How to take screenshots in Debian with a time delay

It is very important to take synchronized screenshots, especially if you want to take a screenshot or window in a certain state or time. For example, if you want to get information about how the program behaves after n seconds, you can take a temporary screenshot. In this article, we will explain how to take screenshots with a delay both through the user interface and through the command line.

We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on the Debian 10 Buster system.

Take screenshots in Debian with a time delay through the user interface

Gnome Screenshot is a very useful screen capture tool that allows you to take temporary screenshots, among other things. You can access the Screenshot utility through a search in the Application Launcher or in the application list.

Now in the next dialog box, select one of the following two options:

  • Grab the whole screen
  • Capture current window

Then enter the time in seconds in the “Capture after delay” field and click the “Taks Screenshot” button.

Take a screenshot

Now you can switch to any window / whole screen that you want to capture. A screenshot will be taken after the delay you set, and you can save it in the next dialog box with any name and location that you choose.

Save screenshot

Take screenshots in Debian with a time delay on the command line

To take a temporary screenshot through the command line, you will use the same screen capture application, but through the terminal.

Open a Debian terminal by searching in the Application Launcher as follows:

Debian Terminal

Access to the Application Launcher can be obtained using the Super / Windows key on the keyboard.

Then enter the following command:


$ gnome-screenshot -w -d [timeinseconds]

The time limit for the d parameter is one billion plus seconds, which equals 11574 days.


$ gnome-screenshot -w -d 5

You can switch to any screen you want and a screenshot will be taken and saved in the “Images” folder after the delay you set.

In my case, I did not change the view, so the screenshot looks like this:

Take a screenshot on the shell

Using any of the methods described in this article, you can now capture your screens not immediately, but after a set time, which you can specify in your application for a screenshot of the user interface or in the terminal command to capture the screen.

How to take screenshots in Debian with a time delay