7 Best Screen Recorders for Linux – Easily Record Your Linux Desktop

Best Screen Recorders For Linux

Let’s discuss the best screen recorders available for Linux today. We all have needed to record our screen at some point whether it be some cool gameplay, a tutorial, or in this day and age, even an online class. Linux distributions however don’t come pre-installed with a screen recorder.

Best Screen Recorders for Linux

Today we look at a bunch of screen recording software that you can use on Linux. Since there are hundreds of such applications available, I have tried to add applications for each use case.

1. SimpleScreenRecorder – Lightweight screen recorder for Linux

Starting the list with an editor favorite, SimpleScreenRecorder is exactly what it sounds like, a simple lightweight screen recorder for Linux. Despite how simple it is, the Qt-based application is pretty powerful.


  • Recording a part of the screen
  • Can show a preview during recording
  • Reduces the video frame rate if your computer is too slow
  • Pause and resume recording at any time

Steps to Download

Arch Linux / Manjaro

sudo pacman -s simplescreenrecorder

Debian/Debian-based distros (Ubuntu, Mint)

sudo apt install simplescreenrecorder


rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm
dnf install simplescreenrecorder


nix-env -i simplescreenrecorder

2. VokoscreenNG – Basic and lightweight screen recorder

Heading onto another Qt-based recording software, VokoscreenNG is a complete rebuild of old Vokoscreen. If you are looking for a basic lightweight screen recorder but with webcam support, this might be it.


  • Record a part of the screen
  • Zoom in the recording
  • Integrate web-cam in the recording.

Steps to Download


sudo apt install vokoscreen-ng


sudo dnf install vokoscreenNG

openSUSE (Tumbleweed and Leap 15.2):

sudo zypper install vokoscreenNG


sudo snap install vokoscreen-ng

Arch linux:

sudo pacman -S vokoscreen


nix-env -iA nixos.vokoscreen-ng

3. Open Broadcasting Software (OBS Studio) – One of the best screen recorders overall

This is probably the most popular screen-recording software out there, and the fanciest one too. OBS is used by nearly all professionals and is backed by giants like Twitch and Youtube. If you looking for software to start your streaming hobby, your search ends here.


  • Multiple audio and video source support i.e you can create scenes made up of multiple sources including window captures, images, webcam, etc.
  • Set up an unlimited number of scenes you can switch between seamlessly via custom transitions.
  • Can cut, crop, and edit screens during the recording
  • In-built live streaming support
  • High-performance real-time video/audio capturing and mixing.
  • And much more (since it’s very extensive)

Steps to Download

Ubuntu / Mint / Debian:

sudo apt install obs-studio

Arch / Manjaro:

 sudo pacman -S obs-studio


nix-env -i obs-studio


sudo emerge media-video/obs-studio

OpenSuse (Tumbleweed):

 sudo zypper ar -cfp 90 http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/misc/packman/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman
 sudo zypper dup --from packman --allow-vendor-change
 sudo zypper in obs-studio

OpenSuse (Leap):

 sudo zypper ar -cfp 90 http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/misc/packman/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman
 sudo zypper dup --from packman --allow-vendor-change
 sudo zypper in obs-studio


sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo dnf install obs-studio

For more extensive install instructions and any dependency problems, visit the link mentioned below.

3. Green Recorder – Screen recorder with Wayland support

Now here is a simple GTK3 based screen recorder that supports all the basic features that a screen recorder should. But it does something that even OBS can’t do. It supports screen recording in Wayland instead of just X11 and is the first screen recorder to do so. Green Recorder however is not under active development and is archived by the original developer. Though you can always fork it and start development since it’s open-source.


  • Audio support
  • Delay before recording
  • Can run on Wayland

Steps to Download

Debian / Mint:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossproject/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install green-recorder


yaourt -S green-recorder-git

You can build the application from source for any other distribution.

4. ScreenRec – Ubuntu screen recorder with free cloud storage

ScreenRec is one of the best screen recorders. This simple recorder with a clean UI is the best for privately sharing your recordings with other people. You don’t have to go through the hassle of recording, exporting, and uploading it on Youtube because ScreenRec comes with free cloud storage. Just record the video and you will get a sharable link.


  • Select a part of the screen/application
  • Web-cam and audio support
  • You can annotate and draw on the screen while recording. (Makes it particularly good for online classes)
  • One-click share
  • 2 GB free private cloud storage which makes it good for cross-device use.
  • You can see analytics for your shared video

Steps to Download


sudo wget -qO - https://screenrec.com/download/pub.asc | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://screenrec.com/download/ubuntu stable main'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install screenrec

Unfortunately, ScreenRec isn’t open source and only provides an official package for Debian and Debian derivatives. You might want to try running the windows version with WINE if you are running it on any other distribution.

5. Showterm – Best screen recorder for terminal recording

Showterm is unlike any other screen recorders on this list and has a very specific use case. Showterm is used to record terminals and any terminal based instructional video. Termshows are purely text based. This makes them ideal for demoing instructions (as the user can copy-paste).


  • Perfect software for any terminal based instructional video
  • One click share since it uploads the video online after recording
  • Text based recordings. (You can select/ copy text from video)

Steps to Download

Install ruby on device and then execute: (recommended)

gem install showterm

You can also do:

curl showterm.io/showterm > ~/showterm
chmod +x ~/showterm

I have also Showterm-ed the install instructions here.

6. VLC – A multimedia player + screen recorder software

This is a software that everyone has heard of, whether they have ever recorded their screen or not. VLC has been around for more than 20 years primarily as a multimedia player but a little known fact is that VLC also comes with a very basic inbuilt screen recorder. Even though the performance is bit questionable, it just might be able to serve your needs.


  • You probably already have it on your machine
  • Can select the frame rate of the video
  • Does whole lot of other stuff other than just acting as a screen recorder

Steps to Download

Debian / Mint / Ubuntu:

sudo apt install vlc

Arch / Manjaro:

pacman -S vlc


su -
dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
dnf install vlc


media-video/vlc dvd ffmpeg mpeg mad
wxwindows aac dts a52 ogg flac theora oggvorbis matroska freetype
bidi xv svga gnutls stream vlm httpd cdda vcd cdio live
emerge vlc 


sudo zypper ar https://download.videolan.org/SuSE/<SUSE version> VLC
sudo zypper mr -r VLC
sudo zypper in vlc

<SUSE version> can be Leap_15.1, Leap_15.2, Tumbleweed, SLE15SP2

For extensive VLC documentation, visit the link below.

7. FFmpeg – Command line-based screen recorder for Linux

You might not have heard of FFmpeg but almost all the multimedia applications on Linux use FFmpeg in the backend. FFmpeg is a very powerful framework able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter, and play all sorts of multimedia.

Applications like SimpleScreenRecorder, OBS, Green Recorder, and VLC use FFmpeg in the back. However, you don’t need a GUI wrapper to be able to use FFmpeg and can use it directly from the command line.

Although it might be a bit of pain and not practical for extensive uses, it just about does everything you need to do, and learning how to things works under the hood is interesting nonetheless.


  • Very minimal. (Zero Bloat)

Steps to Download


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ffmpeg

Debian 9 (Strech)

sudo apt install ffmpeg

Debian 8 (Jesse)

Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org jessie main non-free

deb-src http://www.deb-multimedia.org jessie main non-free

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie-backports main

After that execute

apt update
apt install deb-multimedia-keyring
apt install ffmpeg


Enable free and non-free RPM fusion repositories like before the install like shown below.

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E%fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo dnf install ffmpeg 

For any other distribution, you can build ffmpeg from source.

How to use

To begin recording your whole screen you can execute:

ffmpeg -s <your screen resolution>  -framerate 25 -f x11grab -i :0.0 output.mp4

To record a specific screen, run: (<title> is the title of target window)

ffmpeg -f gdigrab -framerate 30 -i title=<title> -b:v 3M  output.flv

To record your webcam, you can do:

ffmpeg -f v4l2 -framerate 25 -video_size 640x480 -i /dev/video0 output.mkv

where /dev/video0 is my webcam. To list all the possible capture devices, use v4l2-ctl --list-devices

For more extensive documentation, visit official FFmpeg wiki.


Hopefully you found your choice of screen recorder in this list. All the applications in this list are also open source (except ScreenRec) which means if you are a developer, you can get the code and tweak it to add anything you like. So good luck for your streaming career and have fun !