Screen Capture

5 of the Best Free Linux Screen Capture Tools

This Group Test is retained for historic interest only. Read our updated Linux Screen Capture Tools Group Test.


The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the idea that a solitary still image can provide as much information as a large amount of descriptive text. Essentially, pictures convey information more effectively and efficiently than words can.

A screenshot is an image captured by a computer to record the output of a visual device. Screen capture software enable screenshots to be taken on a computer. This type of software has a wide range of uses. As an image can illustrate the operation of computer software so well, screenshots play a crucial role in software development and documentation. Alternatively, if you have a technical problem with your computer, a screenshot allows a technical support department to understand the problems you are facing. Writing computer-related articles, documentation and tutorials is nigh on impossible without a good tool for creating screenshots.

Linux has a good selection of versatile open source screenshot programs, both graphical and console based. The two most popular desktop environments, GNOME and KDE, each offer a competent screenshot utility. However, the functionality offered by their screenshot utilities is relatively basic. Furthermore, many Linux users prefer to use a more lightweight desktop environment. For the most feature-rich dedicated screenshot utility, look no further than Shutter (formerly known as GScrot). This tool receives our highest recommendation.

Screen capture functionality is not only provided by dedicated applications. GIMP and ImageMagick, two programs which are primarily image manipulation tools, also offer competent screen capturing functionality.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 screen capture tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to demonstrate a program, or a particular problem with others.

Now, let’s explore the 5 screen capture tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Screen Capture Tools
ShutterFeature-rich screenshot program
GIMPThe GNU Image Manipulation Program
KSnapshotScreen capture tool for KDE 4
gnome-screenshotScreen capture tool for GNOME
ImageMagickSoftware suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images

Last Updated: June 2018


Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.