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scrot(1) command line screen capture utility scrot(1)


scrot - command line screen capture utility


scrot [options] [file]


scrot (SCReenshOT) is a simple command line screen capture utility that uses imlib2 to grab and save images. Multiple image formats are supported through imlib2's dynamic saver modules.

Some features of the scrot:

  • support to multiple image formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.).
  • optimization of the screen shots image quality.
  • capture a specific window or a rectangular area on the screen with the help of switch.

scrot also can be used to monitor a desktop PC in admin absent and register unwanted activities.


Display help output and exit.
Output version information and exit.
Non-interactively choose a rectangle of x,y,w,h.
When selecting a window, grab wm border too.
Display a countdown when used with delay.
Wait NUM seconds before taking a shot.
Exec APP on the saved image.
Image quality (1-100) high value means high size, low compression. Default: 75. (Effect differs depending on file format chosen).
For multiple heads, grab shot from each and join them together.
Interactively select a window or rectangle with the mouse.
Use the currently focused window.
Generate thumbnail too. NUM is the percentage of the original size for the thumbnail to be. Alternatively, a GEOMetry can be specified, example: 300x200
Prevent beeping.
Capture the mouse pointer.
Freeze the screen when the selection is used: --select
By default scrot does not overwrite the files, use this option to allow it.


Both the --exec and filename parameters can take format specifiers that are expanded by scrot when encountered. There are two types of format specifier. Characters preceded by a '%' are interpreted by strftime(2). See man strftime for examples. These options may be used to refer to the current date and time. The second kind are internal to scrot and are prefixed by '$' The following specifiers are recognised:

$f image path/filename (ignored when used in the filename)
$m thumb image path/filename (ignored when used in the filename)
$n image name (ignored when used in the filename)
$s image size (bytes) (ignored when used in the filename)
$p image pixel size
$w image width
$h image height
$t image format (ignored when used in the filename)
$$ print a literal '$'
\n print a newline (ignored when used in the filename)


This would create a file called something like 2000-10-30_2560x1024.png and move it to your shots directory.


scrot was originally developed by Tom Gilbert under MIT-advertising license.

Currently, source code and newer versions are available at

10 June 2019 scrot-1.0