I'd like to have functionality like this in Linux, Xorg, whereby I can sketch on the desktop as in the example image below. Anybody have suggestions?

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


You can use Gromit-MPX, which is an improved version of Gromit. Since it allows (but not requires) compositing, it should be much faster than Gromit where a compositing X11 desktop is available.

It's available in the Debian / Ubuntu repos at least. See my related answer over at askubuntu.com StackExchange for installation and usage under Ubuntu. (Usage in short: use Pause instead of F9 under Ubuntu.)

  • 1
    In 2018, this is what I use. Apr 22, 2018 at 19:12
  • 1
    And again in 2022. Jan 21, 2022 at 21:30

It seems such a tool exists for GNU/Linux already. It's called Ardesia. Read about it here

Example (taken from the above link):

enter image description here

Also, note that ardesia seems to have made its way into the repos (it's in the Debian stable repos, at least).

  • Seems to be awesome, except I need to install a compositor. For Fluxbox, maybe I'll just go Compiz and be done with it! Thanks! Nov 28, 2013 at 15:51
  • @T.C. If you're going with Compiz, you should also consider its Annotate plugin suggested in slm's answer.
    – Joseph R.
    Nov 28, 2013 at 15:54


Here's another one, Pylote. It's a Python based app.

                          ss of pylote

Compiz Annotate Plugin

There's also this plugin to Compiz, simply called Annotate.


This is another option, which is in the repos, at least on Ubuntu. It's called Gromit.


  • @JosephR. - yeah, you'll have to download and install this one the old fashioned way 8-)
    – slm
    Nov 27, 2013 at 23:08

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