How to Perform Screen Recording in Ubuntu Using SimpleScreenRecorder


Screen recording is extremely useful in many cases. For example: while creating training materials, demonstrating how a feature works, and showing off your gaming prowess. There are many screencasting tools available for Windows and Mac OS, and ironically there’s also no dearth of such applications on Linux. In this article you will learn about the functioning of one such tool – SimpleScreenRecorder.

Please note that all the instructions and examples used in this article are tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.


SimpleScreenRecorder was created by developer Maarten Baert who wanted to have a better alternative for existing screencasting tools. He says on the tool’s official website:

My original goal was to create a program that was just really simple to use, but as I was writing it, I started adding more and more features, and the result is actually a pretty powerful program. It’s ‘simple’ in the sense that it’s easier to use than ffmpeg/avconv or VLC, because it has a straightforward user interface.

Download and Install

To download SimpleScreenRecorder on your Ubuntu box, run the following commands on terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder

If you want to record 32-bit OpenGL applications on a 64-bit system, install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386:

sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386
The installation procedure for other Linux distro is detailed on the <a href="" target="_blank">tool's official download page</a>.


When you launch the SimpleScreenRecorder application, you get the following screen:


Press Continue, and the configuration settings will appear. Here you can select video-related options, including whether to record the full screen, a fixed rectangle, if or you just want the tool to follow the cursor.


You also have the option to tell the tool whether or not to record the cursor. There are also some audio settings that you can tweak if you want. Press Continue, and you’ll see more settings:


This second set of settings is related to the output file (that contains the recording) and its container, as well as video/audio codecs and bit rates – as the developer says in the launch screen, leave the settings as default in case you aren’t aware what they mean. You, however, are required to enter the output file name and path – in my case, I entered /home/himanshu/Desktop/testrec.mkv.

Press Continue, and finally the last set of settings arrive, with a “Start recording” button right at the top.


Here you can create a hotkey that you can use to initiate the recording process as well as preview the frame rate. To start recording, press the recording button at the top. Once you’re done, hit the “Save recording” button, and you’ll be notified that the recording has been saved.


You can access the recording at the path you mention in the configuration.


The name SimpleScreenRecorder is a bit deceiving given that the tool offers a plethora of options and settings, which is good as it gives users the flexibility to record the way they like. While the basic usage is very easy, there’s a bit of a learning curve if you want to use the tool to its full potential. Head to its official website to learn more about it.

Himanshu Arora
Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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