python screenshot

pip install pyscreenshot==2.2


The pyscreenshot module can be used to copy the contents of the screen to a PIL or Pillow image memory using various back-ends. Replacement for the ImageGrab Module, which works on Windows only, so Windows users don't need this library. For handling image memory (e.g. saving to file, converting,..) please read PIL or Pillow documentation.


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Pyscreenshot tries to allow to take screenshots without installing 3rd party libraries. It is cross-platform but useful for Linux based distributions. It is only a pure Python wrapper, a thin layer over existing back-ends. Its strategy should work on most Linux distributions: a lot of back-ends are wrapped, if at least one exists then it works, if not then one back-end should be installed.
Known problems:
Similar projects:


grab and show the whole screen:

#-- include('examples/') --#
import pyscreenshot as ImageGrab

if __name__ == '__main__':

    # grab fullscreen
    im = ImageGrab.grab()

    # save image file'screenshot.png')

    # show image in a window

to start the example:

python3 -m pyscreenshot.examples.showgrabfullscreen

grab and show the part of the screen:

#-- include('examples/')--#
import pyscreenshot as ImageGrab

if __name__ == '__main__':
    # part of the screen
    im = ImageGrab.grab(bbox=(10, 10, 510, 510))  # X1,Y1,X2,Y2

to start the example:

python3 -m pyscreenshot.examples.showgrabbox


  • install Pillow (Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install python3-pil)

  • install at least one back-end

  • install the program:

    pip3 install pyscreenshot

Command line interface

Back-end performance:

The performance can be checked with pyscreenshot.check.speedtest.


#-- sh('python3 -m pyscreenshot.check.speedtest --virtual-display 2>/dev/null') --#

scrot                 6.1  sec        (  608 ms per call)
imagemagick           9.7  sec        (  969 ms per call)
wx                    4.1  sec        (  408 ms per call)
pygdk3                3.3  sec        (  328 ms per call)
qtpy                  6.9  sec        (  687 ms per call)
pyqt5                 6.9  sec        (  687 ms per call)
pyqt                  6.4  sec        (  644 ms per call)
pyside2               6.7  sec        (  671 ms per call)
pyside                6.5  sec        (  652 ms per call)
gnome-screenshot      12   sec        ( 1209 ms per call)

Print versions:

#-- sh('python3 -m pyscreenshot.check.versions 2> /dev/null ')--#
python               3.7.3
pyscreenshot         0.7
scrot                1.1.1
imagemagick          6.9.10
wx                   4.0.4
pygdk3               3.32.0
qtpy                 1.3.1
pyqt5                5.12.1
pyqt                 4.12.1
pyside2              5.11.2
pyside               1.2.2
pygtk                missing
gnome-screenshot     3.30.0


On Wayland only the gnome-screenshot back-end works:

im = ImageGrab.grab(backend='gnome-screenshot')