Programming ≈ Fun

Written by Krešimir Bojčić

Recording a Screencast on Linux (Ubuntu 11.04 in Particular)

If you would like to record a screencast on Linux (especially code intensive ones) situation seems to be rather hairy:

  • Desktop recorder
    • working alright except for full screen
    • often freezes while recording
    • if you can be certain that you will not loose what you are recording it’s acceptable for smaller regions
  • XVidCap
    • audio capturing is not working in my case
    • can’t record full screen on my not so lame i5 SSD-ed laptop
    • seems like a really good candidate if only I could get audio to work
  • Istanbul
    • not even showing up (because of bug related to Ubuntu 11.04 Unity)
    • with Ubuntu Unity turned off screencast result is flickery
  • VLC - yes you can record with it (stream)
    • result is flickery

So what can you do… cry for Camtasia or buy Mac (I am reading this ‘steal it from my wife’)…before going any further please check out the result.

Yes, it turns out you can use FFmpeg.
ffmpeg -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse -f x11grab -r 15 -s 1366x768
-i :0.0 -acodec pcm_s16le -vcodec libx264 -vpre
lossless_ultrafast -threads 0 screen_cast.mkv

Why didn’t I know this? I don’t know but it took me a couple of hours to find it… so I am sharing.

The only bad thing about this is when I see the other stuff (as if FFmpeg were not enough) that Fabrice Bellard did, all of a sudden I wanna hide under a rock… his latest project of booting Linux in .js is simply mind blowing…