How to use Gnome Shell hidden screen recorder in Debian 10

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The use of screencasts is constantly increasing. These are great for teaching or sharing ideas, as text alone is not enough to provide instructions, describe problems, and share knowledge. Various tools are available for screen recording. But today, in this article, we are going to introduce you to a gnome shell secret screen recorder that you don’t even need to install. It is built into the Linux operating system and allows you to capture screen activity and save the results to your video directory.

Gnome Shell’s built-in screen recording tool is kept hidden, so you won’t find an application launcher or command line option to launch it like other software. You can launch it with a keyboard shortcut.

In this article we will see how to use the secret screen recorder of a gnome shell. It is as easy to use as possible with a minimal user interface. I will use Debian 10 to describe the procedure mentioned in this article.

Screen recording on Debian 10

You can launch the Gnome Shell’s built-in screen recording tool with a keyboard shortcut, since there’s no app launcher for that. This shortcut works for both starting and stopping recording.

Start screen recording

Use the following shortcut to start recording your screen:


After using the shortcut above, you will see a small red circle in the top right corner of the screen indicating the recording process has started. It records the current screen activity of your desktop.

Stop screen recording

The default recording time is 30 seconds. After that, the recording stops automatically. Use the same shortcut above Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R to stop recording manually. This will stop the program from recording screen activity and you will find that the red circle has disappeared.

find recordings

You can find the recordings in the Videos folder in the user’s home directory. Videos are saved in WebM format along with the date and time they were recorded.

Screen captures in the video folder

Increase recording length

Gnome Shell’s built-in screen recorder records screen activity for 30 seconds by default. However, if you are not happy with this default short recording length, you can increase it by running a single command in the terminal.

To launch the Terminal application on your system, go to activities Tab in the top left corner of your Debian desktop. Then type in the search bar terminal. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to launch it.

Then enter the following line in the terminal:

$ gsettings set max-screencast-length X

Replace X with the desired record length in seconds. If you don’t want to specify a limit, replace X with 0.

In this article, we have explained how to use Gnome’s Shell Secret Screen Recorder tool. Overall, it was a good tool to record your screen activities easily and conveniently without having to install any app. However, it has some limitations as there is no audio recording and it is not possible to record a specific area. Instead, it records the entire desktop screen.

How to use Gnome Shell hidden screen recorder in Debian 10