How to live stream from your Linux desktop

Arrange on-screen

As you add each element, you’ll see it overlap previously added elements in the Preview window. 

We’ve already demonstrated how to move and resize these elements, and like any good image editor, OBS Studio layers each element on top of the other, with their order determined by the list under Sources. Simply drag and drop elements within the Sources pane to rearrange them.

Once an element is in place, click the Lock button to hide its drag handles and ensure you don’t accidentally resize or move it when working with other sources.

Each source can be augmented with the use of effects filters. Right-click the element in question and choose Filters. You’ll see two types are supported: Audio/Video, and Effect. Click + underneath one to see the basic types on offer.

Once your first scene is set up to your satisfaction, it’s time to move on to the next one. The obvious option is to click + under Scenes to create a new blank scene – you’ll see your previous sources vanish. 

Click + to set up your first source, and when you choose a source type, such as Video Capture Device (V4L2) for your webcam, you’ll see your webcam appear under Add Existing. Select this, highlight your source and click OK to recreate it for the new scene.

Note, the source’s properties (and filters) are shared across all scenes, so if you were to change the resolution for your webcam in this scene, you’ll find it’s applied to other scenes, too.

If you plan to use most of the same sources from one scene to another, a quicker way to set things up is to duplicate an existing scene, which transfers across all that scene’s sources as well as its layout. 

Simply right-click the scene you wish to copy and choose Duplicate to do so, giving it a new name when prompted.

As you build up scenes, keep an eye on the Scene Transitions panel. As you click between scenes, watch for an understated fade effect as you switch from one to the other – this is the current transition. 

You can change the length of this effect using the Duration field, or click the Fade drop-down to reveal a more basic Cut option instead.

Alternatively, click the + button to set up more ambitious effects: Swipe, Slide, Stinger, Fade to Color and Luma Wipe are all available. Once selected, you’ll be prompted to tweak various aspects of the effect (such as the direction of the swipe or slide) and preview it before applying it. 

If none of the transitions appeal, you’ll find plenty more as plugins – the Move transition plugin is well worth considering if you’d like to use the transition to move and resize Sources around the screen, for example.

You’ll notice the same transition applies to all scenes – a single transition ensures consistency, but if it’s too restrictive, don’t worry. When live-streaming in Studio View you can switch between transitions as outlined in the step-by-step guide.

Everything is set up and ready to go – the step-by-step guide reveals just how simple it is to start your live stream and juggle all the various elements using OBS Studio’s Studio Mode view. 

This provides a dual-screen view, with the live stream itself shown on the right, while the left-hand window exists for you to tweak your scenes without revealing what’s going on to your audience. 

Once you’ve completed editing your scene, click the Transition button between the two to switch the feed to show your edited scene.