OBS is advertised as the expert's screen recording and streaming tool, every list on the internet makes it out to be some incredibly difficult program not recommended for newbies.

It's also the only linux screen recorder that works out of the box on Pipewire, records both microphone and system sounds and all configuration was to
1. select recording as my main use case in the setup wizard which is a very verbose English popup, then accept all defaults
2. add a new source, following the instructions written in the box which are also the only instructions on screen after application launch
3. set the output directory (optional) by going to File > Settings > Output > Recording Path, all of which were the first items I guessed. If I had not done this, it would've written everything to my home folder which is a bit dumb but not confusing at all
4. click Start Recording
5. click Stop Recording when done

Some newbie-oriented screen recorders have a more complicated setup procedure than this super advanced experts' tool don't touch without safety gloves and a degree in video engineering.

  • 9
    Lesson: DO NOT CLICK the record button when it reads "stopping recording". It's actually rendering your media. Clicking the button stops the rendering process and discards the leftover data. Inexplicably, there is no warning popup for this.
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    Lesson: On some machines mono micropohnes aren't recognized as such by Pipewire, so it's best to check the volume bars and visually verify that both are recording something. Changing an input to mono is trivially accomplished in Advanced Audio Properties
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    Green recorder
    Works on Wayland. Was easy to set up for me. Looked no further.

    Edit: I see it's now abandoned... Guess I will need to look further when it breaks down.
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    @hjk101 Supposedly OBS also works on Wayland, but xfce4 doesn't so it's not exactly relevant for me.
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    @hjk101 You do need to select a Pipewire source which may be a bit confusing since the typical user knows Pipewire as an audio server, but it's an officially supported use case.
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    @angularvictim97 I was talking from the perspective of a simple user wanting to record simple videos on a simple Arch setup. I'm looking for simple solutions, not many features. OBS still wins by a long shot.
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    I only know it as a video/audio capturing thing that integrates with Wayland permission model. Making it possible for video conferencing software to work under Wayland. That is why I assumed that.
    Didn't know it was used as pulse/jack replacement.
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    @hjk101 Wow, that's really interesting! But yeah, most distros now actually make pulseaudio an abstract package and have pipewire provide it by default because it's faster, jack compatible and generally better.
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    I meant to say "the most popular desktop distros", adoption depends entirely on the repo's risk level because Pipewire is great but it's new software so of course carries the risk of compatibility issues.
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    @lbfalvy I think "simple user" and "simple Arch setup" doesn't exactly fit together, but on a different distro you are probably right
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    @StopMotionCuber Now you're just splitting hairs, the words should be interpreted in a common context. Simple user means that I'm not a video technician or a streamer and I prefer not to have to understand the inner workings of my operating system just to record some tutorials, and a simple arch setup is one with basic desktop applications and whatever came with my DE. Adjectives like simple are applied to their object, so everything can be simple relative to the object's normal complexity.
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