How to Take and Annotate Screenshots in Linux Using ksnip

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Take Annotate Screenshots Linux ksnip

A unique feature of ksnip is the ability to comment and alter screenshots after they’ve been captured. Installing and using it on Linux is explained here.

To take a screenshot of your screen, most Linux distributions have a built-in screenshot tool. However, when compared to third-party alternatives, many of these built-in tools might feel sluggish and lack valuable capabilities.

Fortunately, Linux users have access to a wide variety of screenshot utilities that may be installed on their system. I like ksnip because it’s so easy to use and gives so many options.

To learn more about ksnip, as well as how to use it on Linux, keep reading.

What exactly is a ksnip?

ksnip is a screenshot tool for Linux that is built on the Qt framework. It is compatible with X11, KDE Plasma, Wayland, and GNOME, which are the four most popular desktop environments.

The comprehensive feature set that ksnip possesses is what differentiates it from other snapshot programs. These features include numerous capture modes, capture via command line, annotation, uploading recorded screenshots by FTP and scripts, and actions that ease some ksnip activities.

Features of ksnip

You will get access to the following features if you use ksnip:

  • Multiple capture modes
  • Take screenshots using the corresponding terminal.
  • Support for multiple displays
  • Screenshots should be uploaded via FTP or a custom script.
  • Personalized naming of files
  • Options for extensive annotation and editing are available.
  • Protect the privacy of sensitive information by blurring or pixelating it.
  • Add watermark
  • Pin screenshots to desktop
  • Shortcut keys for instant image capture
  • Plugins

How to Install ksnip on Linux

ksnip is available on all major Linux distros. You may install it in a number different methods, some of which are given below, depending on the distribution of Linux that you have running on your system.

Launch the terminal application on Ubuntu or Debian, and type in the following command:

sudo apt install ksnip

If you are working with Arch Linux, you should use:

sudo pacman -S ksnip

You may install ksnip on any other Linux distribution that you use by using Snap or Flatpak. With either of these approaches, the first thing you need to do is check that the package manager you want to use to set up ksnip is already installed on your computer.

To accomplish this, launch the terminal and type:

snap –version


flatpak –version

If the report provides a version number, this indicates that Snap or Flatpak is already present on your computer system. If not, it isn’t, and you will need to install it first; this is something that you can accomplish by following our comprehensive tutorial to installing Snap and Flatpak.

After you have installed Snap, you may install ksnip by running the following command:

sudo snap install ksnip

When using Flatpak, you can:

flatpak install flathub org.ksnip.ksnip

You also have the option of using ksnip’s AppImage if you’d like a less complicated approach to getting the program up and running. To begin, navigate to the GitHub website for ksnip and save the AppImage to your computer.

Download: ksnip (AppImage)

After that, travel to the Downloads directory by using the cd command and the ls command respectively. Execute the command that follows once you are inside it to convert the AppImage into an executable:

chmod a+x ksnip-*.AppImage

To launch it, enter:


Or, to do it using the graphical user interface, use the file manager to go to the Downloads directory, right-click on the AppImage, and pick Properties from the context menu that appears. If you are using a file manager that is based on Nautilus, go to the Permissions tab, and then make sure the box next to Allow running file as a program is checked. If you are using PCManFM, make sure that the Is executable option in Dolphin is selected, and then adjust the Execute dropdown to allow anybody to run the program.

How to Use the Ksnip Program on Linux

After ksnip has been successfully installed, visit the programs menu, perform a search for “ksnip,” and then run the program. You will now see a little window that has a number of various choices. In the event that you do not already have it open, you may open it by clicking on the ksnip icon that is located in the system tray.

Configuring ksnip

There are a few configurations that need to be adjusted in ksnip before you can begin taking screenshots using the program. To access them, navigate to the main window of ksnip, click the Options button, and then pick Settings.


  • If you go into the application settings and check the box next to the option that says “Automatically copy fresh captures to clipboard,” the screenshot will be copied to your clipboard as soon as it is taken.
  • To prevent having to select a new directory every time you take a screenshot, navigate to the Application menu, click on Saver, and then select the checkbox next to the Remember last save directory option.
  • In the Saver tab, you can choose the default place for your new screenshots by tapping the Browse button that is located next to the Save Location field.

Taking Screenshots With ksnip

It is simple to take a screenshot with ksnip, and you can do so by either making use of the program’s shortcut keys or by manually selecting a capture mode from inside the program’s main window.

Make sure that the “Hotkeys” option is turned on in the settings if you wish to utilize them. HotKeys may be found in the program’s settings, so navigate there. In this section, you need to make sure that the box next to Enable Global HotKeys is checked. While you’re here, you may as well look at the shortcut keys for the various capture modes.

Now, navigate to the screen or window that you want to screenshot and press one of the shortcut keys for taking screenshots when you are there. Alternately, you may bring up the main window of ksnip, click on the dropdown menu that is located next to New, and then pick a capture mode that is appropriate for your requirements.

After you have taken the screenshot, it will be shown in the ksnip window for you to select. To save it, either press Ctrl + S on your keyboard or click the Save button in the taskbar.

Annotating Screenshots With ksnip

Annotating Screenshots With ksnip

After you have taken a screenshot, you will typically want to annotate it or modify it in order to make the image more attractive or to correct its formatting. ksnip comes with an editor that is integrated right in, so you can perform all of this work without leaving the software.

The moment you take a screenshot, it will display all of the annotation choices on the left pane for you to choose from. These options include Select, Duplicate, Arrow, Pen, Text, Blur, as well as tools for Ellipse and Rectangle drawing.

To use any of these tools, simply click on the icon of that tool on the left side of the screen. Then, based on the tool that you used, take the appropriate action on your snapshot.

Pinning a Screenshot to Your Desktop

It’s possible that you’ll want to record a screenshot of your computer so that you may refer to it while you’re working in another software. This is made possible by ksnip’s pin function, which allows you to permanently attach the screenshot you’ve taken to your computer’s desktop.

To utilize this function, first take a screenshot of the screen you wish to pin, then select Options > Pin from the menu. Alternately, you may use the shortcut that is just Shift plus P.

Adding a Watermark to a Screenshot

You will first need to produce a watermark for your screenshot and then add it to ksnip before you will be able to apply it to your screenshot. Given that you’ve previously completed the preceding step, the following is a rundown of how to submit the watermark to ksnip:

  • In the ksnip window, select Settings by tapping on the Options button.
  • To enhance the functionality of the Annotator, click on it in the left pane, then pick the Watermark option.
  • Click the button labeled “Update.”
  • Choose the file that contains the watermark that is currently stored on your device, and then click Open to submit it to ksnip.
  • To save the watermark, press the Ok button.

Now, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to utilize it, simply take a screenshot and then select Edit > Apply Watermark from the menu. ksnip will then add your watermark on the screenshot. If you want to relocate it to a different location, you may do so by clicking on it and dragging the pointer or mouse in the desired direction.

Creating a ksnip Action

Ksnip’s ability to enable users define their own actions for the different procedures that may be carried out on screenshots is one of the program’s many useful capabilities. You are able to build an action for any of the following ksnip procedures as of the time of this writing:

  • Take snapshots of your computer (including delayed screenshots)
  • Display the image in the pin window.
  • Image will be copied to the clipboard.
  • Put up a picture.
  • Save image
  • Open picture parent directory
  • Cover up the primary window.

Let’s imagine, for the sake of this tutorial, that you wish to develop an action that can take a screenshot when a wait has passed. To do this, navigate to the Settings page in ksnip. Select Actions from the menu on the left, and then click the “Add” button at the very top of the screen.

Now, in the Name area, provide a name for the action you want to take. In a similar manner, click on the text field that is located next to Shortcut, and then hit the keyboard shortcut that you choose for this activity.

Next, check the box labeled Take Capture, and then use the dropdown button next to the Delay heading to choose the amount of time (in seconds) that you want the delay to be. After that, pick a capture mode from the list that appears after clicking on the dropdown arrow that is located next to “Capture Mode.”

In the end, you must press the OK button to preserve the activity.

With ksnip, you can take better screenshots on Linux

Taking screenshots is a convenient method to share the contents of your screen with other people, which may be useful in a variety of situations, including assisting someone with troubleshooting, communicating an error message, and other similar activities.

It has been demonstrated that ksnip is one of the most effective screenshot utilities for Linux. It is free to use and provides all of the functionality that are required to fulfill the majority of your snapshot requirements.

Having said that, if you are interested in exploring further possibilities, the following are a few different applications for taking screenshots on Linux.

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