How to Take Screenshots in Ubuntu with a Time Delay

Ubuntu take screenshot with a delay

Taking timed screenshots is very important for a Linux user, 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 an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Take Screenshots in Ubuntu 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 features. You can access the Screenshot utility through the Ubuntu Dash or the Applications list.

Search for the screenshot utility

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.

Enter delay time

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 Screesnshot

Take Screenshots in Ubuntu with a Time Delay Through 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 Ubuntu Terminal either through Dash or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut and 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:

Use gnome-screenshot to take delayed screenshot

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.