scrot, an acronym for SCReen shOT) is a simple, freely distributed and open source software project designed to act as a command-line screen capture utility that uses the imlib2 library to grab and save images. It comes with support for multiple image formats and it’s available on numerous GNU/Linux distributions.
scrot is the favorite command-line screenshot utility of hundreds of thousands of Linux geeks, because of its really simple, yet functional architecture. It provides users with numerous command-line options, allowing them to take screenshots of an active window, the entire root window (desktop/screen) or a portion of the screen.
The program comes with approximately 10 command-line options, which allow you to grab the border of a window, display a countdown before taking the screenshot, add a delay before taking the screenshot (in seconds), run an external application before taking a screenshot, set the image quality, use the currently focused window, generate a thumbnail for the captured screenshot, interactively choose a rectangle or window with the mouse, as well as to capture a multi-monitor display.
Below we’ve prepared a simple example on how to use the scrot command-line screenshot utility to take screenshots of your Linux desktop and save it on a specific folder in the PNG image format, for those of you who are afraid of the Linux terminal.
scrot '%Y-%m-%d_$wx$h_scrot.png' -e 'mv $f ~/images/shots/'
It looks scary, we know, but it’s actually not, as the the above command simply creates a PNG file named something like “2014-09-11_1600x1024_scrot” and saves it in the shots folder under the images directory of your Home dir.
Under the hood and availability
A quick look under the hood will show us that scrot is written entirely in the C programming language. It depends of the X Window System, as it can only be used from a X11 terminal emulator to capture X11 windows, dialogs, any portion of the screen or the entire screen.