I'm trying to take a screenshot of Firefox running on Unity/Ubuntu 16.04 inside VirtualBox 5.1.2. Pressing Prt Scrn pops open a little app called Screenshot but the screenshot shown is only ever the desktop, with no application windows visible.

My host operating system is Windows 10 Pro.

Does anyone know how to resolve this and get screenshot functionality working inside VirtualBox?


You may take a screenshot with VirtualBox's built-in screenshot capability, either through pressing RightCtrl+E (or LeftCmd+E on Mac), which will open up a save file window on the host), or with

$ VBoxManage controlvm vmname screenshotpng screenshot.png

from the command line of the host, where vmname is the name of the virtual machine and screenshot.png is the name of the PNG image you'd like to create.

  • I never knew this, so thanks for the tip - not a solution, but does get me around the problem. – James Aug 22 '16 at 12:53

The VirtualBox has its own buit-in screenshot utility, which you can use via Host+E (Host is right Ctrl) keyboard shortcut. Alternatively, you could use gnome-screenshot which comes with Unity by default, and export the file later to imgur or other service. Shared folder is also an option, but you will need to have guest additions installed in order for that to work

On a side note, Ubuntu has Alt+Print_Screen shortcut for taking screenshot of currently focused window, which you can use as an alternative.

  • Alt+Prt Scrn also only captures the desktop unfortunately – James Aug 22 '16 at 12:52

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