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To be able to use tools like gnome-screenshot or xfce4-screenshot one has to be logged in and with access to the desktop.

But what about capturing previous screens? That would have to be done in the console.

I do not imagine that the grub screen can be captured.

But what about the next ones?

  • The login window, the one for user and password

enter image description here

I have found some answers, like here. But I am in (Linux Mint 14) Xfce and I tried to replace gdm with xdm in the line

$ echo 'DISPLAY=:0 XAUTHORITY=/var/lib/gdm/:0.Xauth xwd -root' >/tmp/shot.sh

I get the error

no protocol specified
xwd: unable to open display ':0'
  • What about the following screen, to select the type of desktop?

enter image description here

  • And after that, the one to select between saved sessions?

(for which I could not find an image on the internet)

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Most of the images that you see in blog posts and how-tos are typically of a VM; that isn't to say it is the only way to do it, but it is the most convenient... –  jasonwryan Feb 16 '13 at 18:04
Maybe your display is something like :0.0. On echo 'DISPLAY=:0 XAUTHORITY=/var/lib/gdm/:0.Xauth xwd -root' >/tmp/shot.sh replace :0 with the value you obtain from running echo $DISPLAY on a graphical terminal. –  Martín Canaval Feb 18 '13 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


-display :0

Note the space after the display.

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