In this guide, we’ll be showing you how to take screenshots in Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. There are a few different utilities we can use to accomplish this task, and this article will ensure that you’re familiar with them.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to take a screenshot with Ubuntu’s screenshot utility
- How to use Flameshot for screenshots and annotations
- How to use Spectacle to take screenshots
- How to use Kazam to take screenshots and screencasts
- How to take a screenshot from the command line with Import
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|System||Installed Ubuntu 20.04 or upgraded Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa|
|Software||Flameshot, Spectacle, Kazam, Import|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
Ubuntu’s built-in screenshot utility
On Gnome desktop, the default screenshot application is simply called
screenshot. The utility is running in the background by default and listening for
PrtSc keystrokes. Pressing the
PrtSc (print screen) button on your keyboard will tell the program to take a picture of your screen and save the image to the
Pictures folder inside your home directory.
You’ll hear a camera shutter sound and your screen will flash. This is the
screenshot program notifying you that it just captured a screenshot. Open up your Pictures folder to view it.
Keep in mind that this will always take a screenshot of your entire desktop. If you’d rather take a picture of a particular window, you can highlight that window and then press
PrtSc on your keyboard at the same time.
If you’d like to select a certain area of your screen to capture, and the
PrtSc keyboard combo isn’t offering you enough fine tuned control, you can open the
screenshot utility from inside Ubuntu’s Applications menu.
screenshot window, click on “Select area to grab” and then “Take Screenshot.” You’ll be able to select an area to capture by dragging your mouse before saving the image.
The default screenshot utility that we covered above is a bit sparse in the way of features. Flameshot is an alternative program that you can use, especially if you’re looking to annotate your screenshots by drawing arrows on them and have access to other convenient features.
Flameshot is not installed by default, so open up a terminal and type the following command to install it:
$ sudo apt install flameshot
Once Flameshot is installed, you can access it in the Applications launcher. Alternatively, you can launch it from the terminal with this command:
$ flameshot gui
When Flameshot opens, just follow the on-screen instructions. You can drag your mouse around and resize the window very easily in order to capture exactly what you want on your screen. You’ll see lots of tools that you can use to annotate or upload your screenshot.
But wait, there’s more! You can configure Flameshot’s interface and other options inside the configuration menu:
$ flameshot config
There are some command line options you can use with Flameshot as well. See the man page for a full list of what it can do.
$ man flameshot
Spectacle is another screenshot alternative. It’s the default screenshot utility for KDE Plasma desktop environment, but you’ll likely have to install it if you’re using GNOME. If you don’t already have it, open a terminal and type the following command:
$ sudo snap install spectacle
Once it’s installed, you’ll find Spectacle inside the Applications window.
Spectacle is pretty minimal, but contains some really handy options – like the ability to capture the desktop only on certain monitors.
Kazam is another viable option for screenshots on Ubuntu 20.04. You can install it by opening a terminal and typing this command:
$ sudo apt install kazam
Pull it up in the Applications window when you’re ready to launch it.
A big selling point of Kazam is that it comes with the ability to record your screen. Just make sure “screencast” is selected when you want to record a video, and “screenshot” is selected when you want to take an image.
import command is a great way to take screenshots directly from the command line. You’ll first need to install the
imagemagick package in order to access the
$ sudo apt install imagemagick
There are a lot of options you can pass to the command, but in its most basic form, you can just run it like so:
$ import screenshot.png
After typing the command, you’ll need to drag your mouse to specify the area that you’d like to capture. Obviously, you can replace
screenshot.png with whatever you’d like to name your image. The screenshot will be saved to your home directory.
There are really a plethora of options you can pass to
import, so it’s best to take a look at the man page to see all it can do:
$ man import
In this guide, we saw how to take screenshots in Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. We learned how to use Ubuntu’s default screenshot utility to capture images, as well as install extra software to give us some extra options and convenience.
Using the tools in this guide, you’ll be able to capture screenshots, screencasts, and annotate and upload your content in multiple ways on Ubuntu 20.04.