app itself Russian too?
    – Seth
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 17:55
  • It has both russian and english UI. Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 6:32


Answer from SoftwareRecs. Note that, as of November 2016, HotShots hasn't been updated since 2014-Sep. The same can be said for Shutter, unfortunately.

Hotshots is a screenshot tool with some editing features. It is particularly suitable for writing documentation, but you can use it to highlight some details on a map image or what ever you want.


Some important features:

  • Free/libre software and gratis
  • Can take screenshots: all screens, full screen, window, region, free hand region
  • Can crop those screenshots or any image inside its editor
  • Can add texts (where you will be able to choose the color)
  • Can add arrows (where you will be able to choose the color)
  • Can mark stuff with rectangles / ellipses/ polygons/ curves (where you will be able to choose the color)
  • Can use “system” shortcuts to take a screenshot.

Platform support

  • Linux (needs compilation such as on Slackware Linux; Download) -- libXfixes and libqxt would be needed before compilation. Also, developer says that compiled packages are also available for Ubuntu and Arch Linux.
  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8


HotShots is pretty simple to use (similar to KolourPaint, MS Paint or GIMP, if you used any of them), and you may refer to its guide in case you need to know more. As for the asked features, I have put them in an screenshot.

In the following screenshot, you would find:

  • the interface of the HotShots
  • zoom in on "Soft"
  • custom text written below website's title
  • a red colored arrow pointing to Questions
  • a rectangle bordering first line of your question's body
  • an image of a turtle added where question's stats were visible
  • blurred the fourth requirement of your question's body
  • made a free curve to make up for free hand requirement accompanied by a text box below it
  • highlighted with yellow color a line of the body
  • enclosed "Love this site?" by an ellipse
  • encircled kittens roaming on my desktop

IMG: HotShots features



KDE Framework 5 default screenshot capture utility is the Spectacle.

Spectacle is a simple application for capturing desktop screenshots. It can capture images of the entire desktop, a single monitor, the currently active window, the window currently under the mouse, or a rectangular region of the screen. The images can then be printed, sent to other applications for manipulation, or quickly be saved as-is

enter image description here

Spectacle - Development Information: https://www.kde.org/applications/graphics/spectacle/development


CopyQ linux clipboard manager tool has as well a printscreen functionality configurable in shortcuts, its instant, it freezes a screen without leaving any menues hiding. And it works also on desktopless environments, screen managers like xmonad.

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