luciano@ratamero.com

using streamlabs and OBS on linux

Luciano Ratamero - Friday, January 4, 2019

lately I've been watching a lot of streams on twitch. even if I'm doing something or just want to turn my brain off, I always leave a tab open; but the streams are always related to video games. with that in mind, I was thinking about streaming some coding sessions for a change.

but if you're streaming, it's important to keep an eye on people chatting and watching, so it nice to have a couple of alerts for certain user interactions, like who followed you or subscribed to you, for example. for that, people from streamlabs offer their open sourced version of the famous Open Broadcaster Studio - aka OBS - with their own tweaks, to make it easy to handle stream related alerts.

the only catch: it doesn't work on linux.

there's always a way

for these cases, streamlabs offers an url to a private web page that shows these alerts: the Alert Box. if you want to find the url to yours, log into streamlabs, click on Widgets, then Alert Box and you'll have the option to copy the url to your Alert Box page.

with that, all we need is to have OBS treat this web page as a real input device. it's here that the magic happens.

obs-linuxbrowser

the user bazukas has published this beautiful plugin that does all the grunt work for us: obs-linuxbrowser. this plugin uses chromium behind the scenes to render any web page as an OBS input - and yeah, it works on linux.

with OBS installed, to use the pugin, you only need to download the latest version from their releases page and unpack it to your OBS' plugins directory. the default directory is ~/.config/obs-studio/plugins.

tldr:

  • download the plugin
  • mkdir -p ~/.config/obs-studio/plugins/
  • tar -zxvf linuxbrowser0.5.2-obs21.1.2-64bit.tgz -C ~/.config/obs-studio/plugins/

with that done, a new source type will appear in the add sources menu on OBS, called Linux Browser.

you just need to add it by clicking on +, then Linux Browser and put your Alert Box url in the URL field.

you could test if the alerts are appearing on OBS by going to streamlabs and clicking the test buttons!

that's it for today! if you have any tips or suggestions on how to improve this post, just ping me in the comments section. see you!