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is there an easy FOSS way to get a screenshot of a curses-based command line GUI when X isn't installed?

What if the powers-that-be say I can't remote login? (I'm working on it ha)

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7 Answers 7

SSH to the server and run the curses-based command; it should translate properly to curses "graphics", depending on how your terminal client's emulation is configured. Screenshot using your desktop OS's utility.

At least, that's what I'd do.

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In addition to what Joe mentioned you can also use a virtual machine to get screen shots of things that you can't do any other way such as the installer.

If getting the output of a session including all commands and output command as text would be better then have a look at the script command. And in some situations something like pastebinit may be appropriate.

Although I'm not sure how script deals with a curses based app.

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I have done this on old serial terminals by takeing a photo of the termial screen. This is simple and works with no modifications to the terminal at all.

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yeah, this is a reasonable backup, i just need to fill out a few papers and wait a week for a photographer to come ;) –  Dustin Getz Mar 24 '10 at 13:45

One solution might be a video loopback. In theory, you could use a Video4Linux device then capture its output with a v4l capture program.

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You can also use the screen program, and pressing ctrl-a h will write the screen to a file 'hardcopy.n'.

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scrot is a cli based screenshot tool which i've used before. Its a little quirky (it'll take a screenshot of the system i'm sshed in from) but might be ideal for your needs

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scrot works great, instantly, just scrot from xterm or M-! scrot in emacs. Only - it requires X to work. –  Emanuel Berg Aug 29 '12 at 3:16

If you're running on a virtual terminal (e.g. [Ctrl]-Alt-F1), you can, from another terminal, type:

sudo cat /dev/vcs1 > screenshot_file

or

sudo cat /dev/vcsa1 > screenshot_file

but the results probably won't be satisfactory.

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Why not, you just have to edit it somewhat! (This can be automatized.) A screenshot from a CLI application should be in text, that's so brilliant no wonder I didn't think of it. Best answer! –  Emanuel Berg Aug 29 '12 at 2:51

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