Quick-Start Guide

Freeseer is a free and open source screencasting application, primarily developed for capturing and streaming computer-aided presentations at conferences.

It’s been successfully used to capture presentations, demos, training material, and other videos. It’s capable of handling large conferences with many talks in various rooms.

With Freeseer, you can record video from external sources such as FireWire and USB (e.g. webcam or another computer’s screen via VGA output [1]).

Freeseer is written in Python, uses Qt4 for its GUI, and Gstreamer for video/audio processing. And it’s based on open standards so it supports royalty free audio and video codecs.

Read our history to find out why Freeseer was created.

Installing Freeseer from a package


You should only install Freeseer from a package if you plan to use it as an end-user. If you want to contribute to the project, do not install Freeseer from a package (if you already have, you’ll need to uninstall it). Instead, follow the instructions for installing Freeseer for development.

Arch Linux

Freeseer is available in AUR: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/freeseer-git/

Or install with yaourt:

yaourt -S freeseer-git

Gentoo Linux

Freeseer is available in PaddyMac’s portage overlay: https://github.com/PaddyMac/overlay

After adding this overlay:

emerge -av freeseer


Freeseer is available in the OpenSUSE repository:

zypper install freeseer

Python Package Index

Freeseer can also be installed with pip:

pip install freeseer

Installing Freeseer for Development

If you plan on contributing to Freeseer’s development, you’ll have to run Freeseer from source.

  1. Uninstall any previously installed instances of Freeseer
  2. Obtain the source code by forking and cloning the project
  3. Install the required dependencies

Now you’re ready to run Freeseer from the command line. There are two ways to do this.

  1. Run the Freeseer module as a script:

    cd freeseer/src/
    python -m freeseer

    You’ll have to repeat these steps whenever you want to run Freeseer.

  2. Install Freeseer in editable mode:

    cd freeseer/src/
    pip install -e .

    After this one-time install, you can now run freeseer from anywhere.


  • Git
  • Python 2.7+
  • sqlite3
  • gstreamer0.10-python (pygst)
  • PyQT development tools

Debian and Ubuntu Linux

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y build-essential git wget python2.7-dev python-gst0.10 python-gst0.10-dev \
  qt4-qmake python-qt4 python-qt4-dev python-qt4-sql pyqt4-dev-tools libqt4-dev libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-sqlite \
  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio gstreamer0.10-alsa

Fedora Linux

sudo yum install git PyQt4-devel gstreamer-python sphinx python-sphinx


This list may be incomplete. Please let us know if you notice any missing packages.



x86 version recommended whenever there is a choice.

PyPI Packages

You’ll need to get some packages from the Python Package Index (PyPI).

You can install pip by securely downloading get-pip.py and executing it with administrator access:

wget -q https://raw.github.com/pypa/pip/master/contrib/get-pip.py -O- | sudo python

If you already have pip, first upgrade it to the latest version:

pip install --upgrade pip

Install the remaining packages. You may need administrator access.

On Linux:

pip install -Ur dev_requirements.txt

On Windows:

pip install -Ur windows_requirements.txt

Running Freeseer

Once you’ve installed Freeseer, you can run the various tools:

freeseer         # Recording UI (default when no arguments supplied)
freeseer record  # Recording UI
freeseer talk    # Talk Editor UI
freeseer config  # Configuration UI

You can view usage with the -h or --help option:

freeseer -h         # General usage
freeseer record -h  # Recording usage
freeseer talk -h    # Talk Editor usage
freeseer config -h  # Config usage


If you’re going to hack on Freeseer, you’ll need to run it from source. Go into the src/ directory and run it like:

python -m freeseer
python -m freeseer record
python -m freeseer talk
python -m freeseer config

Issue tracker

Found an issue? Open an issue on GitHub!


IRC channel

Drop by our #freeseer channel on irc.freenode.net to chat with us.

Mailing list

We have a mailing list that’s also a discussion group.


Once you’ve joined the group, you can email subscribers at freeseer@googlegroups.com.


And many student contributors from Google Summer of Code, Fedora Summer Coding, and Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects.