The Screenshot is the process of capturing what you are seeing on your system’s screen. Screenshots are among the most influential ways to demonstrate any complex concept. 

All operating systems including Debian Linux offer various ways for capturing a screenshot whether it is a GUI-based tool or a command-line-based tool, the features are what are craved most by the users.

This guide discusses the methods to take a screenshot in Debian 12 and sheds light on the features of the tools used to do so.

Quick Outline

How to Take Screenshots in Debian 12

Debian comes with a few methods to take & save the screenshots in the Pictures or the Home directory. To take a screenshot in Debian, help yourself and use the below procedures:

  • Using the Debian’s Default Screenshot Tool.
  • Using the Command Line.
  • Using the Keyboard Shortcut Keys.

Let’s discuss the above methods in detail.

Method 1: Using the Debian’s Default Screenshot Tool

The Debian 12 OS includes a default screenshot tool called “Gnome Screenshot”. It allows you to take screenshots based on “Selection”, “Screen” or the selected “Window”. Additionally, you can screencast it or show/hide the mouse pointer as well. To open it, use the “Activities” or press the “PRT SC” key:

Method 2: Using the Command Line

Linux users prefer using the command line interface over the GUI; the same is true while taking screenshots. One such command is the “import” command that comes in ImageMagick- ims6.q16(1) package, which comes pre-installed on Debian 12. However, if it isn’t installed on your system, run the below command to do it:

sudo apt install imagemagick

To take the screenshots in Debian via the “import”, use the below commands accordingly: 

import window.jpg

Here, the “window.jpg” is the output file that the “import” command saves. Once you execute the above command, the mouse’s cursor becomes a crosshair and you can drag and drop the specific area to capture:

You can capture the current screen as well using the below command:

import figure.png

To learn more about capturing the screenshots using the import command, display the help via:

import -help

Note: You may encounter errors while converting the captured screenshots in Debian using the “import” command; to fix them, execute the “/etc/ImageMagick-7/policy.xml” command and remove the below lines:

Method 3: Using the Keyboard Shortcut Keys

You can quickly capture the screenshots on Debian via the following shortcut keys:

Shortcut KeyEffect
ALT + PRT SCUse this to capture and place the current window’s screenshot on the clipboard. Saves the screenshots in “/home/user/Pictures/Screenshots/
PRT SCIt captures the “Selection”, “Screen” and “Window. It also includes the option to “hide/show” the arrow in the screenshots.

Best Tools to Take Screenshots in Debian 12

Debian comes with fundamental screenshot tools and they don’t even have the basic editing features, which is a must-have. However, you can use the following tools to capture and edit the screenshots according to the way you like:

  • Flameshot
  • Scrot
  • Shutter
  • xfce4-screenshooter

Let’s discuss the features of the above tools and the methods to install them.


The “Flameshot” is a popular screenshot-capturing tool for Linux-based systems. It offers various screen capture options, such as full screen, active window, or selection. It includes editing tools like annotations, arrows, shapes, etc., and output format choices (PNG, JPEG, PDF, etc.).

 It is available in the default repositories of most distributions that also include Debian. To install it, use the below command:

sudo apt install flameshot -y

To view the “Flameshot” options and understand its usage, help yourself with the below command:

flameshot -h


The “scrot” is an impressive command-line tool for capturing screenshots in Debian. It offers several features, such as capturing the whole screen, the selected window, capturing and creating thumbnails and you can set the timer as well. 

The “scrot” is officially available in Debian’s default repositories and to install it, execute the below command:

sudo apt install scrot -y

After installing the “scrot on Debian”, execute the following command to capture the entire screen:

scrot -u <File Name>

To capture the selected window, run:

scrot --select=hide

To set the timer, use the below command:

scrot -u -d [delay time in seconds] [filename]

To capture the whole screen and convert it to the thumbnail, execute the following command:

scrot -b [thumbnail percentage]


The “shutter” is a popular screenshot-capturing GUI utility for Linux. Using the “shutter”, you can capture the current window, the whole screen, and the selected window as well. It also includes several editing options that can certainly upgrade the way you want to present your screenshots:

sudo apt install shutter

To launch the shutter, execute the below command:


It now opens the Shutter GUI on Debian:

After using the “Edit” option, the following screen where you can modify the screenshots according to your requirements appears:


The “xfce4-screenshooter” is a built-in screenshot-capturing utility for the “xfce4” Desktop Environment. It allows you to capture your system’s “Entire screen”, “Active window”, or a selected region. It also lets you choose if you want to capture the mouse cursor and window’s borders. Additionally, you can also set a timer before it captures the screenshot.

You can install it on Debian (on any desktop environment) by executing the following command:

sudo apt install xfce4-screenshooter -y

After installing the “xfce4-screenshooter”, launch it using the following command:


You can customize the “xfce4-screenshooter” behavior using its configuration file. To open the “xfce4-screenshooter” configuration file, execute the below stated command:

sudo nano ~/.config/xfce4/xfce4-screenshooter

From the above methods of taking a screenshot in Debian, we’d recommend using the flameshot for its features and editing options.

That’s all for the ways to take a screenshot in Debian.

Final Words

In Debian, you can capture a screenshot using the “import” command or the using the keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts include “PRT SC” and “ALT + PRT SC”. Additionally, you can use open-source utilities like “Flameshot”, “Scrot”, “Shutter” and “xfce4-screenshooter” to capture the screenshots and edit them according to your requirements. This guide has discussed the various methods to take screenshots on Debian.