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Pro Tips: 6 Best Open Source Screen Recorders for Windows and Mac

By Claire Wilson

November 14, 2019

Open source screen recorders are recording software that enables users to study, customize, copy and use in their preference, thus an open source screen recorder is the first choice for those who want to alter or add features to the recorder by changing its source code. However, most of screen recorders in the market are close source software, so it might be difficult to find a perfect open source screen recorder. Fret not! In this article, you can find 6 best open source screen recorders.


Part 1. The 6 Best Open Source Screen Recorders

#1. CamStudio

The first open source screen recorder that I'd recommend is CamStudio. This screen capture tool is characterized by its ability of recording all screen activities, audios and online streaming videos on PC. All recorded files will be saved as AVI files. In addition, the built-in SWF Producer enables you to convert videos to SWF files.


#1. The interface is simple. All its critical buttons are shown in the main interface.

#2. It allows users to record any screen activity with or without system sound.

#3. Markings like lines, shapes, texts, etc. can be added to the recorded files.

#4. Webcam recording feature is provided.

#5. The length of the recording file is not limited.


This tool is only available for Windows platform.

CamStudio Interface

#2. ShareX

ShareX, released for more than 10 years, is a professional and free open source screen capture and file sharing tool for Windows. It is designed for allowing users to capture the full screen or any specific area of the screen, upload and share files online.


#1. There are no advertisements on the ShareX interface.

#2. This recorder supports more than 80 destinations.

#3. It's lightweight, the size of the latest version is 5,5484 KB.

#4. This recorder offers various annotation tools including arrow, line, speech balloon, highlight, crop image, etc

#5. Different capturing methods including "rectangle', "ellipse" and "freehand" types are supported.


#1. The recorded videos can only be saved as MP4 and GIF formats.

#2. This software is only available for Windows users.

ShareX Interface

#3. OBS Studio

Another recommended open source screen recorder is OBS Studio (short for Open Broadcaster Software). Though this open source software is well known as a game recorder, it also offers video recording and video editing features.


#1. It is available for various platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux.

#2. It's very easy to switch from scene to scene.

#3. Built-in audio mixer and noise suppression functionality are offered.

#4. There is no limitation on the number or the length of recording videos.


#1. Though this software can meet the basic requirements of recording videos, it has less functions than many other screen recorders.

#2. The interface is not simple enough so that users might feel a little confused when they record video with this recorder at the first time.

OBS Studio Interface

#4. VirtualDub

VirtualDub is one of the 6 best open source screen recorder. This free video and screen recording and editing software offers screen capturing, video conversion and more tools, thus it is also designed as a video processing tool.


#1. Fractional frame rate can be set.

#2. It allows users to deal with a batch of videos at the same time.

#3. It is extended with third-party video filters.

#4. Hotkeys for recording screen activity are provided.


#1. It is only developed for Windows platform users.

#2. This software can only handle basic editing tasks.

VirtualDub Interface

#5. UltraVNC Screen Recorder

The next open source screen recorder in the list is known as UltraVNC Screen Recorder. Though you might not know it before, it is really a professional screen recorder and is able to record screen activity and edit video.


#1. It supports platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux.

#2. It allows users to set recording length.

#3. The interface is clear and free of advertisements.

#4. It comes with Audio Mixer.


#1. It doesn't have significant updates.

#2. It takes a little while to learn how to use the software.

UltraVNC Screen Recorder Interface

#6. Captura

The last one on our list is Captura which offers a concise and user-friendly GUI and enables users to capture specific regions, windows or screens. Moreover, keystrokes or mouse clicks can be recorded.


#1. The interface is simple.

#2. The recorded file can be saved as AVI, GIF and MP4 format.

#3. Solo game capturing function is provided.


#1. Captura is only available for Windows users.

Captura Interface

The 6 best open source screen recorders are shown as above, all of them enable you to record video and audio and modify or add features to the recorder by changing its source code.

Part 2. Which One to Choose, Open Source or Closed Source Screen Recorders

Considering that you might be confused about which one should you choose, open source or closed source screen recorders, I hereby make a simple comparison between them.

Though open source screen recorders allow users to edit features, they are not user-friendly and secure, and don't offer any technical support compared with close source screen recorders, and some professional close source screen recorders, like TuneFab Screen Recorderr, Adobe Captivate and Filmora Scrn, are easy-to-use and powerful, and perform stably.

Let's take TuneFab Screen Recorder as an example. This close-rource recorder is professional in recording screen activity and making real-time editing. Here are key features of this professional recorder.

Key Feature:

#1. Record any screen activity, webcam, live streaming video, gameplay.

#2. Save recorded video and audio as high-quality common formats such as MP4, WMV, MP3, M4A, etc.

#3. Take screenshot and save it as JPG, PNG, BMP and more popular formats during recording.

#4. Set recording schedule for automatic recording.

TuneFab Screen Recorder Main Interface

Thus, if you are an ordinary user who is not good at programming, close source screen recorders are your best choice, for example TuneFab Screen Recorder, for those who want to add specific features and is familiar with programming, just choose one open source screen recorder from the above list.

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