[HowTo] Make Video Screen Capture On Ubuntu

If you want to promote your videos then you should give your video screen capture or snapshot to your customer. So they can see the quality of the videos and how the videos looks like before they buy it. In Windows you can use Windows Media Player classic to do so, you can refer to my post to see how to do that. In Ubuntu you can do so, but you doesn’t need a media player to capture it. You can make it from command line.

We are going to use mtn to make screen capture of your videos. Why mtn? Here are the reasons:

  1. No GUI required
  2. Simple to use
  3. Very fast time of getting captures 0,5-5 seconds (on standard settings)

So here the steps to install it:

  1. Open your terminal and update your repositories:
    sudo apt-get update
  2. Install this libraries:
    sudo apt-get install -y libgd2 libavcodec libavformat libavutil libswscale
  3. Download and unpack movie thumbnailer (mtn) binary:
  4. Give the mtn file execute permission:
    chmod +x mtn
  5. Alias it:
    vim /home/[your_user_name]/.bashrc

    add this line:

    alias mtn='/[path to your mtn folder]/mtn'
  6. Installation Done

How to use it:

  1. 1. Simple use:
    mtn moviename.avi
  2. If you got fonts error you can use this command:
    mtn moviename.avi -f /var/lib/defoma/gs.d/dirs/fonts/VeraBd.ttf

    Useful parameters:
    -b 0.80 – will skip screen cap if 80% of screen is blank
    -c x – use number instead of x, that’s number of columns
    -j 90 – jpeg quality in %
    -r x – number of rows same as columns
    -T text – addtext above output image

For more option please checkout the mtn page here.
Download for Windows also available


  1. kunnu says:

    show mtn command not found

    I am use CentOS5

  2. hi Kunny,
    mtn is not available on Centos repository nor Ubuntu.
    You have to install it manually.
    See my instruction how to get it.

  3. Dir Seo says:

    I am follow your tutorial.

    but still show bash: mnt command not found

  4. Dir Seo says:

    also show libgd2 package is not found

  5. Dir Seo says:


    My problem is fixed 🙂

    I am not add correct alias in .bashrc 🙂

    Thanks for your tutorial.

  6. My pleasure 🙂

  7. not working keeps saying, mtn, program not installed, do you want to install (monotone)

    im using 10.10

  8. Very helpful how-to. mtn is easy to use, fast and gives great result.

  9. LucyMillan says:

    nice info, thanx) but as for me, i'd recommend to use this tool http://www.macvide.com/Macvide_screencap/, i heard a lot of nice opinions about it!)

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