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Installation instructions for OBS studio on Linux

Open Broadcaster Software is a free and open-source live streaming and recording software available for multiple platforms including Windows and Linux.

It is widely used for streaming on Twitch and Youtube and officially recommended by Youtube for live streaming on its support page.

Its support for various systems, native and third-party plugins, software extensions, and individual applications make it the perfect tool for video creators, live streamers, and keen gamers by offering efficient tools for video production and real-time editing.

OBS is a freeware which means you can use all of its features without paying for it or needing to upgrade to a premium license. OBS Studio is freely available and easy to configure on all major operating systems.

In Linux, you can install OBS studio from the official repository of your Linux distribution or install it as a flatpak package.

OBS studio offers a great set of features that makes streaming, editing and recording video ten times easier than any of its alternatives.

Screen Capture – OBS studio allows you to capture your screen in HD quality and stream it right away on multiple platforms like Twitch, Youtube, etc..

Video Recording – You can easily record videos using OBS studio without any time limit. You can include your webcam and microphone as an audio source in the stream as well.

  • Neat and clean interface
  • Hotkeys
  • Video quality management
  • Branding and personalisation
  • Audio mixer
  • Powerful configuration
  • Unlimited number of scenes
  • Plugins
  • High-level view of production

Check if OBS is supported on your system

Before we can proceed to install OBS studio we must verify that our system supports OBS and there are no compatibility issues.

You will face issues if you are running on hardware older than 2015. You should have a video card with support for at least OpenGL 3.2. If your system does not support OpenGL 3.2 or its later version then you can not run OBS, and this is a strict requirement.

You can check if your system supports OpenGL 3.2 open a terminal window and execute the following command.

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL" 
checking if system supports obs studio

As you can see my system supports OpenGL 3.2 hence I can install and use OBS studio on my system.

Although OpenGL handles memory efficiently you should consider using OBS on a system with at least 4 or 6 GB R.A.M to avoid potential memory issues while using it.

xserver-xorg version 1.18.4 or newer is recommended to avoid potential performance issues with certain features in OBS, such as the full screen projector.

You do not need to worry about xorg if you have updated your system even once in the past year.

Install FFMPEG for OBS studio

You need to install ffmpeg before you can use OBS, ffmpeg provides functionality to easily encode/decode videos in a different format.

It is required by OBS for the same and OBS will give an error if you try to use it without installing ffmpeg.

Open a new terminal window and run the following command to install ffmpeg.

sudo apt install ffmpeg
installing ffmpeg on linux for obs

On some Linux variants, ffmpeg comes pre-installed. This command will tell you if it is already installed or an update is available if it is already installed.

Now we are ready to install OBS Studio on our Linux system.

Install OBS Studio as a Flatpak package

OBS studio is available as a flatpak package for Linux. Flatpak packages are universal and can be installed on almost every Linux distribution.

OBS is also available in the official repository. However, the packages in the official repository are almost always outdated but tested and stable. If you want the most stable release that works well with your system then see the steps required to install OBS from the software repository below.

Also, one more reason why I personally don’t like flatpak packages is that they are usually 10 times larger in size than other packages. This means that the same OBS studio that is available to download for 80 MB in the official store will cost you 1 GB when downloading as flatpak.

However, the reason why you may consider using flatpak is that you will get the latest version of OBS. So if you want the latest version of OBS then stick with this method.

Make sure you have flatpak installed on your system by running the following command.

flatpak --version

If you have flatpak installed then proceed to the next step or install flatpak using this tutorial.

Now open a terminal window and run the following command to install OBS studio as flatpak. The download process will take some time depending on your internet connection.

flatpak install flathub com.obsproject.Studio
install obs studio flatpak on linux system

Press Y and click Enter to continue. Once the installation is finished you can run OBS with the following command or from the menu.

flatpak run com.obsproject.Studio

Now you can enjoy all features of OBS without disturbance. If you encounter any error then let me know in the comments.

obs studio on linux

Install OBS from PPA

When we add a software’s PPA to our sources list we allow our system to see the link of that software as trusted and install it on our system.

People use it to get the latest version of a software, you can add PPA to easily get the latest version of OBS.

You must avoid installing software on Linux via PPA for security risk. However, in our case, we can trust OBS and install it securely.

Note: This method only works on Ubuntu / Linux mint or other distributions based on Ubuntu.

This way we can get the most recent version of OBS. So open a terminal window and execute the following commands line by line.

Add OBS’ PPA to our system:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio

Update package list:

sudo apt update

Finally install OBS studio with:

sudo apt install obs-studio

Once the installation is finished you can launch OBS directly from the menu or via this command.

obs
obs studio on linux

Install OBS from the official repository for Ubuntu / Linux Mint

This method works for all operating systems based on Ubuntu. We can easily install OBS from the official repository via just a simple command or from the Software Manager.

Open a Terminal Window and run the following command:

 sudo apt install obs-studio
install OBS studio using apt

Once the installation is finished you can launch OBS studio from the menu.

obs studio on linux

Unofficial Installations

You can install OBS unofficially on these distros, this will install the community release of OBS on your system.

Arch Linux installation

sudo pacman -S obs-studio 

Manjaro Installation

sudo pacman -S obs-studio

Fedora Installation

OBS Studio is included in RPM Fusion. If you do not have it configured (if you’re not sure, then you probably don’t have it), you can do so with the following command:

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Then you can install OBS with the following command (this pulls all dependencies, including NVENC-enabled FFmpeg):

sudo dnf install obs-studio

If you have an older card, use this command instead: 

sudo dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-340xx-cuda

Snap Installation

If you haven’t already, install snapd (ignore the Support Overview which is outdated).

sudo snap install obs-studio
obs studio on linux

Common Error

If you encounter an error while launching OBS studio and Linux saying that your graphics are outdated / unsupported then try restarting your system.

Also, make sure that your drivers are not actually outdated.

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By supersu

I am a tech enthusiast and FOSS lover experienced with PHP and WordPress development. My love is programming and exploring the vast depths of the internet. I write this blog as a hobby.

2 replies on “Installation instructions for OBS studio on Linux”

Thank you for the guides, but please know OBS Studio isn’t Streamlabs OBS.

Streamlabs OBS is a specific (nonfree) enhanced version of OBS distributed by Streamlabs. What you’re describing is standard (FLOSS) OBS Studio installation.

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