Recording your Linux desktop is a much-requested feature for gamers and business professionals alike. Simple Screen Recorder, as its name implies, is a simple yet solid screen recording tool. Learn all about it in this article.
7;s SimpleScreenRecorder (SSR)
SimpleScreenRecorder (SSR for short) is a utility that makes it easy and straightforward to record your Linux desktop. It is available for many Linux operating systems as a directly installable package, or you can even compile it yourself by following the steps on the SSR GitHub page.
SSR also offers all the functions one needs, such as multi-screen recording, without over-complicating the interface. The main SSR interface is sleek and well-designed:
to install SimpleScreenRecorder
to install SimpleScreenRecorder On your Debian / Apt based Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu and Mint) run the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt install simplescreenrecorder
If you also want to include 32-bit OpenGL applications on 64-bit operating systems, you must also run the following:
sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386
There is also a PPA repository (works for both Ubuntu and Mint) so you can easily download the latest version:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder
The current version in Mint 20’s main repository is 0.3.11, while if you install the PPA, the version will be 0.4.3. The full changelog is available in the GitHub repository.
The latest version has a handy ‘Skip this page’ option for the home page. In addition, there is a new option ‘Record full screen with cursor’ and an option to record from a V4L2 device. This is what the new interface looks like compared to the 0.3.11 interface above:
For installation options for other operating systems, please refer to the download section of the SimpleScreenRecorder page on the developer’s website.
The SSR Input profile
Using SimpleScreenRecorder is simple and easy. Once you start the application, after closing the home page (which can be skipped in later versions), a simple dialog box is displayed that allows you to quickly select any necessary changes to the settings. Let’s take a look at the main options that we are likely to use in detail:
The video input selection allows you to set the recording window to a particular screen, all screens, a fixed rectangle, etc. We can also track the cursor, and once we select this option, the handy ‘Record full screen with cursor’ checkbox can selected Becomes available. We can also record OpenGL and even a V4L2 device (e.g. a webcam or capture card) directly.
Then we can set our frame rate and any scaling options:
A frame rate of 20-30 should be sufficient for making business presentations, etc. You may want to increase this number a bit for smooth motion when gaming. We can also select whether we want to record audio and select the audio input source:
The SSR Output profile
When you have finished configuring the input profile, it can be saved with the Save option at the top of the dialog box and click on it The next button to continue leads us to the output profile selections.
Here we can set the file name to save the recording in (1), and select the video container format we will use for it (2). Other video container options available include MP4, WebM, OGG and even a ‘Other’ selection that allows you to select any other container format available on the system.
Then we can select our codec (best left on H.264 with corresponding Matroska (MKV) or MP4 container format selected above unless you have a good understanding of video codecs and containers).
Then we select the (important) constant speed factor (3). A lower Constant Speed Factor (CRF) value will result in better quality, with 0 being lossless, although this will result in a larger resulting file size for the recording. A range of 15-23 is usually the happy medium
We can then set our video preset (4), where again a slower selection will result in better quality, although the machine can be loaded significantly more in the process. The best idea is to always test out a few different setting combinations and see what the final footage looks like.
We can also select audio codec (5) and bit rate (6). A bit rate of 128 produces reasonable sound quality, although a setting of 192 or higher can produce better sound quality. About 256 go is not recommended for standard shooting.
The SSR Recording interface
When you have finished configuring the output profile, it can be saved with the Save option at the top of the dialog box and click it The next button to continue will lead us to the last recording interface.
In this dialog, we will immediately start recording (1) if we choose to do this. It also allows us to cancel the recording (4), which returns us to the previous screen (the Select Output Profile dialog box). Once the recording is complete, it can be saved (5) and we can even start a real-time preview (7). The real-time preview can be very useful to get an idea of the area that will be recorded, and to see if the audio input is working properly and not too soft / loud:
We can set up a schedule (6) using the schedule option (Edit schedule button) and activate the same. We can also view a detailed event log (3) that can help troubleshoot audio and video issues if something goes wrong.
Finally, the real-time information overview in (2) provides a lot of useful information about how our recording is going / working while recording, and partial information (such as the number displayed in FPS in, which shows us the number of input frames per second) while previewing our selections, but not recording yet.
Maarten Baert, the developer of SimpleScreenRecorder, has created a powerful and comprehensive screen recorder that has outgrown its name in terms of functionality but not simplicity. The software is simple, stable, available on many Linux operating systems, can be easily upgraded, and is feature-rich. I wholeheartedly recommend it as an indispensable, free and solid screen recording software. To enjoy!