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mss 0.0.6

A cross-platform multi-screen shot module in pure python using ctypes

Latest Version: 2.0.18

Very basic, it will grab one screen shot by monitor or a screen shot of all monitors and save it to an optimised PNG file, Python 2.7/3.4 compatible & PEP8 compliant.

So, while you can pip install –upgrade mss, you may just drop it in your project and forget about it.

MSS stands for Multi-Screen Shot.

It’s under zlib licence.


You can try the MSS module directly from the console:

python2 [--debug]
python3 -X faulthandler

Passing the –debug argument will make it more verbose.

Instance the good class

You can determine automatically which class to use:

from platform import system
import mss

systems = {
    'Darwin': mss.MSSMac,
    'Linux': mss.MSSLinux,
    'Windows': mss.MSSWindows
mss_class = systems[system()]

Or simply import the good one:

from mss import MSSLinux as mss_class


When initialising an instance of MSS, you can enable debug output:

mss = mss_class(debug=True)

save(output, screen, callback)

For each monitor, grab a screen shot and save it to a file.


output - string - the output filename. It can contain '%d' which
                  will be replaced by the monitor number.
screen - integer - grab one screen shot of all monitors (screen=-1)
                   grab one screen shot by monitor (screen=0)
                   grab the screen shot of the monitor N (screen=N)
callback - function - in case where output already exists, call
                      the defined callback function with output
                      as parameter. If it returns True, then
                      continue; else ignores the monitor and
                      switches to ne next.

This is a generator which returns created files.


Then, it is quite simple:

mss = mss_class()

    # One screen shot per monitor
    for filename in
        print('File: "{}" created.'.format(filename))

    # Screen shot of the monitor 1
    for filename in'monitor-%d.png', screen=1):
        print('File: "{}" created.'.format(filename))

    # A shot to grab them all :)
    for filename in'full-screenshot.png', screen=-1):
        print('File: "{}" created.'.format(filename))

    # Example with a callback
    def on_exists(fname):
        ''' Callback example when we try to overwrite an existing screen shot. '''

        from os import rename
        newfile = fname + '.old'
        print('Renaming "{}" to "{}"'.format(fname, newfile))
        rename(fname, newfile)
        return True

    # Screen shot of the monitor 1, with callback
    for fname in'mon-%d.png', screen=1, callback=on_exists):
        print('File: "{}" created.'.format(fname))
except ScreenshotError as ex:


Just for fun … Show us your screen shot with all monitors in one file, we will update the gallery.

Link to the galley:

File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
mss-0.0.6.tar.gz (md5) Source 2014-03-20 10KB