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Experiments with high-intensity, submillimeter diameter, pulsed x-ray beams that will be generated by the planned Linac Coherent Light Source will require nonperturbing imaging of such beams. Two approaches to solving this problem are proposed: Compton scattering off a thin solid foil and photoluminescence induced in a thin gas jet. The first would be efficient for x-ray energies above a few keV, whereas the second can be used to detect lower-energy beams, below ∼1 keV. Spatial resolution of the time-integrated images would be ∼10 μm for the first technique and ∼60 μm for the second technique. The minimum number of x-ray quanta needed for reaching this spatial resolution is ∼10.11 The imaging does not introduce significant perturbations to the beam. A set of design equations and constraints is provided. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.