Screen Recording with Kazam on Ubuntu

When it comes to screen recording in Ubuntu, Kazam is my go-to tool. It provides a well designed and easy to use interface for capturing screen casts and screenshots. It can record desktop video and multiple audio streams simultaneously with control over audio levels and the screen region being captured. With Kazam, you can capture your entire screen, a specific window, or even a selected screen area. You can make use of the Kazam hotkeys that help you in starting, pausing, resuming, and finishing recording. With the latest versions of Kazam, you can even record your mouse-clicks and keyboard key presses.

In this article, we will explain how to install versions 1.5.3 and 1.4.5 of Kazam, based on your requirements and personal ease of installation. We will also explain how to record your screens with customization that you do prior to casting your screens.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Install Kazam 1.5.3 through Sylvain Pineau PPA

The Sylvian Pineau PPA repository contains the latest version of Kazam, that is Kazam 1.5.3. Here, we will describe a step-by-step procedure on how to use this repository to add Kazam to your Ubuntu.

Step 1: Add the Sylvain Pineau PPA software repository for Kazam

We will be using the Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, in order to install the Kazam to our systems. First, please open the Terminal either through the system Dash or the Ctrl+Alt +T shortcut.

Enter the following command in order to add the Sylvian Pineau PPA software repository for Kazam to your Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sylvain-pineau/kazam

Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and configure software on Ubuntu. Enter the password for sudo, after which the PPA repository will be added to your system.

Add Kazam Repository

Tip: Instead of typing the command, you can copy it from here and paste in the Terminal by using the Ctrl+Shift+V, or by using the Paste option from the right-click menu.

Step 2: Upgrade your system’s Repository Index

The next step is to update your system’s repository index through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

This helps you in installing the latest available version of a software from the Internet.

Update repository package lists

Step 3: Install Kazam

Now that you are done with all the prerequisites required to install Kazam, use the following command as sudo in order to install Kazam on your system:

$ sudo apt-get install kazam

Install Kazam Screen Recorder

The system will prompt you with a Y/n option to proceed with the installation procedure. Enter Y to continue after which Kazam will be installed on your system.

Step 4: Install a few additional libraries

You might need to add the following libraries in order to record things like keyboard hits and mouse clicks. Use the following command as sudo in order to do so:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-xlib python3-cairo

Install Libraries

Step 5: Verify Kazam Installation

After you have installed Kazam, you can use one of the following two options to ensure that it is indeed installed on your system:

$ kazam --version

or in short form:

$ kazam -v

The above output shows that Kazam version 1.5.3, which is the latest version of Kazam, is installed on my system.

Kazam Removal

If you ever want to remove Kazam from your system, you can do so through the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get remove kazam

Remove Kazam

The following command will remove the Sylvain Pineau Kazam PPA repository from your sources.list.d folder:

$ sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sylvain-pineau-ubuntu-kazam-bionic.list

Remove Kazam repository

If you want, you can remove the Kazam package key through the UI through the Software & Updates utility. Open this utility through the system Dash or the Applications list and then open the Authentication tab. Here, locate the key and use the Remove button in case you do not intend to re-install the software.

Install Kazam 1.4.5 through official Ubuntu Repository

Kazam 1.4.5 is not the latest version of the software, but it has most of the basic features you would want for screen capturing. If you do not want to get into all the command line and PPA adding stuff, you can simply use the Ubuntu Software Manager UI in order to install a stable version of Kazam.

On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Ubuntu Software Center

In the following view, click on the search icon and enter Kazam in the search bar. The search results will display Kazam as follows:

Search for Kazam package

This is the package maintained by Ubuntu Bionic Universe repository. However, this might not be the latest version of Kazam, which at the time of writing this article is Kazam 1.5.3. If you want to install the latest version of this software, please view the previous section of this article.

From the Software Manager search results, click on the Kazam entry to open the following view:

Install Kazam

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Get admin privileges

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.

Installing Kazam

Kazam will then be installed to your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

Launch Kazam

Through the above dialog, you can choose to directly launch Kazam and even Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

Alternatively, the same version of the software can be installed through the command line. You can use the following apt-get command to install Kazam from the official Ubuntu bionic universe repository.

$ sudo apt-get install kazam

Install on the shell

How to Use Kazam for screen-casting/screen-recording?

Launch Kazam

Now that Kazam is installed on your system, you can launch it through the command line by using the following command:

$ kazam

Launch Kazam

Or else, you can use the Ubuntu application launcher search to launch Kazam as follows:

Kazam Icon

Screen Recording

We will explain the screen recording function for Kazam 1.5.3 in this article. Click on the Screencast tab, which is open by default anyways when you launch Kazam.

Do screen recording

The above window lets you make many settings that you can customize according to your screen capturing needs. This window also lets you set a time, in seconds, that this utility will take before recording your screen. This gives you time to switch to the exact screen, window, or area that you want to record.

You can start recording by using three ways:

  • One is to use the Capture button on the ScreenCast view.
  • The second option is through the Kazam recording icon that you will be able to see in the title bar while Kazam is running.

Start Recording

  • The third option is to use the hotkey Super+Ctrl+R, while Kazam is running.

Super is the Windows key that you can find on your keyboard.

After this, Kazam will display a countdown splash as follows and then your recording will start.

Start Countdown

When you are done with recording, you can stop the recording through the options in the Kazam recording icon in the title bar. Or easily through the Super+Ctrl+F hotkeys.

When the recording ends, you can save it to your desired location for later use through the following dialog that automatically appears:

Save recording to disk

Here is a list of some pre-defined hotkeys that you can use while Kazam is running:

Super+Ctrl+R – Start recording your screen, window, selected area

Super+Ctrl+P – Pause and resume recording

Super+Ctrl+F – Finish your recording

Super+Ctrl+Q – Quit the recording

Kazam Custom Settings

The Kazam utility allows you to make some customizations that you can make prior to recording your video.

In the main Kazam video, click on the Preferences option from the File menu:

Kazam Preferences

In the General tab view, you can configure your speakers and microphone settings. You can also choose if you want Kazam to display the countdown splash before screen recording or not.

Now select the Screencast tab in order to make some further settings related solely to screencasting/recording.


When we explained screen recording, we mentioned a dialog that displays in the end, asking you if you want to save the recorded file for later use. Through the Automatic file saving slider button, you can activate automatic file saving instead of that dialog asking you to do so.

Through this view, you can also specify the directory to which all your recordings will be automatically saved. Furthermore, you can specify a prefix for all your recording filenames.

That all about Kazam. We recommend using the latest version of Kazam for a better and more customizable screen recording experience. Now that you know all about screen recording with Kazam, you can make your videos more useful, informative, and creative. Enjoy recording!