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X screen shots from the console

March 24, 2011

I had to debug a machine that was behind a DSL-2000 connection, and had about 20 KB/s of upstream. For that, I needed to see what was going on on the X screen, but due to the low bandwidth (and a screen resolution of 1920×1080), VNC was about as fast as 2 frames per minute.

But I found a comparable replacement: The ImageMagick suite has a program called import that allows you to dump the contents of the X screen to a image file. So I took a few screen shots from the console via DISPLAY=:0 import -window root foo.png and then copied the files to my machine.


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  1. hans
    April 29, 2011 at 15:11

    Useful, thank you!

  2. May 22, 2011 at 08:07

    “scrot” is also pretty neat (I believe it was in some ways more powerful than the imagemagick stuff but I don’t recall in which)

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