How to record your desktop screen without any software

Record your desktop screen without any software is easily possible with GNOME DE on Fedora, Ubuntu or any other Linux distributions that support it.

It's easy to use the GNOME built-in screen recording tool
It’s easy to use the GNOME built-in screen recording tool

GNOME built-in screen recorder tool is like a secret software

Without installing any tool or screen recording software, you’re able to capture and record your GNOME desktop instantly in Fedora or Ubuntu with a built-in tool. It’s like a secret tool because you can’t find any app launcher or command line option to control it, but if you find it, you’ll discover that GNOME 3 has an incredible built-in screen recorder tool, GNOME Screencast. It offers a really simple way to record your desktop screen and it has only a keyboard shortcut to start and stop the recording process of the whole screen of your GNOME desktop.

GNOME is an easy and elegant way to use your computer, it is designed to put you in control and get things done. The GNOME Project is a diverse international community which involves hundreds of contributors, many of whom are volunteers. Anyone can contribute to it, so if you want to discover more of The GNOME Project or want to get involved in it, let’s start from the official website ( that’s full of interesting pieces of information.

The GNOME 3 built-in screen recorder, the GNOME Screencast, is recalled with a simple keyboard combination:


This makes you able to start or stop the recording process. After that, a red circle in the top bar, on the right corner, indicates that the recording process is in progress. The recording process automatically stops after 30 seconds and only record the whole full screen of your desktop. Videos are automatically saved as WebM format inside the user ‘Videos’ folder.

To configure some option of the GNOME 3 built-in screen recorder, you can use the dconf editor ( or you can use the EasyScreenCast ( extension in both Fedora or Ubuntu. This extension simplifies the use of the video recording function integrated into the GNOME shell, allows quickly to change the various settings of the desktop recording.

Bonus tips

Do you want to record more of 30 seconds?

It’s easy to change the default recording time, open a terminal session and digit:

$ gsettings set max-screencast-length 600

600 means 600 seconds and it’s equal to 10 minutes. You can change this value to fit your needs.

Do you want to record in a different format? Like .mp4?

I didn’t find a way to change the type of recording video format in GNOME Screencast, but I have a nice workaround. After you have recorded a session in .webm, you can easily convert it with FFmpeg. You can find more about it on the FFmpeg official website.

Again, open a terminal session and digit:

$ ffmpeg -i YOUR-FILE.webm YOUR-NEW-FILE.mp4

And in 2 seconds, you’ll get a new .mp4 video!

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *