How can I share my screen on Google Plus Hangouts with Linux and Windows computers?

3 Answers 3


This option is not available yet for Hangouts.

UPDATE January 12, 2012:

This feature is now officially available. See details here.

  • Screensharing: share what’s on your computer screen with everyone in the hangout. This is the first of many extras we’re graduating to Hangouts proper.
  • 2
    Shouldn't there be some way to do it, like pretending your screen is a webcam?
    – RyanTM
    Jul 24, 2011 at 1:45
  • @RyanTM You'd likely need some program that will interface your webcam and redirect the feed to your desktop. Jul 24, 2011 at 2:59
  • @invalidsyntax It needs to take your desktop and pretend it's a webcam. You don't need an actual webcam. See mark4o's answer and superuser.com/q/78515/742
    – rjmunro
    Sep 2, 2011 at 11:22

There are several applications that allow you to capture your screen (or part of it) and use it as if it was a webcam. I have used the first two below successfully with hangouts. I haven't personally tried the others but as far as I know they should work also.


As of 2011-09-20, Google released experimental, work-in-progress Hangouts with extras, that adds Screen Sharing feature (among other features).

A friend using Windows could share his desktop with me; but when I tried sharing my Linux desktop, and that "Share Screen" button did nothing. Okay, I know "The extras are still under construction". It will probably (or hopefully) get fixed sometime later.

Meanwhile, it is possible to hack around a virtual webcam using v4l2loopback and VLC, as described by Daniel Kay:

Linux Screensharing in Google Hangouts

  1. Get https://github.com/umlaeute/v4l2loopback
  2. Build and load module (use modprobe v4l2loobpack debug=(1|2) for testing)
  3. Compile yuv4mpeg_to_v4l2.c from experimental branch
  4. mkfifo pipe
  5. ./yuv4mpeg_to_v4l2 < pipe
  6. cvlc --vout=yuv --yuv-yuv4mpeg2 --yuv-chroma=I420 --yuv-file=pipe screen:// --screen-width 640 --screen-height 360 --screen-fps 3 --screen-caching 200 --screen-top 75
  7. ???
  8. PROFIT =)

Play with transcode to get a higher cutout.

Note: I've also tested WebcamStudio, but its current version requires V4L (instead of V4L2) and thus refused to build against my kernel.

Update on 2012-05-12: Daniel Kay told me he used something similar to this script.

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