Take, Edit, And Upload Screenshots With Shutter

For such a minimal thing, there are some strong opinions about Shutter. Me? I love Shutter. I love Shutter, warts and all. Some folks have some pretty strong opinions regarding how much they dislike Shutter. And, well, they’re not all wrong. Their complaints can be pretty legitimate.

Man, sometimes Shutter will freeze when you try to take a screenshot limited to just a specific section of the screen. Shutter went a very long time without getting any updates – so long that it has been booted from some of the repositories, as it relied on older libraries.

But, things have changed… Well, no… No, that bug is still there and I’ve been too lazy to report it. But, on a positive note, it’s actively being developed again. It is now ported to GTK3 and is slowly making its way back into the default repositories. The author is now fixing bugs again.

Because of this, I feel comfortable putting it out there. Yeah, once in a while it’ll freeze – and you have to use a TTY to stop the processes manually – but it’s worth it. That doesn’t happen all that often.

I not only use Shutter for screenshots, I use it to do quick edits to pictures I plan on uploading. You can even upload it to a few services from within the program itself – like Imgur and DropBox. The editing is a bit better than basic editing and more than enough to redact important information, crop, add text, add arrows etc…

Screenshots With Shutter:

I usually work with Lubuntu, and in the Ubuntu family. So, I’m just going to cover how to install it with Lubuntu, or any official Ubuntu flavor. For quite some time, you’ve had to add a PPA (repository) but there’s now a new ‘official’ PPA that you can use.

This step requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T.

Once you have the terminal open, you can add the official PPA with the following:

If you’re using a modern release, it should then automatically update the database. If you’re using something older, go with this next:

Once that has finished, you just need to install it. That’s done with:

Let that finish and, once installed, you can open Shutter from the menu and immediately go to work taking screenshots. 

If you want to integrate it into your system the shortcuts would be:

shutter -f for a full screenshot
shutter -a for the active window
shutter -s to manually grab an area

So, swap those to fully integrate it into your system – if you want. 

Give it a shot. You might like it. It actually works these days without installing a bunch of old library packages. If you decide you don’t like it, you can always remove it. To remove it, you’d simple run these commands:

And remove the PPA with:

Tada! It’s all gone. Again, it’ll be a bit different if you’re not using Ubuntu or an official Ubuntu flavor. Any distro that also supports PPAs should handle this by default, so there’s that. There’s a way to install it on most distros, if you want to put the effort in.


There you have it, another article – and this one is about Shutter – a tool to take screenshots. I find it easiest to just integrate it into the system and just have the application sitting in the tray. After all, I deal with a lot of images and a whole lot of screenshots. I’m not sure how I got there, but here I am. Man, I take a lot of screenshots.

Like I said, you can use it to edit regular images too. Then, you just click the button to export them and you upload them to sites like Imgur. If you’re curious, it looks a bit like this:

shutter in action
Shutter can be used all sorts of ways – including editing pictures.

Anyhow, it’s worth looking at again. I’ve used it all along, but there are bug fixes and the whole porting to GTK3 thing. If you’ve shunned it, or overlooked it, it’s time to try it again – warts and all. Just try reporting bugs (me too) and we’ll see where it goes.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Get notified when new articles are published! It's free and I won't send you any spam.
Linux Tips
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.