Raspberry Pi Screenshots

Learn how to capture and view screenshots on your Raspberry Pi for project documentation. Use Scrot and ShotWell to do this solely through the command line. Scrot is a command line screen capturing application that’s easy to download and use, and Shotwell is a light-weight photo viewing application.

Step 1: Setup

Connect an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power supply to the Pi. Make sure your Raspberry Pi has internet connection through Ethernet or WiFi.

Let the Pi boot and start the graphical user interface by typing


Raspberry Pi Screenshots

Step 2: Instal Scrot

The installation can be completed on Raspbian using a standard apt-get call

sudo apt-get install scrot

Step 3: Basic Usage

Scrot has many different settings, but you can instantly take a screen shot of the whole image executing the command


Scrot’s default name convention will give you a date, time and resolution stamped file like:


You can specify the file name by typing

scrot example.png

The image will now be called “example”, rather than “2014-10-05-132309_1824x984_scrot.png”. This command will not work if you do not specify a file extension (for example “.png”). Change the output file format by changing the extension (for example “.jpeg”, “.gif”, etc).

Step 4: Specify file location

Specify where screenshots are saved with the command

scrot /home/pi/Desktop/example.png

where, for example, “/home/pi/Desktop/” is the file path and “example.png” is the screenshot. Now “example.png” will be saved on the Pi’s Desktop. Note that the command

scrot /home/pi/Desktop/

will fail, rather than assigning a default name to the screenshot.

Step 5: Delay a Screen Shot

To delay a screenshot, type

scrot -d 10

where 10 is the number of seconds before capturing an image. To display a countdown, add the c option

scrot -cd 10

Raspberry Pi Screenshots schematic

Step 6: Capture only part of the screen

Capture sections of the screen with the -s option, as can be seen in the image included, with the commands

scrot -s


scrot -s /home/pi/Desktop/example.png

to specify the file path. Then click and drag a box over the area you want to capture.

Capture the current window with the u option

scrot -u


For more detail: Raspberry Pi Screenshots

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