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maim (Make Image) is a utility that takes screenshots of your desktop. It's meant to overcome shortcomings of scrot and performs better in several ways.


  • Takes screenshots of your desktop, and saves it in png, jpg, or bmp format.
  • Takes screenshots predetermined regions or windows, useful for automation.
  • Allows a users to select a region, or window, before taking a screenshot on the fly.

screenshot with selection

  • Blends the system cursor to the screenshot. screenshot with cursor
  • Masks off-screen pixels to be transparent or black.

screenshot with masked pixels

  • Maim cleanly pipes screenshots directly to standard output (unless otherwise specified). Allowing for command chaining.
  • Maim supports anything slop does, even selection shaders!

slop animation


Install using your Package Manager (Preferred)

Install using CMake (Requires CMake, git, libXrender, libXfixes, libGLM, libxcomposite, libxrandr)

git clone
cd slop
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/usr" ./
make && sudo make install
cd ..
git clone
cd maim
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/usr" ./
make && sudo make install


Maim allows for a lot of unique and interesting functionalities. Here's an example of a few interactions.

  • This command will allow you to select an area on your screen, then copy the selection to your clipboard. This can be used to easily post images in mumble, discord, gimp-- or any other image supporting application.
$ maim -s | xclip -selection clipboard -t image/png
  • This messy command forces a user to select a window to screenshot, then applies a shadow effect using imagemagick, then saves it to shadow.png. It looks really nice on windows that support an alpha channel.
$ maim -st 9999999 | convert - \( +clone -background black -shadow 80x3+5+5 \) +swap -background none -layers merge +repage shadow.png
  • This command is a particular favorite of mine, invented by a friend. It simply prints the RGB values of the selected pixel. A basic color picker that has the additional ability to average out the pixel values of an area. If used cleverly with the geometry and window flag, the return color might warn you of a found counter-strike match...
$ maim -st 0 | convert - -resize 1x1\! -format '%[pixel:p{0,0}]' info:-
  • This is a basic, but useful command that simply screenshots the current active window.
$ maim -i $(xdotool getactivewindow) ~/mypicture.jpg
  • This is another basic command, but I find it necessary to describe the usefulness of date. This particular command creates a full screenshot, and names it as the number of seconds that passed since 1970. Guaranteed unique, already sorted, and easily read.
$ maim ~/Pictures/$(date +%s).png
  • This one overlays a still of your desktop, then allows you to crop it. Doesn't play well with multiple monitors, but I'm sure if it did it wouldn't look this pretty and simple.
$ maim | feh - -x & maim -s cropped.png
$ maim -s /tmp/screenshot.png; /tmp/screenshot.png | xclip -selection clipboard


maim (make image) takes screenshots of your desktop. It has options to take only a region, and relies on slop to query for regions. maim is supposed to be an improved scrot.




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