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A Simple Screen Recorder for Linux

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Making screen recordings has never been so easy. The complications of screen recording in Linux have been banished by the Simple Screen Recorder. This versatile tool enables full screen recording or recording a fixed rectangle or just following the cursor.

Screen recording is most useful when creating a ‘How to…’ tutorial. The screens are captured and converted into a video that can be posted on video-sharing sites. Screen recording software is mostly proprietary and it’s difficult to produce good quality videos with free software.
Recording a screencast in Linux OS is a tedious task, as either the video/audio malfunctions or there may not be support. A solution for both these problems is to use Simple Screen Recorder (SSR).
SSR is a tool that records and processes screencast video in no time. When using popular proprietary software, if you record the screen for an hour, the subsequent processing may take another 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the quality. But SSR does on-the-fly recording and processing within seconds. The same one hour video can be processed in a few seconds.


Figure 1: Adding the repository to PPA

Alternative software
There is an alternative available within VLC Media Player, which has some shortcomings compared to SSR. The latter has a straightforward interface and is incomparable to other software in the market.

  • VLC is slower than SSR.
  • VLC uses more RAM, whereas SSR has a small memory footprint.
  • SSR is multi-threaded, optimising all the cores of the processor. The more cores used, the faster the operation.
  • In SSR, live streaming is possible, though this is still in the experimental stage.
  • SSR supports many different codecs like MKV, WebM, MP4, etc.
  • SSR can record a 32-bit Open GL application within a 64-bit OS. Shortly, it will even be able to record a video game.

Figure 2: Installing Simple Screen Recorder (SSR)

Installation on various distributions
Distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Slackware, Linux Mint, etc, all support SSR, though they have to be tweaked slightly during installation.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint
To install SSR, enter the following commands:

#add the repository to the PPA of ubuntu
$] sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder
#update the repository
$] sudo apt-get update
$] sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder

# the following is to install the 32bit version on a 64 bit OS. This will be helpful to record the 32bit OpenGL application
sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386

Figure 3: Front screen of SSR


Figure 4: Screen and audio selection

Fedora (all versions)
SSR is supported and developed by for Fedora Linux.
Follow the steps given below to install it on various versions of Fedora:

  • Enable RPM Fusion to install this package (separate versions are available for Fedora 20, 21, 22 and older versions).
$] su -c ‘yum install --nogpgcheck$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm’
rpm -ivh package_name.rpm

Figure 5: Destination folder and video codec selection


Figure 6: Control the recording window

Usage of Simple Screen Recorder
SSR can be used to record:

  • The full screen
  • A fixed rectangle
  • OpenGL applications with a specific x and y axis

It can also record by following the cursor (refer to Figure 4).
You must select the audio, video codecs as per the PC’s configuration. SSR reports non-supported devices as ‘Not supported by the container’, in which case, do not select that option. Google suggests WebM (Web movie format) which can be handled very easily opened using a web browser. So WebM format is recommended for video sharing sites. Refer to Figure 5 for the default options.
There is a customisable shortcut key available to record and pause the screen recording. You can watch a video that has been recorded using SSR at