Last updated July 3rd, 2019

Want to take screenshots in RetroPie? Here is how you can take screenshots of your favourite retro games in RetroPie, or even screenshots of RetroPie themes and menus. If you can see it on your RetroPie screen, you can screenshot it!

There are many reasons why you may want to take a screenshot in RetroPie. You may want to personalize your theme by taking your own screenshots and applying them to theme background images. Or maybe you got a massive high score in your favourite game, and you want to show it to the world. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to take screenshots in RetroPie.

RetroPie doesn’t have an inbuilt screenshot system though. To be able to take screenshots in RetroPie you will need to download a screenshot library for RetroPie called ‘raspi2png’. Here’s what you need to do to get raspi2png installed and get snapping away with retro gaming screenshots.

Connect to your RetroPie via SSH using PuTTY

To be able to install raspi2png we need to be able to access the Raspberry Pi command line. I find the easiest way to do this is by using an SSH client called PuTTY, though you can use any SSH client you like. Here is a link to the PuTTY website where you can download the SSH client:

There are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions available for download, so make sure to download the correct version for your version of Windows. Once you have downloaded PuTTY, open it up and you’ll see the PuTTY configuration window.

What we need at this point is the hostname for your RetroPie. The hostname can be the IP address of your RetroPie, or it can simply be ‘retropie’. The hostname mentioned above is the default hostname for RetroPie. Put your hostname of ‘retropie’ into the hostname field, and then click the ‘Open’ button at the bottom of the configuration window.

Another pop-up window will appear asking for the username and password of your Raspberry Pi. Use the default username of ‘pi’ and password of ‘raspberry’. You should now see the command line of your RetroPie.

Click to enlarge image

Download and install raspi2png

Now that we have access to the RetroPie command line using PuTTY, we can now download raspi2png. The first thing you need to do is download the raspi2png library repository from Github:

git clone https://github.com/AndrewFromMelbourne/raspi2png

After you have downloaded raspi2png to your RetroPie, you then need to make a copy of the library to your user directory. Then can be done using the following text in the command line:

sudo cp -a raspi2png/raspi2png /usr/local/bin

You are now all set to go to take screenshots in RetroPie!

Click to enlarge image

Now lets take some RetroPie screenshots

To be able to take screenshots, you need to type in some text in the RetroPie command line. The easiest way to do this is to type in text in the command line using PuTTY, and press ‘Enter’ when you want to take a screenshot.

At this stage, the easiest way to take a screenshot is by using the following command:

raspi2png -p screenshot-name.png

What this will do is create a screenshot in PNG format with the filename of ‘screenshot-name.png’. It will place the file in the location of /usr/local/bin on your RetroPie.

What you can do to keep things nice and tidy is set up a screenshots folder for storing your screenshots. You can do this with the following command:

sudo mkdir ~/screenshots

With the screenshots directory set up, you can specify where the screenshot goes with this command:

raspi2png -p ~/screenshots/screenshot-name.png

Options when taking screenshots

There are many options with the raspi2png screenshot system. Some options are the width and height of the screenshots and the compression levels of the screenshot PNG files.

By default, the width and height are taken from the resolution of the monitor or screen your RetroPie is connected to.

For the compression levels, the PNG images are at full size by default. To set the compression level to about half, you could use the following command line:

raspi2png -p screenshot-name.png -c 5

A full rundown of all of the raspi2png options can be found at the raspi2png Github repository.

Dave McLean

Dave McLean

Dave McLean is a graphic and web designer, with a passion for all things digital media. He's also a video gaming enthusiast, both retro and modern. He loves creating websites with WordPress and tinkering around with retro gaming setups using RetroPie.

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