Open Broadcaster Software

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Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is an open source cross-platform video recording and live-streaming application. It provides an easy to pick up and extensible workflow with customizable scenes, volume mixers, transitions, filters and more.


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Reason: Use Template:App to explain what each package does differently. (Discuss in Talk:Open Broadcaster Software)

Install one of the following packages:


For easy configuration, Tools > Auto-Configuration Wizard can quickly set up base settings for both recording and live-streaming. The wizard auto-selects bitrate, resolution and encoder based on your hardware (and network connection if streaming was set up).

Hardware video acceleration

Hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding is best for performance, CPU/GPU usage and quality. The encoder can be changed in Settings > Output > Streaming > Encoder (may have to first set Settings > Output > Output Mode to Advanced). See Hardware video acceleration if a hardware encoder is not detected.

Recording output

By default, OBS will output recordings in the user's home path with spaces in the video filename and the same encoder selected for streaming. The output path, filesize, file format, filename style and more can be changed in Settings > Output > Streaming > Encoder.


By default, OBS assigns no hotkeys. All hotkey pairs highlighted in red upon selection can use the same keybind for toggling the pair's function.

Virtual camera output

Starting from version 26.1, OBS supports virtual camera output on Linux. To use it, install v4l2loopback, then the Start Virtual Camera button will appear in OBS. If the v4l2loopback kernel module is not loaded yet, OBS will automatically try to load it and ask for administrative privileges to do so (using pkexec(1)).


Since OBS is a Qt application, see Wayland#Qt to make it work under Wayland. OBS has upgraded from Qt 5 to Qt 6 since version 28, so installation of qt6-wayland is required for the newer versions. See PipeWire#WebRTC screen sharing to enable Wayland screen capture.

Global shortcuts in KDE not working

The global shortcuts set in OBS only work when OBS is in focus. As a workaround, you can control OBS through its WebSocket interface, which can be enabled in OBS by going to Tools > WebSocket Server Settings and selecting Enable WebSocket server.

Note: obs-studio is still missing WebSocket support FS#76710, but the Flatpak and some of the AUR packages do have it (for example, obs-studio-gitAUR).

The WebSocket can then be controlled with obsws-python or obs-websocket-py (version >=1.0). Either of them can be installed with pip. Then in System Settings > Shortcuts, you can add the following command for obsws-python to set your custom shortcut to toggle recording:

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Reason: Avoid complex one-liners. (Discuss in Talk:Open Broadcaster Software)
python -c "import obsws_python;obsws_python.ReqClient(host='localhost',port=4455,password='yourwebsocketpassword').toggle_record()"

Or the following command if you're using obs-websocket-py:

python -c "from obswebsocket import obsws,requests;c=obsws('localhost',4455,'yourwebsocketpassword');c.connect();;c.disconnect()"

The WebSocket password and port can be found in WebSocket Server Settings > Show Connect Info.

If you want to avoid complex one-liners, use script.

Tips and tricks

Browser source

The obs-browser plugin gives the ability to use a webpage within the canvas, typically for web-based overlays. The webpage can be interacted with and works like any other source type.

The default obs-studio package does not provide this plugin. It can be added via other clients or plugin packages:

  • obs-studio-gitAUR compiles with the browser plugin.
  • obs-studio-tytan652AUR is a custom client that provides the browser plugin as well as browser docks, along with other general improvements.

Capturing via Vulkan/OpenGL

The obs-vkcapture plugin adds the capability to capture Vulkan or OpenGL programs by hooking into those APIs directly, rather than using generic Xorg or Wayland window capture APIs. To use it, install obs-vkcaptureAUR, as well as lib32-obs-vkcaptureAUR if capturing 32-bit applications. Follow the instructions in the GitHub repository to setup a Game Capture using the plugin.

Encoding using GStreamer

obs-gstreamer is a project which provides:

  • An encoder plugin for using GStreamer for encoding.
  • Plugins for using a GStreamer pipeline as a source, video filter, or audio filter. This is an advanced capability intended for users familiar with GStreamer usage.

AMD GPU users report that VA-API via GStreamer outperforms OBS's default VA-API video encoding capabilities. To use obs-gstreamer for encoding, install obs-gstreamerAUR and change OBS' encoder to GStreamer Encoder. If OBS gives an error regarding encoders you might need to install the gstreamer-vaapi package.

Encoding using AMF

obs-studio-amf is a patch that ports the AMD Media Framework encoder to Linux, which was previously exclusive to Windows.

To make this work you need to setup AMDGPU PRO, install obs-studio-amfAUR and set the VK_DRIVER_FILES environment variable:

$ VK_DRIVER_FILES=/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/amd_pro_icd64.json:/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/amd_pro_icd32.json obs

As of OBS version 30.0.0, performance on VAAPI and AMF should be similar. AMF patch does not work since version 30.0.0 and the author has stopped supporting it due to extended VAAPI implementation.

Manual plugins installation

You can manually install plugin to the ~/.config/obs-studio/plugins/. The folder structure is the following:


Record rectangular area

If you use KDE, you can select rectangular area for the recording using the helper script obs-rectangle-area-selector.


QuickSync returns "Error creating a MFX session"

This error can occur if the right Intel QuickSync drivers are not installed.

[AVHWDeviceContext @ 0x6111a37c1040] Error creating a MFX session: -9.
Device creation failed: -1313558101.

To use QuickSync, install intel-media-sdk for Iron Lake (Gen5) to Ice Lake (Gen10) GPUs, or vpl-gpu-rt for Tiger Lake (Gen11) and newer GPUs.

For more information, refer to FFmpeg#Intel QuickSync (QSV).

See also