Easily Create Screencast Videos With Kazam Screencaster [Linux]

Danny Stieben 07-01-2012

free screencast softwareIf you’ve ever searched around on YouTube for walkthroughs, tutorials, or video reviews of popular software or Linux distributions, you may find them to be pretty useful.


Such videos are much better than a written guide or review because you can see how something works or where you can find it. You can also hear the person who made the video talk about what he or she is doing, along with any other notes. A video, therefore, is much more effective.

Let’s see how we can construct them ourselves.

How Do You Make Them?

That’s great, but how do they make those videos in the first place? What do you do if you want to make a video yourself? You’ve may have seen some people use their video camera to point to the monitor, but those look very unprofessional when compared to others that show only what the monitor shows, without the monitor acting as a border around the video. Those people use screencasting software.

What Does A Screencasting Software Do?

Screencasting software works much like the PrtSc button on your keyboard, as known as “Print Screen”. In Windows, this button copies the entire screen onto your clipboard which you can simply paste into Paint or any other image editing software. In Linux, the button copies the entire screen and then opens a window to ask you if you want to copy it to the clipboard or save it as a file.

However, screencasting software captures the screen and makes a video out of it instead of an image, and also lets you capture the sound that would usually be coming out of your speakers or whatever is picked up by any attached microphones.


About Kazam

Kazam Screencaster is an easily available free screencasting tool that you can use on Linux to make such videos. There are a couple of other tools out in the wild that you can use, but Kazam seems to be one of the easiest to work with. It seems that Kazam is only officially available for Ubuntu as there are PPAs for it, which is a shame, but I’m sure that someone can take the source code and compile it themselves on other distributions.


To install it, you’ll need to run this command in the terminal if you use Ubuntu 11.10:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bigwhale/kazam-oneric && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get install kazam

If you use a previous version of Ubuntu, run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:and471-kazam-daily-builds && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get install kazam

If it asks you if you want to continue at certain steps, make sure to hit “y” or enter for each request, depending on which button it asks you to hit. Wait for that to complete, and then you can launch Kazam by searching for it in Unity, Gnome Shell, or menus, depending on what desktop environment you’re using.



From here on, Kazam should be easy to use.

free screencast software
You can immediately start recording a video, with or without sound.

free screencast
After pressing start, Kazam will do a countdown until the recording starts, and you can stop recording by clicking on its icon in the tray at the top right of your screen.

free screencast software
Once you finish, you can save or edit with the Kazam software for quality and where to export to, including YouTube. That’s all there really is!



Kazam is ridiculously easy for such a fine screencasting tool. For those who don’t need a whole lot of settings and let the dedicated video editor do the editing, Kazam is a great way to make those screencasts.

What’s your favorite screencasting tool? For Windows and Linux? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Screencast, Ubuntu.

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  1. windows 7 ultimate 64 bit key
    May 11, 2012 at 1:59 am

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  2. Pelinhlin
    May 10, 2012 at 12:29 am

    provato, non mi sembra afaftto male specialmente per chi vuole fare dei tutorial e metterli direttamente su youtube, perf2 non ho c'e8 la possibilite0 di registrare il suono in USCITA del computer, ma questa cosa l'ho notata anche con altri programmi, comunque grazie della notiziasatana

  3. Lazza
    January 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I used gtkRecordMyDesktop in the past. Very good software, but a pain to record the PC audio unless you use it with pavucontrol. The little option in Kazam looks awesome. :)

    • Danny Stieben
      January 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      I tried gtkRecordMyDesktop myself because most screencasters used it, but I always had problems with it. Not so with Kazam.

  4. Aibek
    January 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    thanks for update

  5. Soulflare3
    January 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Any suggestions for Ubuntu 10.04? I keep getting 404 errors on the PPA:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:and471-kazam-daily-builds

  6. abner_ferdinand
    January 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

    screen-casting tool is way useful for home based video maker and for youtube users.

  7. aaronoswald61
    January 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

    video making was never too easy . kazam is pretty much helpful for making videos.

  8. Kathy
    January 8, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I've tried Jing for Windows and recently QuickTime for Mac. A few of the Jing screencasts haven't come out that great. I have a wide-screen monitor set with a high resolution. Somebody told me I need to lower the resolution to 576 x 432. Does that sound right? Everything is so BIG on my screen. And it seems I'm not selecting the screen (video area) correctly as my videos are coming out more square (4:3)? rather than rectangular (16:9)?. Are there standards I should be following when creating screencasts? Thanks! Kathy

    • Danny Stieben
      January 12, 2012 at 4:44 am

      A 576 x 432 resolution sounds ridiculous. Monitors made in the late 90's had better resolutions than that (800 x 600). There aren't really any standards to screencasting, but some tips would help:

      Keep the resolution that is meant for your monitor. It will reduce the number of headaches you get by making things less complicated. Then try to record the whole screen or some section of it that has a 16:9 ratio. Preferably keep that area as big as possible so that you can have high-resolution videos on YouTube.

      • Kathy
        January 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

        Thanks Danny! I'll keep practicing and learning.