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Best Open Screen Recording Software

Researching the best open source screen recording software? This piece will give you the low-down on what you should look for when evaluating open source capture utilities. The best open source screen recording software is going to depend on exactly what you want to accomplish and how much time you’re willing to invest in research.

If you have been using the internet for awhile, you must have known about screen recorder. There are several software available in the market that makes it easy to record your computer activities and display them on your computer or on the internet. Screen recorder software is an amazing tool that is used by gaming enthusiasts – as it makes it easy to share their game achievements with others.

Screen recorder is a must-have tool if you are into recording videos. You can use it to record your face and the things you use on your computer screen. If you want to learn using it, you can Google and find some information about best open screen recording software.

Screen recording software are very useful in lots of ways especially if you are a professional. With these editor tools, you can share your whole desktop with others. It is also capable of recording your computer screen and personalizing your own video conference call. However, you need to know the best open source screen recording software for this work. Here are top screen recorder for Linux, Mac and Windows 10.

How to choose open-source screen recording software

Do you want to make video tutorials on your computer or on smartphones and tablets to share with other people to show them the use of some software or applications? If yes, you’ve seen the 12 best software that can perform this function.

In this section, we’ll see how to choose an open-source screen recorder. But first, what is open-source screen recording software?

Open source screen recording software are often free video grabbing software that allows users to share and contribute. With a screen recording program, you can capture what happens on the display of your PC, laptop, or mobile device.

You can even record the taps you make on the screen with your fingers, cursor movements, or the moment you type a URL in the browser bar.

You can usually also record audio and, with some tools, make annotations on the screen.

SoftwareBest forDownload
1. OBS StudioProfessionals; Windows, macOS, and Linux usersRead More
2. ShareXUsers of Windows 10, 8, 7Read More
3. CamStudioHD screen recording on WindowsRead More
View all

Special pick: Movavi Screen Recorder

If you’re looking for a full-featured screen capture app, try Movavi Screen Recorder. The program lets you capture screen, webcam, system sounds, and microphone. Useful features include scheduled recordings, drawing on videos, keystrokes and mouse cursor highlights. You can also cut out unnecessary parts from your recording. The app offers several output formats to choose from.

List of best open-source video capture software

1. OBS Studio

Best for: Professionals

OS: Windows

Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 465 reviews

OBS Studio is open-source software that is not really intended for beginners. However, it is primarily aimed at those who want to stream on YouTube or Twitch. However, it can also be used to film what is happening on your Windows desktop. You can control the program via customizable hotkeys and use the built-in audio mixer to create excellent quality videos. OBS comes with live streaming capabilities that you won’t find in native programs of major operating systems, in addition to screencast options. You can find help on their site, but to save you time, when using OBS Studio for the first time, click + in the Sources area and then select Display capture.

You will then see your desktop appear; you can specify the monitor if you have more than one. It will happily shoot games in full screen with game capture, which a lot of software refuses to do. OBS is powerful software, especially for a free product with so many features. It is a comprehensive tool for live streaming and recording.


  • Connects easily to streaming services
  • Switchable from one source to another during the broadcast
  • Easy to edit and design with


  • The user interface could be better

Download OBS Studio

2. ShareX

Best for: Users of Windows 10, 8, 7

OS: Windows

Rating: 4.8/5 stars, 60 reviews

ShareX is an open-source video recorder for Windows users. There is no watermark or time limit; you can use the completely free recorder to record the entire screen, window, or selected area. It is an excellent alternative if you don’t want OBS but want an OBS-level quality. The source code of the project remains hosted at GitHub’s code development and code-sharing platform. The software is available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. There are no advertisements, and it is lightweight.


  • Allows you to customize recording size, such as a full screen
  • You can save video as GIF
  • You can directly edit the recording image
  • Light, free, and ad-free


  • Cannot get the game screen to full screen
  • The interface is not intuitive

Download ShareX

3. CamStudio

Best for: HD screen recording

OS: Windows

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

CamStudio is open-source software that is wholly made free for personal and commercial projects. It has not been updated since 2013 and only produces videos in AVI and SWF format. However, it can be used to record part of your screen and add captions if you are creating for Facebook or if you just don’t want your voice. Best of all, it doesn’t add a watermark. However, we regret that CamStudio does not have the post-capture editing tools that you will find elsewhere.


  • Available for free
  • No watermarks


  • Only SWF format available
  • Not updated
  • Prone to malicious software

Download CamStudio

4. VirtualDub

Best for: Professional video editors

OS: Windows

Rating: 4.2/5 stars, 79 reviews

VirtualDub is an open-source screen recorder that works with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems. What’s more, it’s also a powerful video editor so that you can fine-tune your screen recordings in the same app. It is a lightweight and lag-free screen recorder. It offers advanced features, such as noise reduction.


  • Set the frame rates
  • Monitor the input level in real time
  • Use shortcuts and a keyboard to control it
  • Support for MPEG-1 and Motion-JPEG decoders


  • The video editor is pretty basic
  • This open-source screen recorder is only available on PC

Download VirtualDub

5. Simple Screen Recorder

Best for: Linux users

OS: Linux

Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 11 reviews

The Simple Screen Recorder is open-source software that is used for recording games and other running applications on your display screen. The open-source screen capture software is simple to use yet very powerful with rich features and a user-friendly interface.


  • Can record screen partially or entirely
  • Offers pause and resume functions
  • Preview supports during recording
  • Shows video recording stats


  • Only for Linux

Download Simple Screen Recorder

6. Record My Desktop

Best for: GNU/Linux and FreeBSD

OS: Linux, GNU

Rating: 5/5 stars, 8 reviews

RecordMyDesktop is a basic command-line tool for screen recording on Linux. There are two GUI versions which are based on GTK and QT4, from where users can select a window and start screen recording. The open-source recording software is a lightweight screen recording tool that doesn’t take up much disk space. You can record from the user interface or with a command line. It also lets you save video recordings with audio in OGG Theora and OGG Vorbis.


  • Light screen recorder
  • Single window screen recording supported
  • Two ways of recording
  • Simple installation


  • Only makes recordings in Ogg Vorbis

Download Record My Desktop

7. Captura

Best for: Game recording

OS: Windows

Rating: 4.8/5 stars, 21 reviews

Captura is open-source recording software whose source code is available on GitHub under MIT license term. Captura is free, and you wouldn’t need to pay a dime. It is available in more than 30 languages that are easily translatable. Asides from being free, the software doesn’t display ads.


  • Available for free
  • Completely ad-free
  • Available in up to 30 languages


  • None

Download Captura

8. UltraVNC

Best for: Windows 7, 8, and later

OS: Windows 7, 8, and 10

Rating: 3.8/5 stars, 5 reviews

UltraVNC is a screen recorder that looks similar to CamStudio.

This screen recorder is built from the old source of Rendersoft CamStudio. It wasn’t written from scratch by the developers. They just added and removed some codes to make things faster. The software even gives an acknowledgment to its original creators. But it still has its uniqueness.


  • It can be connected over most browsers
  • Has text chat
  • You can make file transfer


  • It doesn’t support remote printing
  • Router changes required on server’s network

Download UltraVNC

9. ScreenCam

Best for: Windows and Android

OS: Windows and Android

Rating: 3.6/5 stars, 10 reviews

ScreenCam is a Windows-based screen recorder that is designed for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There is even a version for Android. It offers a virtual camcorder which you can use to record everything on a Windows desktop. It adds quality interactivity to the elegant package.


  • High-performance recorder
  • Easy to use
  • Videos can be exported to the internet
  • Makes videos available in CD, DVD, email formats
  • It doesn’t require root access


  • Problem working on Windows 98

Download ScreenCam

10. Freeseer

Best for: Presenters and conference staff and instructors

OS: Linux and Windows

Rating: N/A

Freeseer is an open-source project made in Python/Qt4. It’s aimed at recording screencasts on Linux and Windows platforms (Mac not yet available). It allows the recording of a specific region of the screen, recording by software or hardware, setting different resolutions, or even streaming.


  • Can record with command line
  • For Windows and Linux
  • Records partial and the entire screen


  • Not for Mac

Download Freeseer

11. Kazam ScreenCaster

Best for: Ubuntu

OS: Linux

Rating: N/A

Kazam is a powerful but straightforward screen recorder that can be used on a Linux desktop. With this, you can capture screen content, record video files, and also audio (optionally) from a compatible input device. It is available in the repositories of Universal Ubuntu. You can also make use of any stable PPA due to delays on Ubuntu repository versions.


  • Simple to use
  • Support for the delay timer
  • Simple user interface
  • Support for various video output


  • No support for Webcam recording

Download Kazam ScreenCaster

12. XVidCap

Best for: Recording PPSSPP

OS: X-Windows

Rating: N/A

XVidCap is a small tool for capturing everything on X Windows. It makes videos available in MPEG.

Although it has a lot of bugs, due to its open-source nature, any developer can make a contribution to the software to improve it. The software has an audio recording option, and you can record the entire screen.


  • Supports audio recording
  • Open to developers
  • Can record your entire screen


  • Poor GUI control interface
  • No prompt for the project folder


Type of software

The million-dollar question remains: which tool or app to use? You can find many on the market, and they all offer different features. There is desktop software that works with Windows PC or Mac.

Some are online services that can be accessed by virtually all devices and computers. Some are web extensions that are installed in a web browser. Meanwhile, some are programs that have to be downloaded and installed.

Software or online?

In our list of screen recording programs, you’ve found online sites, browser-based software, and desktop applications with essential functions.

The fundamental difference between programs and online sites to record the screen is that with the former, you can work offline, while with the latter, you cannot.

For obvious reasons, if you want to use a site, your PC or laptop must be connected to the network. With desktop software, on the other hand, you can record your screen wherever you are and at any time, with or without the internet.

For example, if you’re looking for a program to record gameplay, browser-based software is probably not the best option. If you want to create a tutorial instead, it might be the right solution.


Watermarks are unsolicited ads automatically inserted into videos made with freeware or software used under trial. However, the best open-source screen recording software should come with no watermark. There are many top free screen recording programs that do not leave any watermark on their videos. These include OBS Studio, ActivePresenter, QuickTime, Screencast O-Matic, TinyTake, Debut Video Capture, Apowersoft, AZ Screen Recorder, and more.

Software features

Some software offers several recording modes, including full screen and selectable area. Some allow you to annotate video in real time and apply callouts, lines, text, and more without pausing.

Thanks to the intuitive and smartphone-specific functions, all you have to do is connect your PC and smartphone to the same WiFi network and start casting.

You can use some of this software for both screen capture and webcam video.

Others allow users to zoom, draw while adding overlays on their video files. These features are very convenient because they allow you to share your recordings on YouTube with no need to download any desktop program.

Some are capable of saving videos in just a couple of formats, while others can export the files for use on popular platforms like YouTube. Still, others, however, cannot record in HD.

That is why it is essential that you do some research and compare the various features of each program before downloading or installing one on your device.

Of course, your choice will directly depend on your goals. Maybe you don’t need to record in HD, or you recently bought a video hosting plan and can do without exporting to a YouTube-compatible format. The best tool is simply the one that best suits your needs.

OS compatibility

Perhaps the most crucial criterion, if you choose software that is not compatible with your computer or device’s operating software, then it’s all a waste of time and effort. While some are only compatible with Windows, some are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Others only work with the Android operating system or iOS. So, ensure you’re getting software that works for your computer or device’s OS.


This recording software should allow you to convert and save your recordings in all popular video formats, such as MP4, MOV, QT, and API. Other software will allow you to save to AVI, WMV, and the Flash formats, the FLV and SWF.

Saving and sharing

The software must allow you to capture videos and let you save them into your computer’s drive, phone memory, or an online cloud system. For easy upload on YouTube and other video hosting platforms, the software should allow you to share recordings.

Either way, the option you choose must meet these essential criteria:

  • It must be easy to use
  • It should be able to record both full screen and a specific area or window
  • It allows the user to make notes
  • It has a built-in audio and microphone system
  • It can record video from external sources
  • It is capable of exporting to various formats

Keep in mind that many of this software can record HD videos, but uploading them takes a long time; if your goal is to upload standard quality videos to the web, HD is not essential.

Meanwhile, we’d also advise you also to try out Movavi Screen Recorder. It’s not open-source, but it’s free and includes many features that will interest you.


Screen recording is an important productivity feature that records your computer screen. You might use screen recording to create software tutorials or even recording a gameplay video of your favorite game. With ADV Screen Recorder you can create promotional videos, demos, or simply capture the contents of your phone’s screen.

Screen recording programs are much more intuitive today, and you can use them to do a variety of things with minimal effort. Many are available for free with the source code available publicly, allowing you to use, share, and contribute.

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