Taking screenshots is one of the many important features of our devices. Once in a while, every one of us would want to take a picture of something on the screen. Different devices come with different screenshot tools with different features. Flameshot is a free open source screenshot tool available for Linux, Windows and MAC OS. It can be easily installed and it comes with additional features not found with the default screenshot tools. The features include:

  • Ability to edit image instantly
  • Can be used both from the GUI and CLI
  • Export and import configuration
  • Easy to use
  • Can be customimed
  • Image uploads to lmgur

Installing Flameshot on Linux

Flameshot can be installed in Linux using two methods: with package manager, building from source and by downloading Flameshot package from github.

Method 1: Install Flameshot on Linux using Package managers

Flameshot can be installed using packages managers for different Linux distributions as below:

# Install Flameshot on RHEL|Centos|Fedora
$ sudo yum install flameshot

# Install Flameshot on Ubuntu|debian-based distros
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install flameshot

# Install Flameshot on Arch Linux/ Manjaro
$ sudo pacman -S flameshot

Method 2: Building Flameshot on Linux from Source

First install dependencies and proceed to package flameshot.

Install Flameshot build dependencies on Debian / Ubuntu systems:

sudo apt install g++ cmake build-essential qt5-default qttools5-dev-tools libqt5svg5-dev qttools5-dev
sudo apt install libqt5dbus5 libqt5network5 libqt5core5a libqt5widgets5 libqt5gui5 libqt5svg5
sudo apt install git openssl ca-certificates
git clone https://github.com/lupoDharkael/flameshot.git
cd flameshot
sudo mkdir build
cd build
sudo cmake ../
sudo make
sudo make install

Install Flameshot build dependencies on Fedora systems:

sudo dnf install gcc-c++ cmake qt5-qtbase-devel qt5-linguist
sudo dnf install qt5-qtbase qt5-qtsvg-devel
sudo dnf install git openssl ca-certificates
git clone https://github.com/lupoDharkael/flameshot.git
cd flameshot
sudo mkdir build
cd build
sudo cmake ../
sudo make
sudo make install

Install Flameshot build dependencies on Arch / Manjaro systems:

sudo pacman -S cmake base-devel git qt5-base qt5-tools
sudo pacman -S qt5-svg
sudo pacman -S openssl ca-certificates
git clone https://github.com/lupoDharkael/flameshot.git
cd flameshot
sudo mkdir build
cd build
sudo cmake ../
sudo make
sudo make install

Method 3: Download Flameshot Packages from Github

The second method is to download Flameshot from Github, https://github.com/flameshot-org/flameshot/releases, depending on your distribution. You can use the links below to download and install on your distribution. More releases available in the site.

# Install Flameshot on Ubuntu 20.04
wget https://github.com/flameshot-org/flameshot/releases/download/v0.9.0/flameshot-0.9.0-1.ubuntu-20.04.amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i flameshot-0.9.0-1.ubuntu-20.04.amd64.deb

# If you encounter dependency errors, run the command below and repeat the installation command
sudo apt install -f

# Install flameshot on Debian 10
wget https://github.com/flameshot-org/flameshot/releases/download/v0.9.0/flameshot-0.9.0-1.debian-10.amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i flameshot-0.9.0-1.debian-10.amd64.deb

#Install Flameshot on Rhel-based distributions
wget https://github.com/flameshot-org/flameshot/releases/download/v0.9.0/flameshot-0.9.0-1.fc32.x86_64.rpm
sudo rpm -i flameshot-0.9.0-1.fc32.x86_64.rpm

How To Use Flameshot on Linux To Take Screenshots

Once you have installed flameshot, you can launch it from the cli and from desktop applications. On your desktop, search for Flameshot and rightclick on it. These should give you different options as shown;

You can see options you can do with flameshot. To take screenshot, just click on ‘Take screenshot’. Once you select the area to capture, you will be presented with quite a number of options you can do with the screenshot such as drawing painters, saving the image to lmgr, copy, add text, save locally, option to close the screenshot session and so on.

To discard the screenshot, you can click on x or press Esc. You can also simply press Enter to copy the capture to clipboard.

Under ‘configure‘ you should find different things to configure. For example, under ‘Interface’ you find UI colour editor and button selection. Select or deselect the options as you wish.

The screenshot is by default saved with a date name. You can configure how you want your screenshots to be saved under ‘filename editor’. Once you make your changes, click save

The shortcut tab presents various key combination for different uses as shown below:

If you click on ‘App Launcher‘ after you right click the flameshot application, it should present you with a dialogues box where you can choose capture mode for the monitors you want to take screenshot. Here we have rectangular region and full screen (all monitors). You can also set delay time.

How to use Flameshot from the command line

From the cli, you can use flameshot with flameshot command. Check the examples below:

To get help, run the command as shown:

$ flameshot -h
Usage: flameshot [flameshot-options] [arguments]

Per default runs Flameshot in the background and adds a tray icon for configuration.

  -h, --help     Displays this help
  -v, --version  Displays version information

  gui            Start a manual capture in GUI mode.
  screen         Capture a single screen.
  full           Capture the entire desktop.
  launcher       Open the capture launcher.
  config         Configure flameshot.

To take a screenshot with GUI (to open GUI mode from cli), run the below command. Once you run the command, it will ask to to select an area to screenshot

flameshot gui

If you want to save the screenshot above to a specific directory, specify the path as below:

flameshot gui -p /path-to-save-screenshot

To delay the screenshot, use -d with the amount of time to delay. For example, to delay by by 5 second, the command should be as below:

flameshot gui -d 5000

To do a full screen capture, delay and save to a specific path:

flameshot full -p /path-to-captures -d 5000

To copy the capture to clipboard, use –c tag

flameshot full -c

To take a screenshot of where the mouse is:

flameshot screen -r

To open the configuration window, use the below command:

flameshot config

Flameshot configuration file is found in /home/<user>/.config/flameshot. However, is not recommended to edit this file directly. You can make the configuration changes fron GUi.

We have seen how to install and use Flameshot on various Linux distributions. As shown, Flameshot comes with better features compared to the ones found in the default screenshot tools. It is free and easy to install. I hope the guide has been useful in guiding you on the installation of Flameshot. Explore and enjoy using.

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