Looking for the best snipping tool for Linux? Finding software that’s compatible with Linux can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the first program you find. To help you find the best screen recorder for the job, we’ve reviewed the top 12 programs available today.
The best Linux snipping tools
Best for: Quick and easy screen recording and sharing
G2 rating: 4.9 out of 5, 5 reviews
ScreenRec is a free screen recorder with versions that are compatible with Linux, Mac, and PC computers. As such, many users like this software as a Linux snipping tool option. It’s capable of recording your screen and webcam at the same time, as well as system and microphone audio. While this software is open-source and free, recording time is limited to five minutes unless you create an account. Accounts are free, though, and they never expire.
Cloud recording and sharing
Video encryption and secure storage
Built-in CMS to organize and manage recordings
Screenshot annotation capabilities
Instant sharing feature via private link
Webcam recording functionality
No video-editing capabilities
Five-minute recording limit without an account
Best for: Capturing screenshots of your desktop on Linux
Spectacle is a fairly stripped-down program that allows Linux users to take still screenshots of their desktops. If you don’t need to record videos of your screen, this is a decent snipping tool for Ubuntu, Kali, Mint, and other versions of Linux. It may lack video features, but it does work well for its purpose, with the ability to capture your full screen, a single application window, a custom rectangular area, and/or multiple displays.
Capture a current monitor display
Capture custom area
Capture an active application window
Take screenshots with keyboard shortcuts
Convenient hotkey shortcut options
Quick and easy screenshot capabilities
No video capabilities
Best for: Capturing and editing screenshots
Shutter is another open-source Linux snipping tool alternative. Like Spectacle, Shutter is specifically designed to take still screenshots and does not include video-recording capabilities. It does, however, include more features than Spectacle, including some handy photo-editing utilities. Shutter is a 100% free download, but it’s not as intuitive to download and use as some of the other applications we tried out for this article.
Multiple capture modes (desktop, window, menu or tooltip, and website)
Photo enhancements (e.g., text, arrows, shapes, etc.)
Censoring/pixelating feature to protect private info
Not intuitive to download or use
No video capabilities
Best for: Taking quick screenshots with hotkeys
ScreenCloud is a free screenshot tool for Linux. Like some of the other tools we’ve reviewed here, it doesn’t include video capabilities. It does, however, have built-in sharing capabilities and cloud storage options that allow you to use your own server. Its strongest feature is probably its strong plugin support, which allows users to expand ScreenCloud’s functionality with other programs.
Built-in sharing capabilities
Cloud storage options
Plugin support for expanded functionality
Convenient screenshots with hotkey functions
Multiple sharing and storage options
Expandable features and capabilities
No video capabilities
Third-party plugins required to add features
Best for: Digital image composition and editing on any platform
PCMag rating: 4 out of 5
ImageMagick is a robust photo composition and editing tool, compatible with almost any modern OS. This open-source software has multiple incredibly cool features, including animation capabilities, noise and color reduction, multispectral imagery, motion picture support, and special effects. It doesn’t include screen recording or screen capture capabilities, though. Some users opt to use ImageMagick in combination with a screen-recording program. While this requires two programs to create a single image or video, some of the features included with ImageMagick may be worth it to some users.
Image enciphering and deciphering
Photo composite capabilities
Robust photo- and video-editing tools
Command-line photo manipulation capabilities
File format conversion functionality
Unintuitive for newer users
No screen capture capabilities
Best for: Scheduling, capturing, and editing screenshots
Deepin Screenshot is another open-source screenshot program that you can download for free. It doesn’t include video-screen recording, but it does have photo-editing capabilities. And, unlike some of the other screenshot tools available today, it allows users to delay a screenshot. In other words, you can automate and schedule the screenshot process if you want to capture a specific function or activity on your screen at a particular time. It also includes functions that allow users to adjust the image resolution and share screenshots to social media.
Social media sharing
Includes photo-editing capabilities
Allows users to delay screenshots
No support of video recording or editing
Limited options for photo resolutions
Best for: Sharing screenshots on Imgur
Flameshot is a screenshot tool for Linux with command-line launch and capture capabilities. Users can either launch the Flameshot graphical user interface (GUI) or enter commands to perform immediate or delayed screenshots of all or part of a display. The application is highly customizable and easy to use, especially if you’re familiar with its commands. Along with in-app editing capabilities, it also allows users to upload screenshots directly to Imgur.
Direct upload to Imgur
In-app photo editing
Allows delayed and customized screenshots
Includes screenshot editing features
Makes sharing easy (for Imgur users)
Does not include video-recording capabilities
Does not allow delayed screenshots for custom area screenshots
Best for: Capturing screenshots and video recordings in GNOME
GNOME Screenshot is a lightweight utility created to work with GNOME – a desktop environment that works with most major Linux distributions. If you don’t run GNOME, you may have trouble installing and using GNOME Screenshot. However, if you’re a GNOME user, and you want a resource-light solution to capture screenshots and make screencasts, this could be a good option for you. GNOME Screenshot lets users take a screenshot of the entire desktop, a specific window, or a custom area of the screen. You can also create a video recording with this application by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R to start and stop recording.
Screenshot capabilities for a single window, custom area, or full desktop
Hotkeys for fast and easy screenshots and screencasts
Includes video capabilities
Provides some customization for screenshots
Only works with computers running GNOME
No option to record part of the screen instead of the full display
No editing capabilities
Best for: Taking multiple screenshots of a custom rectangular area
Ksnip is a fairly robust screenshot tool for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Along with allowing users to capture a custom rectangular area of their screen, it also has a feature that lets you take a screenshot of the same area again without re-selecting it. Ksnip also includes annotation drawing features, command-line support, sharing to Imgur, and some photo-editing capabilities.
Add watermarks to screenshots
Print screenshots or save as a PDF
Draw and annotate on screenshots
Take a screenshot of a selected area again without re-selecting it
Quick and easy annotations and photo editing
Convenient hotkey functionality
Requires kImageAnnotator and kColorPicker to function
Does not include video functionality
Best for: Creating and editing digital images and screenshots
TechRadar rating: 5 out of 5
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s a cross-platform image editor that works with GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows. GIMP’s developers created it as a free, open-source competitor for programs like Adobe® Photoshop®. As a result, it is very robust in terms of editing and manipulation features and tools. It also includes a screenshot function, and users can then easily import their screenshots into GIMP to create finished images. It is possible to capture a video screen recording with GIMP, but you’ll need a third-party plugin to do it.
Color management features
Advanced photo manipulation effects
Quick and easy screenshot feature
Extendible with support for multiple plugins
Requires a third-party plugin for video recordings
Cropping feature and other tools are unintuitive
Best for: Recording your desktop screen on Linux
Kazam is a screencasting program for GNU/Linux. Videos created with Kazam can be played on any digital video player, and the program supports WebM video formatting for greater user convenience. With the PulseAudio plugin, you can also include system sound or audio from any input device as well.
Video screen recording on Linux
Support for WebM video file format
System and input audio functionality with plugin
Simple video recording in GNU/Linux
Multiple export file formats
Requires a plugin to record audio
Does not include editing tools
Best for: Converting screenshots and websites to PDFs
Price: Free version, Pro version for $39.95
G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5, 16 reviews
Unlike the other programs we’ve reviewed, FireShot is not a free, open-source option. This paid program is, however, a robust snipping tool equivalent for Linux. While users may opt for the free FireShot Lite version, its features are limited. To take a screenshot or record a video of a specific browser window or convert all of a browser’s tabs to a PDF in one click, you’ll need to opt for the paid version. With that said, Linux users should be aware that the paid Linux version of this software is also limited in terms of photo editing and uploading features.
Screen capture capabilities for full, selected, or visible screen
Powerful photo-editing tools
Convenient website capture feature
Useful annotation features
No video capabilities
Limited features for Linux-compatible version
Conclusion: What to look for in a Linux snipping tool
Now that we’ve walked you through 12 of the top snipping tools for Linux, let’s talk about how to choose the best one for your needs. Keep these factors in mind as you make your decision:
Features: What features are included with the app, and does it do everything you need? If you need to record a video, only a small selection of the programs in this article will work for you. Likewise, if you need to edit or annotate your screenshots, you’ll want to choose a program that doesn’t require you to download another app to get the job done.
Support: Open-source programs are designed and developed by a large community of volunteers. While these programs don’t exactly have customer support standing by, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get help when you need it. Look up the documentation and community forum activity for the programs you’re interested in and see if you’ll be able to find answers to your questions when you need assistance.
User interface: Is the GUI user-friendly? Are you comfortable with using command line? Make sure that the program you choose will be convenient and easy enough for you to learn and get comfortable using.
Price: Most of these programs are free, but you may want to look at how a paid program will perform in comparison. It may be worthwhile to pay for a lifetime license on a more robust platform.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a snipping tool for Linux?
Snipping Tool isn’t compatible with Linux, but there are numerous alternative programs that do work with Linux. One of the best pieces of software with similar features to Snipping Tool is Kazam, an open-source, free option that we reviewed in our article.
What is the best Linux Snipping Tool alternative?
The best Linux Snipping Tool alternatives, in our experience, are:
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