This post lists the top five live streaming applications for Ubuntu Linux with features, highlights, download details, and comparison.
It is the best time to incorporate online video content for your business. Why? Because research suggests that the global online video market is growing at a rate of ~20% per year.
And thanks to some excellent software from developers, it has become easy for anyone to create video content and stream them over several popular platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. If you think about it, you see you are consuming more video content today while online than text-based content.
So, in this post, we will list out some of the free software for Ubuntu and other Linux primarily that are easy to use for creating super interesting live streaming content for you and your businesses.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Live Streaming Applications for Linux in 2023
1. OBS Studio
The first free application in this list is OBS Studio (also known as Open Broadcaster Software). It is a live streaming application with screencasting capabilities available for Linux, Windows and macOS.
OBS Studio is the best one on this list because several reasons. The encoding is built-in, and it supports RTMP broadcasting, multiple sources, webcams, green-screen, capture cards and your application windows.
The user interface is reasonably straightforward and feature-rich. You can get help from third-party developed plugins to extend their functionalities, such as – mixing live tweets from Twitter on your streaming media while live streaming. However, OBS does not support multi-bitrate streaming.
How to Install
OBS Studio is available in all Linux Distribution’s official repositories. Detailed instruction for installations is present in the below link.
The second application we would feature in this list is VokoscreenNG. It is a fork of the discontinued Vokoscreen project. The new application is entirely written in Qt with the GStreamer library. It can record your screen and accept multiple audio and video sources. VokoscreenNG’s toolbox is also quite impressive. It includes a magnifying glass, timer, system tray plugins that ease up your workflow.
It is available for Linux and Windows for free.
How to Install
You can download the compressed executable from the below link for Linux systems. Once downloaded, extract them. Then execute the binary to launch the application.
Remember, this application requires X11, PulseAudio and GStreamer plugins installed in your Linux system to work. If you use a modern Linux system with Wayland and Pipewire sound server (e.g. Fedora), this application may not work.
The Restreamer application lets you live stream videos and screencasts directly to your website without any streaming provider. It is also possible to use popular streaming solutions, such as YouTube, Twitch, etc., with this application.
This application is feature-rich and comes with a fair list of features. Here’s a quick peek at its features:
- H.264 streaming support
- Built-in HTML5 video play
- Available for Linux, macOS, Windows and as Docker images
- Supports your own website plus YouTube, Twitchm, Facebook, Vimeo, Wowza and more
- Multiple video source support – IP Camera, USB Cameram or any H.2645 streams
- Encoding and Audio source support
- Snapshots as form of JPEG support in regular interval
- Access stream status via JSON HTTP API for additional programming
How to Install
The installation of Restreamer is a little tricky because it’s distributed via Docker images. You can find the instructions to install Linux, Windows, and macOS on the below link.
The ffscreencast is a command-line streaming application that uses the ffmpeg library. It leverages the power of ffmpeg and acts as a wrapper for it. Although it is available as a command line, you can use its powerful features, such as multiple sources and recordings devices, directly via the terminal. It supports multiple display setups as well. You can also overlay your camera feed on top of your desktop screencast.
How to Install
To install this application, you need to clone the git repo and then copy the contents to /bin directory for the global execution of the
git clone https://github.com/cytopia/ffscreencast
sudo cp bin/ffscreencast /usr/local/bin
You can run this application with
ffscreencast command from the terminal.
5. Open Streaming platforms
The final application in this list is Open Streaming Platform (OSP), an open-source RTMP streamer software that can act as a self-hosted alternative to YouTube LIVE, Twitch.tv, etc.
This application is feature-rich and powerful when used correctly. Because of the below essential features:
- RTMP Streaming from an input source like Open Broadcast Software (OBS).
- Multiple Channels per User, allowing a single user to broadcast multiple streams simultaneously without needing multiple accounts.
- Video Stream Recording and On-Demand Playback.
- Manual Video Uploading of MP4s that are sourced outside of OSP
- Video Clipping – Create Shorter Videos of Notable Moments
- Real-Time Chat Moderation by Channel Owners (Banning/Unbanning)
- Admin-Controlled Adaptive Streaming
- Protected Channels – Allow Access only to the audience you want.
- Live Channels – Keep chatting and hang out when a stream isn’t on
- Webhooks – Connect OSP to other services via fully customizable HTTP requests, which will pass information
- Embed your stream or video directly into another web page easily
- Share channels or videos via Facebook or Twitter quickly
- Ability to Customize the UI as a Theme for your own personal look
How to Install
To install the Open Streaming Platform, follow the below page for detailed instructions.
There are very few free and open-source live streaming applications available for Linux. However, several commercial live streaming applications are available, which may give you more options, quality, and support. But as I said, they may cost you some bucks. So, if you are new to the streaming world, you may want to get started with the above-listed free live streaming applications in Ubuntu or other Linux systems. I hope this article gives you ideas about which to use based on your need and get you started.
Let me know your favourite live streaming software in the comment box below.