Taking X11 Screenshots (on any distro)

Every so often I mess with old Linux distros or BSDs and do not always have one of the modern screenshot tools available.

Enter xwd. This tool will dump an X11 window (or the root window) to a file for later viewing.

To dump a specific window (click the window after running):

$ xwd -out dump.xwd

To dump the screen (i.e. root window):

$ xwd -root -out dump.xwd

The XWD format is understood by a number of tools, including ImageMagick and GIMP among others. If imagemagick is installed, the following script could be bound to a key for quick and easy screenshots, where the destination path is provided to the script:

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#!/bin/sh
datename=`date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S`
outpath=/var/tmp/$datename.xwd
pngpath=$1/$datename.png
xwd -root -out $outpath
convert $outpath $pngpath
rm $outpath

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