How to use Gnome shell’s secret screen recorder

When choosing a good screen recording tool, there are various tools available for this purpose in Linux. Sometimes it might get confusing to select one tool but how about using a built-in screen recording tool that you do not even need to install in your system. Gnome desktop is an efficient and easy to use environment, as it possesses a minimal user interface. You might be unaware but there is a built-in hidden screen recording tool available in your Gnome Desktop that is well integrated with Gnome shell. You can use this tool to record your desktop and share it with someone on what you are working on.

The Gnome shell’s built-in screen recorder is hidden for some reasons because you will not find any app launcher or command line option to launch it like other applications. However, when you will find this tool, you will definitely say that Gnome has an amazing built-in tool for screen recording. It is really simple to use screen recorder tool.

In this article, we will see how to use a Gnome shell’s secret screen recorder. I will use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for describing the procedure mentioned in this article.

Using Gnome shell’s secret screen recorder

As already told, there is no app launcher for Gnome shell’s secret screen recorder tool, you can launch it with a keyboard shortcut. This same shortcut is used for both starting and stopping recording.

Start recording

To start recording your screen, press:


A small red circle will appear at the top right corner of the screen that will indicate your recording process has started. It will record the whole screen of your Gnome desktop.

Stop recording

The recording stops automatically after 30 seconds. To manually stop recording press the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R shortcut again. You will notice the red circle will disappear indicating recording has stopped.

Find recordings

You can find the recorded videos that you have made through screen recording tool at Videos folder under the user’s home directory. Videos are saved in WebM format along with date and time when they were taken.

Increase recording length

The default recording length of Gnome shell’s built-in screen recorder is 30 seconds. If you are not happy with this short length video and want to make a lengthy video. It is possible to do that with just one line command in Terminal. The command accepts the recording length in seconds only.

Launch the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T key shortcut. Then type the following line in Terminal:

$ gsettings set max-screencast-length X

Replace X with the length you want in seconds. If you do not want to specify a limit, replace X with 0.

That’s all for now. As we have seen that overall Gnome shell’s built-in screen recorder is a good tool but it has few limitations that there is no audio recording and it records your complete desktop screen. If you add more control in recording, you will need to install Easycreencast extension.