Apart from monitoring keystrokes for Print Screen, is there a way for a tool or software running in Ubuntu (whatever the desktop) to detect that a screenshot or video recording of the whole or a part of the screen is being captured - regardless of the tool used (Gnome Screenshot, Shutter, etc)?


The short answer is "no, not on a vanilla Ubuntu distribution" (and btw, hitting printscreen is not the only way to take a screenshot).

The somewhat longer answer is that the question is ill-posed. Whether some approach might work would depend on the specific combination of X server (or whatever display server you are using), window manager, whether you are willing to write your own X extensions, what your threat model is, how tight control you have of your environment, and so on.

I'm curious, though, what is your threat model?

  • There are several scenarios. Example 1: detect when users take screenshots of copyrighted content displayed inside a software I developed. Of course they can use their smartphones to take lower quality shots. Example 2: detect if an untrusted third-party software is spying on my desktop. – Orion Apr 21 '16 at 21:15

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