5 Ways You Can Record Your Desktop on Linux and Raspberry Pi

Christian Cawley 02-12-2016

Whether you want to demonstrate how to run a piece of software, or giving a Linux newcomer a visual guide of the operating system, you’ll get the best results from a screen recording tool.


While Windows, macOS, and even Android have some good screen recorders The Best Screen Recorder Apps for Android Here are the best screen recorder apps for Android, plus an advanced method, allowing you to capture screencasts and more. Read More  available, the Linux software library is surprisingly sparse in this area. Fortunately, we’ve been able to bring you five Linux screen recorders that you can use to record your desktop on any computer, even the Raspberry Pi!

What You Should Look for in a Screen Recorder

Before proceeding, let’s take a look at the typical functions of a desktop screen recorder.

For example, it should be able to capture either the entire desktop, or a single app window. Additionally, you can expect to be able to set the recording to a particular resolution and video file type.

Do you need to appear in the video? If so, some screen recorder tools offer the ability to detect video from your computer’s webcam, and audio from the mic.

Other features can also be found, such as a zoom/follow mouse tool. In short, screen recorders come with various features on offer, making it tricky to find the one you need. But we can help with that.


1. Kazam

Available from the Ubuntu repository, with support for ARM and PowerPC devices as well as 32-bit and 64-bit What Is 64-bit Computing? The packaging of a computer or computer hardware is crowded with technical terms and badges. One of the more prominent ones is 64-bit. Read More , Kazam is an efficient desktop video capture tool. Capable of recording full screen, all desktop screens, a single window, and areas of the desktop, Kazam can also capture audio from the speakers and your mic.

muo linux screenrecording kazam

Install via your software manager, or:

sudo apt-get install kazam

Once you’ve recorded your desktop activity, you can stop via the system tray. You’ll be prompted to Save for later, or edit with your usual video editing software.


With the ability to select audio devices, video formats and even take screenshots, Kazam is a great Linux screen recorder for beginners.

2. Vokoscreen

With a straightforward UI and a nice collection of features, Vokoscreen is yet another screen recording option for Linux. Capable of recording and streaming your desktop, you will need a top-end gaming rig to get the benefit of streaming in HD.

muo linux screenrecording vokoscreen

Available via GitHub, Vokoscreen can also be installed via the command line by adding a PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vokoscreen-dev/vokoscreen

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install vokoscreen

Once launched, Vokoscreen is ready for action pretty much right away. You can capture from the entire desktop, a window, area, or a specified magnification around the pointer. This is useful for close-up video captures.

Video and audio codecs can be selected, while audio drivers, video format and frame rate can also be changed to suit. You’ve also have ability to include footage from your webcam in your screen recording. Easy to use buttons let you record, stop, pause and play the screen capture. There’s even a sharing option, but this is limited to email. Naturally, you’ll need to keep an eye on the file size here!

Vokoscreen is a handy screen recording tool, easy to set up and use.

3. Simple Screen Recorder

It may call itself “simple”, but this app actually has more features than some of the others listed here. Upon launching, you’ll be presented with a single screen with plenty of options. These include the expected full screen recording, recording a selection, following the cursor, and also the option to record GL for video game captures.


muo linux screenrecording simplescrnrecord

To save time, you can also create profiles suited to different screen capture tasks. Audio can also be recorded, and video type changed via the subsequent screens found via the Continue button. Once you’re ready, hit Start Recording — by default, the resulting video will be saved in your Home directory.

Again, if you’re using an Ubuntu-based distro, you’ll need to install a PPA repository before you can install Simple Screen Recorder.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder

If you’re running a 64-bit system and want to record 32-bit OpenGL applications, install:

sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386

(Instructions for installing to other distros can be found on the developer’s website.)

Simple Screen Recorder is certainly not simple, but it is straightforward and offers some useful features.

4. ScreenStudio

Unlike the other screen capture tools in this list, ScreenStudio is a Java-based application, enabling you to record your desktop, include footage from your webcam, and even stream to Twitch How Big Is You Won't Believe These Stats & Facts Twitch just might be the most popular live streaming service on the Web. These stats will definitely impress you. Read More , YouTube, and Facebook.

Getting started with this is easy. You’ll need to download directly from the link above, and then ensure that you have ffmpeg, PulseAudio and Java installed on your computer before running. You can then use the Sources menu to setup your desktop and webcam as a source, add audio if necessary, select your Output format and tap Ctrl + R to begin and stop recording.

Ideal for vloggers Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers You probably know about the YouTube giants – PewDiePie, Jenna Marbles, the Vlogbrothers – but what about all of the smaller vloggers who make up a huge amount of the content produced on YouTube? Read More and Twitch regulars, ScreenStudio is lightweight and flexible, although it misses some of the more common desktop capture features.

5. RecordMyDesktop

The original screen capture tool for Linux, RecordMyDesktop will run on virtually any system, including the Raspberry Pi The Raspberry Pi 3: Faster, Better, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Today, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the release of the Raspberry Pi 3. It's the most significant update to the popular line of low-cost computers yet. Read More . While you can use the basic version via the command line, installed using:

sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop

You can also use the tool with a choice of two GUI frontends, gtk-recordmydesktop and qt-recordmydesktop.

muo linux screenrecording recordmydesktop

Once installed, this simple tool — which offers some additional options in the Advanced menu, and the ability to select entire windows or just sections — is ready to record. Just remember to give it time to encode your video after capture. Videos will be output to your Home directory.

Which Linux Screen Capture Tool Do You Use?

We’ve given you a look at five Linux desktop recorders for capturing activity in apps and games on your computer.

But which is your favorite? Have you used any of these utilities, or have you somehow stumbled upon another? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credits: 3Dalia/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Raspberry Pi, Screen Capture.

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  1. Radu
    June 4, 2020 at 10:12 am

    SimpleScreenRecorder uses a lot of CPU and makes every other app run slower than usual (ex playing a game/emulation or classifying objects)... So it's not ok to record with it (on raspberry pi 4 4gb)...

    Now I've tried to install Kazam but... it doesn't open, even if I install it from the package manager or from the terminal with "sudo apt install kazam"... but it opens if I run the command "kazam --nosound".
    OOOK it records but uses a lot of CPU and makes my applications that I want to record to crash...... SO YEAH THERE ISN'T ANY RECORDER SOFTWARE FOR RASPBERRY PI 4.

  2. Radu
    June 3, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    recordmydesktop does have a purple / pink tint, and you can't get rid of it after conversion from OGV to MP4 !!!!!
    Save your time and don't install this software !!!

  3. Radu
    June 3, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    recordmydesktop is painfully slow on Raspberry Pi 4, it takes like half an hour to process a 2 minute video, 1080p, 15fps... I looked at tasks using htop and it uses only 1 core to process the video, it is optimized badly.
    But at least it works.

  4. Jeffrey Lui
    February 7, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Using Raspbian Stretch, couldn't get Kazam to work, and recordmydesktop appears to have a purplish tint. Simple Screen Recorder worked for me, and you didn't need to add the [Ubuntu] repository anymore as it's in the default Raspbian repository, so you can just go straight to the sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder command.

  5. rtr858
    July 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I must be really dumb because I can't get a single one of these to open on my Pi3 =(

    • Christian Cawley
      July 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

      What problems do you encounter?

  6. nixuser1980
    December 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I upload screencasts semi-regularly to YouTube, having recorded them with ffmpeg, using the x11grab switch. Expect further screen recording shenanigans when Wayland replaces X on many distributions due to the present lack of maturity in the tools to record; they lack relevant options and ffmpeg may not be used directly with the screen framebuffer any more. I discussed this issue on my Sway (replacement to i3 for Wayland) video.

  7. olson
    December 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

    OBS (multiplatform) or open broadcast software is working like windows XSplit, you can combine video and audio from multiple sources in to a single window and record and/or stream the result.

    Example is having the webcam footage in the corner whilst demonstrating a software out playing a game

  8. Evod
    December 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    vokoscreen is great ! :-))

  9. Evod
    December 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Vokoscreen ! :-))