KDE’s Screenshot Tool Can Now Capture Screen Recordings

Screen recording functionality is coming to Spectacle, KDE Plasma’s built-in screenshot tool.

Developer Nate Graham reports that the upcoming Spectacle 23.04 release will boast expanded functionality when used in a KDE Plasma Wayland session.

Now, a slew of Linux screen recording tools are available to KDE users but a user has to go out of their way to install them. With Spectacle they won’t need to as they’ll be able to record their entire workspace, screen, or individual app out-of-the-box on all Linux distros that ship it.

The ‘catch’ (if it can be called that) is that the new screen recording functionality is only present in a KDE Plasma Wayland session. When logged in a a regular Xorg session the screenshot functionality is not present. This is because it uses Wayland-specific features.

Developers will likely continue working on this feature (so keep in mind it may differ from the screenshot in this post). At present there is an option to show or hide a mouse pointer (if you make tutorial-type content keep it enabled), but that’s it.

When testing the feature on KDE neon with the latest development code, I notice there’s (currently) no indication within the panel that screen recording is active. That might be a “me” issue, or it might be something that’s not yet implemented — guess we’ll see next month.

Advanced users will prefer to use a dedicated screen recording for Linux to benefit from greater control over output file, size, quality, and so on. But those only needing to demo a feature, capture a bug, or show something cool on on social media, Spectacle is enough.

With many other platforms and desktop environments offering native screen recording capabilities it makes sense that KDE Plasma wants to try and meet users’ expectations.

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