How to record screencasts in GNOME 3

GNOME's built-in screen-recording feature allows you to make a video of what's on your desktop with ease, comfort, and control.
136 readers like this.
video editing dashboard

GNOME is a free and open source desktop environment used by most GNU/Linux distributions like Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. It's designed to "get things done with ease, comfort, and control."

GNOME is also is celebrating its 22nd birthday in August, which is an excellent opportunity to look into one of its less-known features: recording a video of what's happening on your screen. A quick Google search turns up a lot of Linux users asking about installing tools to do screen captures. Good news: If you use GNOME, you don't need to install anything, because GNOME offers recording screencasts as a native feature.

Here are the basics of what you need to know to use it.

GNOME 3 desktop

Start and stop video capture

To start capturing video, enter this shortcut on your keyboard: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R. To stop recording, re-enter the shortcut. The recording will also automatically stop at the end of the maximum video-capture duration (see below).

A tiny red circle at the top-right of the screen indicates it's recording a screencast.

GNOME recording in progress indicator

Find your videos

By default, video files are stored in the Videos folder under Files (a shortcut to /home/your user/Videos). They are recorded in the WebM format, which is intended to be a royalty-free alternative to HTML5 video and audio.

Configure video-capture duration

To check the maximum duration GNOME will record a screen capture, type the following in your terminal:

gsettings get max-screencast-length

It will return something like this:

uint32 30

That means the max duration is set to 30 seconds. That's the default value in GNOME.

To change the maximum video screen-capture duration, enter this in your terminal:

gsettings set max-screencast-length 60

This sets the maximum duration to 60 seconds, so that's one minute.


GNOME's screencast recording feature enables you to record your screen with "ease, comfort, and control." If you'd like to take screenshots (e.g., full-screen, area, window) instead of videos, take a look at the Screenshots and screencasts page in GNOME Help.

What to read next
picture of Jean-Sébastien Tougne
Jean-Sébastien is an international professional with a past full of experiences and a future full of opportunities. Not very good at writing "about me" pages, he much prefers acquiring technical knowledge and sharing it with others. Sharing his not-so-secret recipe for his own career, so far:

1 Comment

Logan’s Listens

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.