Screencast on Ubuntu

There are many software to stream and record desktop on Ubuntu. In this article we will explore two of the relatively lesser known tools for screencast on Ubuntu.


OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) uses ffmpeg in the background and records the desktop. It has live-streaming capabilities as well. The code recently went through major refactoring and enhancements.


  • Encoding using H264 (x264) and AAC.
  • Support for Intel Quick Sync Video (QSV) and NVENC.
  • Unlimited number of scenes and sources.
  • Live RTMP streaming to Twitch, YouTube, DailyMotion, Hitbox and more.
  • File output to MP4 or FLV.
  • GPU-based game capture for high performance game streaming.
  • DirectShow capture device support (webcams, capture cards, etc).
  • Bilinear or lanczos3 resampling.
  • Plugin based framework.
  • Multi-platform. Supports Linux, Windows and Mac.


To install OBS on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install obs-studio
$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
$ sudo apt-get -f install


Silentcast also uses ffmpeg in the background to capture images and screencast. It is actually a bash script that makes multiple utilities work in unison. Silentcast is not as powerful as OBS but has basic capabilities.


  • Record fullscreen.
  • Record transparent, record multiple windows.


To install Silentcast, run:

$ sudo apt-get install ffmpeg imagemagick xdotool xorg-xrandr xorg-xwininfo wmctrl python-gobject python-cairo xdg-utils
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sethj/silentcast
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install silentcast yad

You can also record the desktop only with ffmpeg.

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