Top 5 Free and Open Source Screen Recorders

There is a long list of reasons why you would want to use screen recording software. In this article we briefly cover the top 5 free and open source software programs you can download and use, and what each of these might be particularly useful for as a tool depending on the occasion.


CamStudio is primarily used to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and then convert it into standard AVI video files. These AVI files are easily converted into Flash videos using the program’s built-in producer. One major benefit of these Flash videos is that they are bandwidth-friendly for streaming from a website.

A few common uses CamStudio are:

1)      Create demonstration videos from your computer.

2)      Create tutorials for educational purposes in an academic setting.

3)      Record activity on your computer that you would like to share with a technical support team, such as system failure.

CamStudio also boasts an easy learning-curve for those who want learn and use within a matter of minutes. It’s also free and open source. 

Learn more and download CamStudio.

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Open broadcaster is great for streaming live videos to the internet. A popular use of OBS is live-streaming for video games or recording directly to specific file types.

This free and open source software allows you to create scenes or videos using a variety of sources including window captures, webcam video, images, and more. When switching between windows you can create a wide range of customized transitions.

With OBS, you can assign hotkeys for easy navigation between scenes, stopping or starting new recordings and much more. Within the software is a feature called Studio Mode where you can preview everything you have created before making it live, ensuring that they are perfect before your viewers see them.

Learn more and Download OBS.


Krut is a little more rudimentary, and isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly for beginners.

Used as a screencast tool that is written in Java, it is used primarily for making video tutorials on most platforms. It can record audio and video files of selected parts of your screen, but can also record separate files which makes it easy to encode to any movie format with an external program. This feature is not autonomously built in, however, and thus requires an encoding software and knowledge of its use.

Learn more and download Krut.


Ezvid is not technically open source, but is a free video editor and screen recorder that is commonly used to create YouTube videos. If you are new to screen recording software, we suggest this as a good place to start. Within the software you can access tools such as “Draw” to draw directly on the screen. After recording a video you can also edit from directly within the software and we feel the user interface is friendlier than some alternatives.

One feature we need to point out, however, is that you cannot easily access and save your video files. You have to upload directly YouTube or social media. Depending on what you wish to achieve with the program this may be a limiting factor. If your goal is to create content for a platform such as YouTube or Facebook, this is a great place to start.

Learn more and download EZvid.


VLC Media Player is most commonly used as a free and open source video player but also has the ability to capture video directly from your desktop. It can also capture from a TV if you are using that as an input, and record from a webcam.

VLC will play most multimedia files and various streaming protocols and runs on all platforms – Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, Android, and more.

Learn more and download VLC today.


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