HotShots: A Lightweight and Useful Screen Capture Tool For Linux

The default screen capture tool in Linux (particularly Ubuntu) is really minimal. As a blogger who need to take screenshots all the time, I always wished the default screen capture tool in Ubuntu could do more than just taking screenshot. Shutter is a good alternative, but it is getting heavy and it crashes regularly on my system. If you are looking for a good alternative, HotShots is one lightweight screen capture tool that could be useful for you.

Hotshots is a screenshot tool written with Qt. One of the things that differentiates it from the default screen capture tool is the built-in image editor that you can use immediately after taking screenshot. This will save you the effort of saving the screenshot and open it with another image editor.

Installation of HotShots

HotShots is available for both Windows and Linux. For Ubuntu (and all other Ubuntu-based distros),you can install via the PPA:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dhor/myway
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install hotshots

For Windows users, you can grab the installer from its SourceForge page.


HotShots is very easy to use. On its main screen, you just click the big “Take a new snapshot” button and it will immediately grab a screenshot of your desktop. You can also quickly configure the parameters like the Output Path, whether it should grab the current screen, all screens (for mult-monitors configuration), grab a window, region or a freehand region. You can also specify the delay and what it should do after taking the snapshot.


If you have selected the freehand region, you can use your mouse to draw out the region for the snapshot. This is pretty fun.


And the good thing about HotShots is that it comes with a basic image editor that you can get it to open immediately after taking screenshot.


In the editor, you can add annotation, draw shapes, lines, curves and simple effects. Once you are done with the editing, you can either save it as an edition (so you can return to edit it later), export it to your preferred image format, or even save it to the Web. It currently supports FTP,,, Imageshack and Canard PC.

HotShots Preferences

The Preferences section is where you can configure HotShots to your liking. You can decide if HotShots should start in notification tray and whether it should start on login.


The “Snapshot” tab is where all the gists are. You can get it to auto copy the new snapshot to the clipboard, force background color, the filename format to save the file to and the file format. You can also add post effect like drop shadow or torn edge.


The next thing that I like about HotShots is that you are able to assign hotkeys to grab screenshot. The default hotkey is F5, but you can change it in the Hotkeys tab.



If you are like me who need to take screenshot on a regular basis, you will appreciate the many features built into HotShots, not to mention that it is lightweight and doesn’t take up much resources. What makes it even better is that it comes with plenty of customization options so you can configure it to your liking. If you have not it tried out, do give it a try. I am sure you will like it too.



Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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