Madhav Kobal's Blog

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Record desktop activities with recordMyDesktop

Posted by madhavkobal on 20/08/2009

recordMyDesktop is a command-line tool which allows to record your entire Linux desktop and save it as a Theora Ogg video. It has GTK and Qt frontends too, and in Ubuntu gtk-recordmydesktop is available in the repositories. To install recordmydesktop in Ubuntu, just type in the GNOME Terminal:

sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop

And if you want the GTK frontend, use:

sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop

The simplest way to record your desktop is to run the command recordmydesktop without any parameters inside a terminal, then do whatever you wanted to do, and when you feel the screencast is over, type Ctrl+C in the terminal where you started recordmydesktop to stop it. It will start the procedure of encoding the video to Ogg Theora, which can take a while. The default output file will be out.ogv, located in the same directory from where you started recordmydesktop:


You can also choose the name of the output file:

recordmydesktop -o my_screencast.ogv

Or make it encode the video on-the-fly, so you won’t have to wait after hitting Ctrl+C:

recordmydesktop –on-the-fly-encoding my_screencast.ogv

You can specify a region to record only:

recordmydesktop -x x_position -y y_position -width width -height height

Some other useful switches for recordmydesktop are:

-v-quality – video quality, from 0 to 63, default is maximum
-s-quality – sound quality, from -1 to 10, default is 6
-v-bitrate – video bitrate, from 45000 to 200000, default is 45000
-device – sound device
-channels – number of audio channels

gtk-recordmydesktop – GTK frontend


However there was a problem recording visual effects in Kubuntu, the resulted screencast having many artefacts.

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