maim - Man Page

make image

Examples (TL;DR)


maim [Options] [FILEPATH]


maim (make image) is an utility that takes a screenshot of your desktop, and encodes a png or jpg image of it. By default it outputs the encoded image data directly to standard output.


-h,  --help

Print help and exit.

-v,  --version

Print version and exit.

-x,  --xdisplay=hostname:number.screen_number

Sets the xdisplay to use.

-f,  --format=STRING

Sets the desired output format, by default maim will attempt to determine the desired output format automatically from the output file. If that fails it defaults to a lossless png format. Currently only supports `png` or `jpg`.

-i,  --window=WINDOW

Sets the desired window to capture, defaults to the root window. Allows for an integer, hex, or `root` for input.

-g,  --geometry=GEOMETRY

Sets the region to capture, uses local coordinates from the given window. So -g 10x30-5+0 would represent the rectangle wxh+x+y where w=10, h=30, x=-5, and y=0. x and y are the upper left location of this rectangle.

-w,  --parent=WINDOW

By default, maim assumes the --geometry values are in respect to the provided --window (or root if not provided). This parameter overrides this behavior by making the geometry be in respect to whatever window you provide to --parent. Allows for an integer, hex, or `root` for input.

-B,  --capturebackground

By default, when capturing a window, maim will ignore anything beneath the specified window. This parameter overrides this and also captures elements underneath the window.

-d,  --delay=FLOAT

Sets the time in seconds to wait before taking a screenshot. Prints a simple message to show how many seconds are left before a screenshot is taken. See --quiet for muting this message.

-u,  --hidecursor

By default maim super-imposes the cursor onto the image, you can disable that behavior with this flag.

-m,  --quality

An integer from 1 to 10 that determines the compression quality. 1 is the highest (and lossiest) compression available for the provided format. For example a setting of `1` with png (a lossless format) would increase filesize and decrease decoding time. While a setting of `1` on a jpeg would create a pixel mush.

-s,  --select

Enables an interactive selection mode where you may select the desired region or window before a screenshot is captured. Uses the settings below to determine the visuals and settings of slop.

Slop Options

-b,  --bordersize=FLOAT

Sets the selection rectangle's thickness.

-p,  --padding=FLOAT

Sets the padding size for the selection, this can be negative.

-t,  --tolerance=FLOAT

How far in pixels the mouse can move after clicking, and still be detected as a normal click instead of a click-and-drag. Setting this to 0 will disable window selections. Alternatively setting it to 9999999 would force a window selection.


Sets the selection rectangle's color. Supports RGB or RGBA input. Depending on the system's window manager/OpenGL support, the opacity may be ignored.

-r,  --shader=STRING

This sets the vertex shader, and fragment shader combo to use when drawing the final framebuffer to the screen. This obviously only works when OpenGL is enabled. The shaders are loaded from ~/.config/maim. See for more information on how to create your own shaders.

-n,  --nodecorations=INT

Sets the level of aggressiveness when trying to remove window decorations. `0' is off, `1' will try lightly to remove decorations, and `2' will recursively descend into the root tree until it gets the deepest available visible child under the mouse. Defaults to `0'.

-l,  --highlight

Instead of outlining a selection, maim will highlight it instead. This is particularly useful if the color is set to an opacity lower than 1.

-D,  --nodrag

Allows you to click twice to indicate a selection, rather than click-dragging.

-q,  --quiet

Disable any unnecessary cerr output. Any warnings or info simply won't print.

-k,  --nokeyboard

Disables the ability to cancel selections with the keyboard.

-o,  --noopengl

Disables graphics hardware acceleration.


Screenshot the active window and save it to the clipboard for quick pasting.

    maim -i $(xdotool getactivewindow) | xclip -selection clipboard -t image/png

Save a desktop screenshot with a unique ordered timestamp in the Pictures folder.

    maim ~/Pictures/$(date +%s).png

Save screenshot to the Pictures folder and add it to the clipboard at the same time.

    maim | tee ~/Pictures/$(date +%s).png | xclip -selection clipboard -t image/png

Prompt for a region to screenshot. Add a fancy shadow to it, then save it to shadow.png.

    maim -s | convert - \( +clone -background black -shadow 80x3+5+5 \) +swap -background none -layers merge +repage shadow.png

See Also



No known bugs.


Dalton Nell (

Referenced By


2017-03-21 Linux maim man page