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linux screenshot toolTake Mac-style screenshots on your Linux computer. Pick the part of the screen you want a screenshot of and voila! You’ve got your exact selection, meaning you don’t need to edit an oversized picture. It’s called Deepin Screenshot tool, and it’s a shame Ubuntu and other Linux distributions don’t have it by default.

We review a lot of programs for taking screenshots, both here on the blog and in our directory. There seems to be a huge number of apps that automate the process of taking a screenshot and uploading it to the cloud, as though some sort of pent up demand for a service like this exists. Our plethora of screenshot articles reflects a built-in bias, of course. Tech bloggers spend a good chunk of their day taking screenshots, so naturally any tool that makes taking them easier gets our attention.

Occasionally, however, a screenshot app comes along that is actually useful. Which brings us to the Deepin Screenshot tool. With it you can take a screenshot of a single window or, if you prefer, manually select any part of the screen you want a shot of. Even better, this tool will tell you the size of the screenshot you’re taking as you take it, perfect for anyone who needs an image to be a particular size (for example, 590 pixels wide if you happen to work for MakeUseOf).

Using Deepin Screenshot Tool

Start the program and you’ll be able to select windows immediately. If you want a screenshot of a single window all you need to do is click.

linux screenshot tool

Alternatively, you can select any region of the screen and take your screenshot. Just click the corner from which you want to start, hold the mouse button and let go when you’ve made your selection. You’ll even see the exact dimensions as you go:


linux screenshot application

This emulates the default screenshot tool on a Mac (hint for OSX users who don’t know what I’m talking about – press Apple key, Shift and F4 all at once. You’re welcome).

Once you’ve made your selection you can edit the screenshot, to a certain extent. You can even do basic drawing or add text.

linux screenshot application

When you’ve happy with your work click the “Save” button. You can pick where the file goes and what you’d like to name it. I could do without this extra step, but some will no doubt like it.

Why is this better than the default screenshot tools Linux comes with? It’s up to you, but I really love being able to select the exact area of my screenshot: it saves me the time of editing later. Speaking of which, here’s the screenshot I took

linux screenshot tool

Not bad, eh?

Don’t ask how I took screenshots of a Linux screenshot tool: it’s a trade secret.

Download Deepin Screenshot Tool

Ubuntu users can download Deepin Screenshot Tool directly from Deepin’s repositories (Ubuntu 11.04 and higher only). Arch users can download Deepin Screenshot tool here. Everyone else can download the source code on GitHub. Thanks to Webupd8 for the download links, and introducing me to this software in the first place.

Once you’ve installed the software you can run it from the command line; the command is deepin-scrot. If this is too much of a hassle, don’t worry: you can set up a keyboard shortcut with this command using the “Keyboard” section in the settings panel.


The Chinese team behind Linux Deepin bring a lot to the table. The Deepin Software Center Deepin Software Center: An Amazing Ubuntu App Store From China [Linux] Deepin Software Center: An Amazing Ubuntu App Store From China [Linux] Try out what may be the best way to install software on Linux - the Deepin Software Center. This software center, named for the Chinese remake of Ubuntu it was built for, offers an amazingly... Read More is a great example of an app store for Linux done right, and this screenshot tool is something Linux should have had years ago. OSX certainly has.

Is this tool useful for you? Let me know in the comments below, and also feel free to point out any other great Deepin Linux features I should be reviewing.

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  1. tuhaihe
    March 29, 2012 at 1:23 am

    HI, the Deepin screenshot tool's source code on Github @git:// . That's the new URL. Please modify it in the post. Manateelazy's Github code are not the newest.

    Thanks again.

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      I sent a note to my editor; he'll make the change. Thanks for letting us know!

  2. Martijn Coppoolse
    March 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Unfortunately, deepin-scrot doesn't seem to work with multiple monitors; it won't follow my mouse onto the second monitor.

    • Kristijan Puljek
      March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

      yup, same here

      • Justin Pot
        April 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

        I don't have multiple monitors, so I didn't realize this. Too bad, but I'm sure the team will fix this eventually...

    • Talla
      May 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Well, my site is down, at the moment, but I know how to fix this. Cancel the popup in Fedora. Open paint in widnows, Ctrl + V, and save pic as blah.jpeg! And by the way if you even get this, I was wondering if you could help me with my site. I was hoping to create a blog on my webpage. I know that you could hook me up. I could send you the site so far, with the blog link empty. You could let me know what you would charge for something like this. Please get in touch with me.

  3. Shon
    March 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Using a quick script with this in it:

    sleep 1
    /usr/bin/gnome-screenshot -a

    I just setup a keyboard shortcut with ctrl-printscreen and point it to the above script and voila I have a crosshair screenshot tool.

    • Justin Pot
      April 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      This. Is. Amazing. I'm going to take note of this trick and perhaps writing about it later. Thanks so much for sharing.

      • Shon
        April 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        No problem. Glad it was useful