Share your desktop from OBS as a webcam in Hangouts, Skype, Zoom etc. for educational and social purposes

Create a loopback device that displays your desktop as the webcam output for Linux or Windows - for educational and social purposes!

Just a quick write-up on a recent “hack” to share your desktop as a webcam, letting you share your screen or specific windows to any number of people in any video conferencing app.

You will need:

To put them together you have to:

  1. Build or install a recent OBS
  2. Build the v4l2loopback or obs-virtual-cam plugins, following instructions in the README files
  3. Open OBS, go to Tools > v4l2 Video Output and select “Start” if the device selected is correct
  4. Go to the audio/video settings of the vidconf software and select the new video device
  5. Start your call and invite your crowd

You may need to play with options to get it working well, but I didn’t have to do much to get it playing HD videos with no noticeable audio lag over the popular video conferencing apps - Hangouts, Skype, Zoom etc.

In OBS I could switch scenes with my webcam + local video/desktop, or go full screen video/desktop.

This is useful for educational purposes, to comment on a recording of something done earlier or by someone else, to share your desktop with more than 1 person (Hangouts) or to not have your meeting cut off at 40 minutes if over 3 people (Zoom). Or you could play your old home movies and films to friends and family. Your call!

Thanks for reading. I do translation from French and Swedish to English, so if that's useful to you, feel free to connect and message me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Published by and tagged automation and linux using 225 words.