Taking timed screenshots is very important, especially when you want to capture your screen or window in a specific state or time. For example, if you want to capture how a program behaves after n seconds, you can take a timed screenshot. In this article, we will explain how to take screenshots with a time delay both through the UI and the command line.

We have run the commands and procedure mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system.

Take Screenshots in Debian with a Time Delay through the UI

The Gnome Screenshot is a very useful screen capturing tool that lets you take timed screenshots, among many other things. You can access the Screenshot utility through the Application Launcher search or the Applications listing.


Now from the following dialog, select one among the following two options:

  • Grab the whole screen
  • Grab the current window

Then enter time, in seconds, in the ‘Grab after a delay of’ field and then press the Taks Screenshot button.

Take screenshot

Now you can switch to whatever window/whole screen you want to capture. The screenshot will be taken after the time delay you have set and you will be able to save it through the following dialog with whatever name and location you choose.

Save screenhot

Take Screenshots in Debian with a Time Delay on the Command Line

In order to take a timed screenshot through the command line, you will be making use of the same screenshot application but through the terminal.

Open the Debian Terminal through the Application Launcher search as follows:

Debian Terminal

The Application Launcher can be accessed through the Super/Windows key on your keyboard.

Then, enter the following command:


$ gnome-screenshot -w -d [timeinseconds]

The time limit for the d option is One Billion plus seconds which equals to 11574 days.


$ gnome-screenshot -w -d 5

You can switch to whatever screen you want and the screenshot will be taken and saved to your Pictures folder after the delay you have set.

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

Take screenshot on the shell

Through any of the ways described in this article, you can now capture your screens not immediately, but after a set time that you can specify in your UI screenshot application or the Terminal command for screen capturing.

How to Take Screenshots in Debian with a Time Delay

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn