App Directory: The Best Screen Capture Tool For Linux

Surprisingly, there aren't a huge number of screenshot tools for Linux. Luckily, they don't need to be, because the feature-rich Shutter is about as awesome a program as you can ask for.

If you're not familiar with screenshots, read our beginner's guide.


Platform: Linux Price: Free

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  • Take screenshots of your entire screen, the active window, a region and even a website
  • Customisable hotkeys let you snap screenshots in just a few keystrokes
  • Loads of built-in options for choosing the default format, compression level, directory and more of an image
  • Built-in editor with annotation features like text, arrows and shapes
  • Share to the web through an FTP server, Ubuntu One, or external services like ImageShack Flickr (via another program)

Shutter is feature-filled without being difficult to use. It's designed extremely well, offering an easy way to take screenshots of the entire screen, a region of the screen, a specific window, or even a website with the click of a button. You can annotate and crop it with its built-in editor and share it to a few external services. The options menu is chock full of tweaks you can make to get it working exactly how you want, if you're so inclined. In short, it's the most powerful screenshot tool on Linux, and even rivals similar tools on Windows and Mac.

Shutter is pretty awesome. My only beef with it is that it doesn't support a lot of external services. Flickr integration is available through another program, but beyond that and ImageShack, you don't have a lot of choices if you want to share your pictures. It could probably have a few more hotkeys, too, but its wealth of options still makes it the most powerful program around.

Linux doesn't really have any other screenshot tools of this calibre available. A new app called Lookit is currently in beta, which brings some nice features to Ubuntu Unity and the GNOME 3 Shell, like right-clicking on the dock icon to take a screenshot, or support for Unity's notifications. It isn't quite as powerful, but Ubuntu users might like it.

Other than that, the default screenshot tools for GNOME and KDE are both pretty solid if you're looking for something basic. They're both quick and provide all the simple options you might want, like adding a delay to your screenshots, including the cursor and so on. If Shutter is overkill, they should be more than good enough.

Know of a screenshot tool we didn't mention? Let us know about it in the comments. The screenshot world seems pretty bare on Linux these days, and we're eager to find more.

Lifehacker's App Directory is a growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools across multiple platforms.


    Another nice feature of Shutter .... on my Fedora 16 system I have been able to use Shutter to do screen captures that I can then drag and drop directly into a Google Doc.

    My "Windows" friends are still trying to find an application that can do the same!

    Can't really go without mentioning scrot.

    I've never really needed anything more complicated than `sleep 5 && xwd -root | convert - screenshot.png`

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