Screen Capture in Linux Mint: A Free Tool

One of the things I’ve struggled with is an app for doing a screen capture in Linux Mint. I finally figured it out, I think.

March 7, 2020

I used GIMP for a long time to create screen captures, but it’s never been as quick and easy as something designed specifically for that task. There’s an easier way to get a screen capture in Linux Mint though, and it’s called Flameshot.

My Standby Tool for Screen Capture in Linux Mint

GIMP has been fine, for the most part, but I’ve always wished I could so simple things like draw arrows in a hurry. While I did implement a hack that does this, the arrows got bigger and thicker as I made them longer. With Flameshot, there’s no such issue. I just select the arrow tool, draw my line as long as I want, and it stays the same thickness. The arrow head also stays the same size!

So while GIMP is great for all sorts of things, taking screenshots and being able to point things out in them isn’t necessarily one of them.

Finding a New Tool

I actually found Flameshot by accident, after putting Fedora 31 on my work laptop. After I installed it there and got used to it, I went ahead and threw it on all of the other computers I use. Now, it’s real easy to take a screen shot on whichever computer I’m sitting at.

Taking a Screen Capture in Linux Mint

The icon that shows up will vary, depending on your desktop environment. But when you start the program, something should show up near where other status icons do, like system time, network status, and power level (on a laptop at least). Click on that to grab a screenshot, and you’ll get this kind of window:

Initial Flameshot Screenshot Dialog for a Screen Capture in Linux Mint

Now you draw a box around whatever you want to capture, and another dialog comes up:

Second Flameshot Screenshot Dialog for a Screen Capture in Linux Mint

There are several buttons there, but let me draw (pardon the pun) your attention to a few in particular.

The Arrow

This is awesome. You click it, and then you can draw an arrow to something. When taking screenshots with a default GIMP installation, I could draw lines, but not arrows. And as I said earlier, once I got a plugin to draw these, the lines and arrowheads got thicker as I made the lines longer. Flameshot’s arrows stay the same thickness, regardless of how far I drag them out.

The Circle

There’s another tool, like the arrow, that allows me to draw a red circle/oval around a piece of the screenshot.

Other Tools

There’s also a square tool that acts the same as that circle one, as well as a square tool that fills in the background with a sort of transparent red. Want to keep prying eyes from potentially sensitive information? There’s a tool for that too. Dork around with it.

Screen Capture in Linux Mint: Installation

Grabbing Flameshot, as long as you’re on Mint 19.3, is as easy as apt install flameshot. It’s a pretty simple program, but there is a FAQ and some troubleshooting information up on Flameshot’s website. Go ahead and give it a whirl. Let me know how you make out.

One response to “Screen Capture in Linux Mint: A Free Tool”

  1. cparker says:

    For anyone who’s interested, it’s now 1/22/2023 and I’m still using this app. As an employee (and tech-writer/documentarian) of a company providing an ERP, I am now using Flameshot all the time. I snag a shot in Flameshot, paste into a new GIMP window (and then use the Script-fu Arrow tool to draw attention to anything), and I’m off…

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