When I want to take a screenshot with gnome-screenshot of my browser (chromium), pdf-viewer (Document Viewer), nautilus or even texmaker it takes a screenshot of the desktop or the window behind the current active window and sometimes it works as desired. This happens with the options "Grab the whole screen", "Select area to grab" and "Grab the current window". For all three options the behavior is not the same every time! Here is a summary of the 3 behaviors:

  • screenshot of desktop through actual active window and the windows behind
  • screenshot of the window behind the actual active window
  • screenshot of actual active window (desired event!)

EDIT1: new behavior found taking a screenshot ("select area to grab") of my clock in the task-bar.

picture taken at 10:35:30: enter image description here

picture taken at 10:35:40 (10 seconds later): enter image description here

picture taken at 10:40:34 (10 minutes later): enter image description here

It appears to take on two different times a picture of a old "frozen" screen with the same time displaying on the clock (time: 10:14:43).


EDIT2: took a screencast with simplescreenrecorder to document the my problem/bug

here the link to the video

Looking at the video i noticed a flickering between two screens but while taking the screencast never saw a flickering. It flickers between the actual screen (right time in the menu bar) and a old screen from the "past" (wrong time in the menu bar).

I have:

  • nvidia GM107GLM Quadro M1000M
  • intel graphic HD P530 chip

I'm using nvidia-367 367.35 driver.

  • ASkUbuntu is not a bug tracker‼ Please use Launchpad. askubuntu.com/q/5121/40581
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 1:31
  • @LiveWireBT I don't think this is a bug so much as a lack of understanding. Have you been able to duplicate the OPs problem?
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 21:30
  • Thank you! @ElderGeek Yes, i can reproduce the already mentioned bugs using the UI of gnome screenshot and also using the shortcuts.
    – sepplhans
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 10:14
  • I cannot reproduce your error. It works flawlessly for me under 16.04. Have you tried a RAM test? I imagine a stuck bit could cause this issue. askubuntu.com/questions/591488/how-do-i-run-memtest86/591502
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 14:25
  • 1
    @ManuelBellini I have the same exact problem with the nvidia driverse! (albeit with a slightly different laptop, in particular I have an Nvidia GTX 960M card)... I guess the screenshot problem and the driver problem are related then... Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


I used to have this problem on an XPS 15 9550 with ubuntu 16.04. I tried to update to 16.10 to see if the problem was solved, but the upgrade did not go well so I reverted to 16.04 (thanks to Timeshift).

However I solved it by following ComBin's answer here

sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg-video-intel

(actually I also removed the file "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf", which I had previously tweaked)

The solution is basically to remove the intel driver and resort to modesetting, it should be the default behavior in new ubuntu versions (maybe it already is in 16.10, I didn't check): https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Ubuntu-Debian-Abandon-Intel-DDX

Note that this also solves problems with the switching of gpu via nvidia-prime (see here)

  • thank you a lot! it resolved my problem. Did you now install nvidia 370 drivers with prime and are able to switch between nvidia and intel graphic card?
    – sepplhans
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 10:08
  • yes I have nvidia-370 and nvidia-prime installed and the gpu switching works as intended Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:55
  • I have the Dell XPS 13 without the NVIDIA card -- have the exact same issue. Removing the Intel driver is not an option :)
    – badkya
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:50
  • 1
    Please note the solution is removing the X.org intel driver not the whole intel driver, there is no harm in doing so since the modesetting xorg driver accelerates 2D via opengl! Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 14:14
  • Ah thanks -- just removed it an the problem is gone. But now some of the graphical UI transitions seem to be gone.
    – badkya
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 4:48

Getting a screenshot of the actual active window (your desired event) with Ubuntu 16.04 and gnome-screenshot is as simple as holding Alt and Tapping PrtSc You will be prompted where to save the screenshot. Try it, it works.

Edit: Ctrl PrtSc will result in the entire visible desktop being copied to the clipboard and you can paste the image into whatever document you desire.

ShiftCtrlPrtSc will provide a crosshair that you can use to select a portion of the screen to capture to the clipboard which again you can paste into whatever document you desire.

Tested on fresh install of 16.04.1

Alternatives to gnome-screenshot can be found here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .