Raspberry Pi 4 - OBS Studio

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – OBS Studio – Week 20

Last Updated on August 20, 2020


It’s important to be realistic about the RPI4. I never expected it to be able to stream gaming video at 60fps. RPI4 definitely doesn’t have the horsepower to perform that function. However, I hoped performance would be better capturing the desktop at much lower resolutions. However, from my testing, I wasn’t satisfied with the recordings. Far too few frames per second however much I tweaked settings. In the absence of hardware encoding, it’s frankly a non-starter. The RPI4 has a VideoCore VI GPU, but this isn’t being used by OBS Studio. Direct encoder support would offer much better performance.

The situation is much better with Window Capture. For example, capturing a specific window using Xcomposite at 30 fps only took 20-30% CPU (of all 4 cores). Fluid performance.

OBS Studio accepts other sources such as video capture devices. Sadly, I haven’t got a functioning webcam at the moment working, so I haven’t been able to test that yet.

I’d love to hear your experience of running OBS Studio on the RPI4. Share away below!

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – Installation
Page 3 – In Operation
Page 4 – Summary

Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.

Raspberry Pi 4 Blog
Week 36Manage your personal collections on the RPI4
Week 35Survey of terminal emulators
Week 34Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll
Week 33Personal Information Managers on the RPI4
Week 32Keep a diary with the RPI4
Week 31Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators
Week 30Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software
Week 29Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam
Week 28Typeset beautifully with LyX
Week 27Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond
Week 26Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium
Week 25Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine
Week 24Keep the kids learning and having fun
Week 23Lots of choices to view images
Week 22Listening to podcasts on the RPI4
Week 21File management on the RPI4
Week 20Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4
Week 19Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators
Week 18Web Browsers Again: Firefox
Week 17Retro gaming on the RPI4
Week 16Screen capturing with the RPI4
Week 15Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4
Week 14Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs
Week 13Using the RPI4 as a screencaster
Week 12Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more
Week 11Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater
Week 10Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others
Week 9PDF viewing on the RPI4
Week 8Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps
Week 7e-book tools are put under the microscope
Week 6The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested
Week 5Managing your email box with the RPI4
Week 4Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori
Week 3Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink
Week 2A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box
Week 1An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages

This blog is written on the RPI4.

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Terry Boulder
Terry Boulder
4 years ago

I’m really enjoying this series. It seems that OBS Studio is out of RPI4’s capabilities. At least until the GPU is used.

I’d like to see coverage of productivity apps on the RPI4 – things like Evernote clients covered. Any plans?

3 years ago

Looks like obs is using software encoder although rpi4 can do fullhd HARDWARE encoding. Too bad.

Trent Calder
Trent Calder
3 years ago
Reply to  atelierelealbe

You’re just repeating what Luke says in his Summary — “The RPI4 has a VideoCore VI GPU, but this isn’t being used by OBS Studio. Direct encoder support would offer much better performance.”

John Sawyer
John Sawyer
3 years ago
Reply to  Trent Calder

Some things are worth repeating

2 years ago

Problems installing OBS-studio on pi4
CMake Error at /usr/share/cmake-3.16/Modules/FindPackageHandleStandardArgs.cmake:146 (message):
Call Stack (most recent call first):
/usr/share/cmake-3.16/Modules/FindPackageHandleStandardArgs.cmake:393 (_FPHSA_FAILURE_MESSAGE)
cmake/Modules/FindWayland.cmake:76 (find_package_handle_standard_args)
libobs-opengl/CMakeLists.txt:55 (find_package)

— Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!
See also “/home/pi/Downloads/obs-studio/build/CMakeFiles/CMakeOutput.log”.
root@raspberrypi:/home/pi/Downloads/obs-studio/build# make -j4
make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop.