Screen capturing in Wayland on Ubuntu 21.04

Ubuntu 21.04 has changed the graphics system from the Xorg server to the Wayland server. At first glance, this seems to work well – I had not even recognized this until I wanted to do a screen recording using SimpleScreenRecorder:

When I tried to create a screenshot of the above dialog using Shutter, the whole desktop was filled with this funny pattern:

So, it seems that especially screenshot and sreen recording applications still have their issues with the Wayland server. Before going back to Xorg as suggested by SimpleScreenSaver, I tried some alternative applications which reportedly already work with Wayland:


Kazam is available in the universe repository. Hence installation with apt install kazam is straightforward. It looks less feature rich as SimpleScreenSaver though:

Unfortunately the application crashed several times while creating a screenshot from an area. Other options like “Fullscreen” did not work either, so I was not able to test it further.


Kooha is relatively new, and there is no package available in the Ubuntu repository yet. So it needs to be built from source. meson and ninja are required for the build, and also a couple of build dependencies need to be satisfied, in particular gettext, libglib2.0-dev and appstream-util. Then, the application can be built using

$ git clone
$ cd Kooha
$ meson builddir --prefix=/usr/local
$ ninja -C builddir install

Unfortunately, running the application then terminates with an error which indicates that it requires Gtk 4.0 (Ubuntu is still on 3.38):

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/kooha", line 44, in <module>
    from kooha import main
  File "/usr/local/share/kooha/kooha/", line 22, in <module>
    gi.require_version('Gtk', '4.0')
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/gi/", line 129, in require_version
    raise ValueError('Namespace %s not available for version %s' %
ValueError: Namespace Gtk not available for version 4.0

I decided not to track this down further.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a very feature rich application aimed especially towards screen recording and streaming. It is available in the universe repository, however this version (26.12) only records a black screen when using the Wayland server. Version 27.0 is available as Snap, and this seems to work well. After installing it with snap install obs-studio, I was able to create a screen recording and play it back with VLC.

However, the application crashes with a segmentation fault when starting it a second time. Removing the configuration files in the user’s snap directory solves this, but then requires to go through the complete setup process again when restarting the application.


When doing a lot of screen capturing and/or screen recording, it is probably best to stay on Xorg for the time being – this can simply be configured with a button in the lower right corner on the login screen, after selecting the login user:

This selection is persisted across logout/login.
With the Xorg server, both Shutter and SimpleScreenRecorder are working again. Also, OBS Studio does not segfault when relaunching.

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