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How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu June 8, 2006

Posted by Carthik in applications, guides, ubuntu.

…In which we (finally!) figure out how to create screencasts in Ubuntu using a patched ffmpeg…

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time now. Screencasting can be very useful for explaining new concepts, demonstrating beta products, and heck, maybe even for filing better bug reports!

The screencasting method I present here is not something I came up with. I saw it first at Quim Gil’s blog. A commenter mentioned how there was an article at clemens.endorphin.org explaining the process, and even posted instructions on how to be able to do this. So, as usual, my job is to publicize what is already known to a few.

You will need to patch, compile, and use ffmpeg to generate the screencasts. Let me try and make it very easy to do:

Open a terminal, and create a new directory called “software” in your home directory. This is optional, you don’t have to do it, but I do this to keep things organized on my computer:
$mkdir software
$cd software

So now you are in the newly created “software” directory.

Get the source for ffmpeg:
$wget http://un.sh.nu/screencasts/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216.tar.bz2

Extract it:
$tar xjfv ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216.tar.bz2

Change to the newly extracted directory:
$cd ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216

Download the patch:
$wget http://un.sh.nu/screencasts/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216.diff

Apply the patch:
$patch -Np1 -i ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216.diff

Now before we start compiling the source, you will need a couple of packages installed on your computer. The “build-essential” package will give you the compiler and other tools needed to compile packages, and the “xlibs-dev” package will be required to compile ffmpeg successfully. Let’s install both of these:
$sudo apt-get install build-essential xlibs-dev

Let’s get started now, configure the beast:
$./configure --extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib --enable-x11grab --enable-gpl

…and then “make” it:

That’s it! Now you have an executable called “ffmpeg” in the directory you are in (~/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216/)

You can use this to create your screencasts.

I find the following command good for my purposes:
$./ffmpeg -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1000 -r 10 -g 300 -vd x11:0,0 -s 1024x768 ~/test.avi
-vd x11:0,0 says that the offset to use for recording is x=0 and y=0
-s 1024×768 says that the size of the video to be captured is 1024×768.
The video file “test.avi” will be created in your home folder.

You can change these and the other options (refer to the documentation for ffmpeg).

If you want to create a screencast of only one application window, or a specific portion of your desktop, you can do that by specifying the offsets (always calculated from the top-left of the desktop) and the size of the area to be captured.

I find the “xwininfo” command to be pretty useful to find these parameters.
$xwininfo -frame will give you the geometry of a window, including the window decorations (the title-bar, scrollbar etc).

You can resize the screencasts by using, (…surprise!…) ffmpeg. For example the following command will create a 800×600 video from the 1024×768 video:
./ffmpeg -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1000 -r 10 -g 300 -i ~/test.avi -s 800×600 ~/test-800-600.avi

I created a small screencast to show how all this works out. However, the video quality at youtube and google videos leaves much to be desired. The original is much, much better — you can actually read the text in the screencast.

YouTube-hosted Screencast – A demo of the method where I learn to use xwininfo:

The same video/screencast is also on Google videos, andI really can’t decide which is worse, google, or youtube! I have posted the original .avi file here (test-small.avi) – which shows the quality of the screencast before it was uploaded to youtube.

Creating a screencast, even with an easy-to-use tool, is hard. I had to do this one over and over till I was marginally happy with one. Unlike with writing an article, you can’t go back and change things — you have to start re-recording from scratch! Besides that, there are issues like accents. (Question – can you place me geographically just by my accent? – let’s see how close, and specific, you can get 🙂 )

So I’ve done my teeny-weeny bit. Now someone please write us a small, stable GUI app that does the same thing. There’s no need for too many bells and whistles, a start/stop button, a method to select an area of the desktop to record, and a “save to…” field will do nicely.

So what do you folks think we can use this new tech for? I can’t think of too many screencasts to create, now that I have a method of creating them.


1. cskeide - June 8, 2006

Nice! Yet again you you post something very useful. I’ll definitely try this as soon as possible. I don’t have too many ideas of what to use it for, exept helping a few friends of mine that aren’t really ubuntu “power users” yet.

Interesting to hear your accent aswell 😉 India?

Thanks for a great blog!

2. Mkl2 - June 8, 2006

Did you try Istanbul GUI application?

3. Martin Schürrer - June 8, 2006

Hm, i suppose Wink (http://www.debugmode.com/wink/) already fulfills all your needs and then some, although it’s just free as in beer and not Open Source.

4. Mirjam - June 8, 2006

Wow, finally a useful Howto for screencasts! I tried pretty all of the screencasting tools which are available for linux, and I found them either too complicated to use or too unstable. But your howto works “out of the box” – thanks!

5. benplaut - June 8, 2006

that sounds like an israeli/middle eastern accent to me… curious.

I’ve been waiting for some way to do this to show off my openbox setup, thanks. I’ll post a link when it happens.

6. ubuntonista - June 8, 2006


I know of wink, and have tried it. Am afraid that one day it will die when the developer(s) stop working on it, and it won’t be around. I would have loved it if it were a GNOME app.

Mkl2, Istanbul hasn’t till date helped me capture a screencast, it dies, and looks like it has been abandoned.


I look forward to the openbox screencap 🙂

I’ll keep you all guessing about the accent 🙂 Just want to know what it sounds like.

7. jobezone - June 8, 2006

Perhaps increasing the size of the terminal font could help viewing them in yotube, or google video. Or add bittorrent downloads of the videos, and host the tracker on your computer.

8. Alexander Grundner - June 9, 2006

I figured out how to get xvidcap working in Dapper (gvidcap crashes for some reason).
1. Download the .deb file of xvidcap from http://www.jarre-de-the.net/computing/debian/

2. You’ll have to correct the libpng.so.2 error by doing:
$ cd /usr/lib
$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libpng12.so. libpng.so.2

3. Launch xvidcap:
$ xvidcap

Works great and it’s much easier!

9. Bruno Alves - June 9, 2006

[…] Ubuntu Blog » How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu Tutorial de como criar um Screencast no Ubuntu. Muito bom para fazer treinamentos ou demonstrações. (tags: howto Linux tools tutorial Ubuntu) […]

10. Kent - June 9, 2006

How is the audio captured and synced with the video?


11. ubuntonista - June 9, 2006

Alexander, Cool, will try that soon.

Kent, it think it just uses the normal “Capture” input, whatever that happens to be at the time of recording. I suppose you can specify the source for the audio too.

12. Cliff - June 9, 2006

Cool howto! Nice site too! I have tons of questions. Where’d you find the theme? Are you able to customize your site here? I’ve been having lots of trouble getting my site looking good. It seems wordpress isn’t too customizable. I linked to you from my blog so I’ll be returning to see what else you have. I’d love to try to create a GUI around it using Groovy and then do a whole tutorial or howto on building the app with Maven2 and bundling it as a .deb but that’s only if I find time. The Groovy GUI part wouldn’t be too hard though. Maybe I can start that much and post it on my site. Don’t hold your breath though because I got a lot of things I want to start but never get to.

13. ubuntonista - June 9, 2006

Cliff, I just used the theme I found here on wordpress.com. I cannot customize the blog “all the way” but I am quite comfortable with not doing that.

Whatever you can do to make our collective lives simpler would be great 🙂

14. Jon Davis - June 10, 2006

The best one (and I’ve played with pretty much every technique in Linux to get screencasts) is “vnc2swf”.

It captures the screencasts right to Flash format and doesn’t lose the quality of the capture, is fast and open source.


15. Jon Davis - June 10, 2006

Your accent sounds Indian to me. 🙂 I can’t get more specific than that.

16. Jon Davis - June 10, 2006

Oh about the vnc2swf program I mentioned above–the newer version of that program is called “pyvnc2swf” and is better (can be found linked on that site I linked above):


17. Jon Davis - June 10, 2006

Sorry to make so many comments. Just finished doing your howto and it works quite well.

I prefer the Flash format for screencasts so I’ll probably use pyvnc2swf (it has a GUI too by the way) but it’s nice to know how to capture to avi/mpeg4.

I did play around with some ffmpeg command line options.

First–my USB headset is on dsp1 (my normal speakers and soundcard are on /dev/dsp which is what ffmpeg seems to default to). To switch to dsp1 use ‘-ad /dev/dsp1’ in the ffmpeg command line.

I also found that the video quality became really bad when the screen changed significantly so I eventually used ‘-sameq’ instead of the ‘-b 1000’ to specify video bitrate. The -sameq option makes ffmpeg change the video bitrate on the fly to make sure the quality stays flawless.

My full commandline for capture for those interested:
~/programs/ffmpeg-capture/ffmpeg -vcodec mpeg4 -sameq -r 12 -ad /dev/dsp1 -g 300 -vd x11:0,0 -s 1280×1024 ~/test.avi

I put that command in a little bash script to simplify things.

18. ǥΡȥޥ˥å - June 10, 2006



19. Jeff Rasmussen’s Healthcare IT Blog » Creating Screencasts in Ubuntu - June 11, 2006

[…] Ubuntu Blog » How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu […]

20. UbuntuBlog » Blog Archive » Saludos desde UbuntuBlog - June 12, 2006

[…] Hoy encontré en un weblog de la competencia una receta realmente buena sobre cómo crear un screencast en Ubuntu. Aquí os dejo uno y el enlace a dicha receta. […]

21. Alan Pope - June 12, 2006

I too have been playing with screencasting in linux for some time. In summary:-

Istanbul: broken
vnc2swf: creates proprietary flash files
wink: closed source and creates proprietary flash files
vncrec: unreliable and creates monster .vnc files which require a lot of post processing
ffmpeg: quite jumpy output

I too would love something with the simplicity of Istanbul but the openness of ffmpeg.

Don’t get me wrong, it is just about possible (as you’ve demonstrated) to record something with ffmpeg (and the patch) but it’s not 100% reliable.

22. manuel - June 12, 2006

nice article….i was wondering if you come from a spanish speaking country, else you would probably not call yourself “ubuntonista” 😉 italy might also be possible…but to be honest, your accent doesnt really remind me neither of spain nor italy 😉

well, at least its another suggestion…lets see what comes around when you you reveal the truth.

23. ubuntonista - June 13, 2006

Alright, I don’t come from a Spanish speaking country, or Italy, or Israel or the Middle East. I am from India, alright. Some of you got that right 🙂
I hope you guys could still understand everything that was said. If not, I’ll probably speak slower in the future.

24. Pascal Klein - June 13, 2006

Perfectly understandable; I had no problem understanding you.

I find the linguistic influences in English accents really interesting and memorable characteristics of good presenters, speakers and now in with the new technologies, also creators audio/video content on the Internet. Much more interesting to have someone with an Indian or Asian or Middle-Eastern accent that plain English… (mind you I’m quite fond of the British accents too 😉 ).

Thanks again for the lovely howto. I am wondering, have you pondered the idea of allowing several contributors to this blog, perhaps something along the lines of a group of editors or some-such. I think there are many other gifted writers in the open source community that would be available to contribute a wealth of information maybe once a week to this great platform of howtos, scripts, tips, guides and so forth. 🙂

PS. By the way, have you considered using Tango emotes to replace the current emotes on the site?


25. Byte, tecnologa aplicada… a la vida » Byte Podcast # 57 CC - June 14, 2006

[…] Duracin: 36 minutos Ligas: Save the Internet (Net Neutrality) Flickr Toys El TopTen de Rodrigo Valds: Top 10 de regalos geeks para el da del padre Para crear videotutoriales en Ubuntu Cheat Sheets Light Delight taps from Equa (PopGadget) BabyGadget Mobile Film Festival (Blgica) Tutoriales para crear un videoblog Tertulias podcasteras del Mundial Alemania 2006 Aspirantes a la Presidencia de Mxico Patricia Mercado Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador Roberto Madrazo Roberto Campa Felipe Caldern […]

26. Riddian - June 14, 2006

Just created a deb of this incase your lazy 😛


27. Ali Servet DONMEZ - June 15, 2006

Hi. It’s really nice to see my comment/guide to get spread like this, i didn’t imagine that at all. But if you can link to your site for tarball and patch files i’d be real glad.

Thank you again for your attention.

28. ubuntonista - June 16, 2006

Hi Ali,

I have changed the links to point to a different server now. Thanks, and sorry for the trouble.

29. ubuntonista - June 16, 2006


Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, I have thought about having more contributors to the blog, but there are two things that are ofconcern to me –
1) The content should not get “watered down”
2) I would feel really bad to have to tell someone that what they wrote cannot appear on the site, if in case I don’t like the idea they present.

That said, I am open to having more contributors. If someone else wants to try writing, we can certainly come up with a way for them to write on this blog. Please let me know through email. (My email address is ubuntonista at gmail.com)

Also, I cannot change the smilies, since this is hosted by wordpress.com and I can’t change the source/theme etc beyond what the service provides.

30. Ali Servet DONMEZ - June 16, 2006

You’re welcome, and thank you for attention.

31. sshlog » 20060620 - June 20, 2006

[…] How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu […]

32. Angel - June 21, 2006

Great guide and also your blog.

33. Guillaume - June 22, 2006

There is also Byzanz to create and animated gif for an easy display on a web page.


34. nbjayme - June 25, 2006

thank you so much for the tutorial. Most of all, thank you to the guy who created the .deb package

here is a script:


please help improve it.

35. Tiago - June 25, 2006

I had to take out the –extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib from the ./configure so that the make would work (I was getting some “libavformat.so: undefined reference to `dc1394_stop_iso_transmission'” and other dc1394 errors…).
It now works in my gentoo.

36. nbjayme - June 26, 2006


Just letting you guys know that there is a great improvement on the capture script.


I hope the ffmpeg patched version will now become part of ubuntu’s official repository….



37. Fabian Rodriguez - June 27, 2006

If you want to make your resulting screencast truly a free format – based one, you can convert it to Ogg Theora by using the command line ffmpeg2theora utility. The package is, well, ffmpeg2theora (available in Ubuntu via synaptic or apt-get), or you can download binaries at:

38. Ivan Minic - June 29, 2006

Well done! 🙂
It is a bit complicated solution, but it is well explained

39. mod - June 30, 2006

Umm … I get:

ffmpeg version CVS, build 3342336, Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Fabrice Bellard
configuration: –extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib –enable-x11grab –enable-gpl
built on Jun 14 2006 23:44:28, gcc: 4.0.3 (Ubuntu 4.0.3-1ubuntu5)
File ‘/home/xxx/test.avi’ already exists. Overwrite ? [y/N] y
device: x11:0,0 -> x: 0 y: 0 width: 1024 height: 768
x11grab: shared memory extension found
Input #0, x11grab, from ”:
Duration: N/A, bitrate: N/A
Stream #0.0, 10.00 fps: Video: rawvideo, rgba32, 1024×768, 251658 kb/s
/dev/dsp: Device or resource busy
Could not find audio grab device

40. Borniet - July 4, 2006

Thanks for sharing this one with us! You keep on writing great articles! I am getting so jealous 😉

41. r0xz multilog » Hoe een screencast maken in Ubuntu - July 10, 2006
42. r0xz - July 10, 2006

This is offtopic, but why is my link above here under my name?(i didn’ t post it here…)

43. ubuntonista - July 10, 2006

You did post to your own weblog, and that weblog of yours pinged-back this post, since it had a link to this post. That explains the pingback above.

44. r0xz - July 10, 2006

Oops, my bad, i didn’ t expect a pingback to go in the comments here.(i thought it was an admin panel only thing)

45. ..[neoglam [thedaniel] ].. » this week’s bookmarks - July 13, 2006

[…] Ubuntu Blog | How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu — Tagged as: [linux screencast ubuntu via:bkerr] […]

46. Zak - July 31, 2006

Well, bit late now, but along comes screenkast ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/screenkast ). It looks to be a neat bundling of the vnc2swf bits. Lets you add info bubbles and stuff. Dapper packages at http://instrudeo.bpower2.com/packages/ubuntu-dapper/ .

Every silver lining has a cloud, and screenkast’s is the export format. (My) Dapper can’t play .flv. Ffmpeg does support them now, but the version of ffmpeg in Dapper is too old. I’m handy enough with Debian/Ubuntu to install the long chain of deps necessary to get ffmpeg up to a recent enough version to make it play back in mplayer, but I’d say it’s probably more effort than most people would care to go to.

If only Screenkast exported .swf – or even better, MPEG-2 (part 2) videos…

47. daniel tygel (dtygel at fbes.org.br) - August 10, 2006

Hi nbjayme,

Great bash script and inspired name [BVidCap (Bash Video Capture)]. I’m having problems with video recording though: all screen comes messed up. Take a look at the result here:

[audio src="http://www.fbes.org.br/public/capture.ogg" /]

The .avi is also messed up. What settings should I change?


daniel tygel

48. onesun - August 26, 2006

I am having a problem with the audio. It appears to be grabbing the audio but then ‘condenses’ it at the beginning of the playback and it is very joppy.
So a 3 minute capture will play all the audio in about 10 seconds and it not understandable.
But the video output is great.

Any ideas how to synchronize the audio capture ?


49. Eidan - August 27, 2006

Well…my screen is always a mess whit colors and all is distorted…like the colors are not one on the other, seems like they have a offset beetween. Same problem whit xvidcap or istanbul (if i launch XGL they crash too). What is the problem?

mail me at: eidan78@gmail.com PLEASE


50. 1, 2, 3 Gravando! « AlexRocha - September 4, 2006

[…] [3] Manual Oficial do ffmpeg (inglês) [4] ScreenCast no Ubuntu Posted by alexrocha Filed in Ubuntu […]

51. Karl - September 19, 2006

Since this thread is kinda recent still, has anybody of you tried a somewhat recent version of xvidcap? like 1.1.4rc1 (of even svn trunk) off http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/xvidcap?

52. Wie man einen Screencast in Ubuntu gestaltet - Screencasting Weblog - October 5, 2006

[…] Im Ubuntu Blog wird gezeigt, wie man einen Screencast unter Ubuntu Linux produzieren kann. Dazu ist es notwendig, ffmpeg zu patchen und neu zu kompilieren. Es gibt dazu auch einen Screencast. […]

53. Eric Lake - October 5, 2006

Will this method work in Ubuntu Edgy as well. I am having trouble compiling it on my box.

54. mgellman - October 19, 2006

Under edgdy, I had to explicitly change the script to run under /bin/bash as opposed to /bin/sh (linked to dash on my system) because of some bash-isms.

Do that by changing the first line in configure to read ‘#!/bin/bash’

55. BrianWill.net - October 23, 2006

Screencasting with Google video and Youtube

With the H.264 codec, you get fantastic video compression for screen capture because it’s smart enough to recongnize an essentially unchanging screen. The image quality is near perfect with a >1k bit rate for an umoving image.
So it’s quite…

56. Henning Dippel » Die Zukunft des Linux-Desktops - GLX - October 29, 2006

[…] (Bildschirmvideo erstellt mit einem nach dieser Anleitung gepatchtem und kompiliertem ffmpeg) […]

57. Feliciano - November 3, 2006

I had this error when I try to follow this guide, after ./configure..

./configure: 1471: Syntax error: Bad substitution

Why?? I’m using Xubuntu.. then I think I dont have all the lib necessary..
But this are a lot..

Some Idea??

58. Sean - November 4, 2006

Tried to install this in the latest Ubuntu Edgy release but even after changing the configure.orig file like suggested in a post above, am getting the following errors:

sean@sean-desktop:~/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216$ ./configure –extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib –enable-x11grab –enable-gpl
install prefix /usr/local
source path /home/sean/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216
C compiler gcc
make make
CPU x86 (generic)
big-endian no
inttypes.h yes
broken inttypes.h no
MMX enabled yes
Vector Builtins yes
gprof enabled no
zlib enabled yes
libgsm enabled no
mp3lame enabled no
libogg enabled no
Vorbis enabled no
Theora enabled no
FAAD enabled no
faadbin enabled no
FAAC enabled no
XviD enabled no
x264 enabled no
a52 support no
a52 dlopened no
DTS support no
x11grab support yes
pp support no
debug symbols yes
strip symbols yes
optimize yes
shared pp no
video hooking yes
SDL support no
Imlib2 support no
FreeType support no
Sun medialib support no
pthreads support no
AMR-NB float support no
AMR-NB fixed support no
AMR-WB float support no
AMR-WB IF2 support no
network support yes
IPv6 support yes
License: GPL
Creating config.mak and config.h…
./configure: 1471: Syntax error: Bad substitution
sean@sean-desktop:~/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216$ make
make -C libavutil all
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/sean/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216/libavutil’
gcc -O3 -g -Wall -Wno-switch -DHAVE_AV_CONFIG_H -I.. -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_GNU_SOURCE -c -o mathematics.o mathematics.c
In file included from mathematics.c:24:
common.h:23:24: error: config.h: No such file or directory
make[1]: *** [mathematics.o] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory
make: *** [lib] Error 2

Any ideas on how to get this working in Edgy? I’d love to give this a whirl.

59. Screencast på linux | Auduns IT weblogg - November 4, 2006

[…] Etter litt søken på nettet fant jeg en howto for å lage screencasts med ffmpeg. Jeg lastet og kompilerte denne som det står i bloggen, men fikk en feilmelding når jeg kjørte configure. Løsningen var å editere configure- scriptet og erstatte /bin/sh med /bin/bash i første linje i scriptet. […]

60. Alex Mansfield - November 8, 2006

Hi thanks for posting this, I get an error when configuring (I use Ubuntu Edgy)
~/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216$ ./configure –extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib –enable-x11grab –enable-gpl
install prefix /usr/local
source path /home/bulldog/software/ffmpeg-0.4.9-p20051216
C compiler gcc
make make
CPU x86 (generic)
big-endian no
inttypes.h yes
broken inttypes.h no
MMX enabled yes
Vector Builtins yes
gprof enabled no
zlib enabled yes
libgsm enabled no
mp3lame enabled no
libogg enabled no
Vorbis enabled no
Theora enabled no
FAAD enabled no
faadbin enabled no
FAAC enabled no
XviD enabled no
x264 enabled no
a52 support no
a52 dlopened no
DTS support no
x11grab support yes
pp support no
debug symbols yes
strip symbols yes
optimize yes
shared pp no
video hooking yes
SDL support no
Imlib2 support no
FreeType support yes
Sun medialib support no
pthreads support no
AMR-NB float support no
AMR-NB fixed support no
AMR-WB float support no
AMR-WB IF2 support no
network support yes
IPv6 support yes
License: GPL
Creating config.mak and config.h…
./configure: 1471: Syntax error: Bad substitution

And consequently can’t “make”, I am doing something wrong (kinda linux one year old here), all other parts worked fine.

61. Thorix - November 9, 2006

Found on:

That’s definitely a bash/dash problem. Edit ./configure and change the first line from #!/bin/sh to #!/bin/bash

62. Horst - November 10, 2006

Very great instruction, thank you a lot !
I also had the syntax error problem like comment # 60 but i was able to solve it with the instruction from Thorix (comment # 61).
Now i try to make a showmedo video 🙂

63. Horst - November 10, 2006

Problem: I don’t see the mouse cursor in my videos. Did not find a option to enable mouse cursor recording. Can it have something to do with the nvidia graphic card ?

64. Sean - November 11, 2006

Ok, I got it running now after editing the configure file so it installs on Edgy…but now the problem is 2 things: 1) video is not capturing and 2) sound barely comes through and is choppy to the point of uselessness 😦

Anyone else having this problem with Edgy?

Thanks in advance.

65. Horst - November 11, 2006

sound problems: I had to enable microphon boos (right-click on the speaker icon, -> settings) to get my voice recorded.

66. bsdlogical - November 13, 2006

I also had the

./configure: 1471: Syntax error: Bad substitution

error. To confirm what Thorix said, it’s a sh/bash problem. After changing #!/bin/sh to #!/bin/bash, everything worked well.

67. variant - November 15, 2006

the problem is that ubuntu has switched to dash instead of bash for /bin/sh which is a bizarr desicion seeing as it doesnt work correctly for many many scripts. to fix:

ln -sf /bin/bash /bin/sh

68. Bompa - November 16, 2006

This how to was exactly what i needed. Been searching everywhere!

Thanks man!

69. BUZZscreen - » Adventures in Ubuntu Linux - November 30, 2006

[…] There will be two new videos coming soon to pcmech.com. There were supposed to be three, but that didn’t happen. The 3rd video was on using Ubuntu Linux. What I attempted to do was do a screecast of the OS in action, but unfortunately the method of doing that did not work with version 6.10, which is the latest release. Upon trying to compile the ffmpeg application, it barfed with errors all over the place. […]

70. SeanIM - December 2, 2006

Just tried this again on a fresh install of Edgy using the suggstion of doing this:

ln -sf /bin/bash /bin/sh

then proceeded with the install instructions, all was going smoothly until I got to the part where I could begin using it with this command:

./ffmpeg -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1000 -r 10 -g 300 -vd x11:0,0 -s 1024×768 ~/test.avi

After that I got this error:

ffmpeg version CVS, build 3342336, Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Fabrice Bellard
configuration: –extra-ldflags=-L/usr/X11R6/lib –enable-x11grab –enable-gpl
built on Dec 2 2006 09:50:04, gcc: 4.1.2 20060928 (prerelease) (Ubuntu 4.1.1-13ubuntu5)
Could not find video grab device

Anyone else get stuck here and have a resolution?


71. SeanIM - December 2, 2006

Ok, quick followup…

I was logged in as root and apparently it didn’t like that so when I logged out it allowed me to record a test.avi…

Now however Totem is saying I don’t have the necessary plugins to play it. When I resolve that I’m hoping the video/audio came through…

72. lele - December 8, 2006

Tnx…very kind….it works 😛
Problem solveeeeed !!!

73. Malone - December 10, 2006

Work fine, thanks!
BTW, if I want to “uninstall” everything, what is the right way.
I am a newish in Linux, sorry for this question.

74. ubuntonista - December 10, 2006

If you want to uninstall it all, just delete the binaries (the executables).

75. SeanIM - December 17, 2006

Ok, video is recording fine but sound is still completely garbled to the point of being unusable. Anyone else have this problem and get it resolved? I’ve tried changing many of the sound/mic settings on this computer to no avail.

Thanks in advance.

76. Ubuntu Screencasts from the Doc Team « Ubuntu Blog - January 12, 2007

[…] by ubuntonista in ubuntu, guides, Other sites. trackback I had written earlier about a way to create screencasts in Ubuntu. Well, it looks like we have come a long way from […]

77. Planeta Ubuntu » How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu « Ubuntu Blog - January 13, 2007

[…] Original post by markpeak […]

78. QU3RZONE » Blog Archive » screencasting - zeigen was geht - January 16, 2007

[…] ich bisher eine VNC-Session bemüht. Das war mit Aufwand verbunden und kam daher selten vor. Auf Carthik’s Ubuntu Blog habe ich – etwas verspätet – eine elegante Lösung via ffmpeg gefunden und […]

79. kopfgeldjaeger - February 15, 2007

Oh yeah. Now it’s compiling. Works with editing configure (sh->bash)
mfg (edgy x64)

80. Michael’s Blog » Blog Archiv » links for 2007-02-16 - February 22, 2007

[…] How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu « Ubuntu Blog (tags: screencast linux video tools) […]

81. OpenSauce - March 2, 2007

Many thanks!

A screen cast of inkscape in Ubuntu. The ffmpeg method here is faster and more stable than istanbul.


82. create screencast using xvidcap » Linux by Examples - March 6, 2007

[…] you heard of ubuntuvideo.com and you will discover a lots of ubuntu tutorial at there. There are a blog post that uses patched ffmpeg to perform the art. Here, I introduce you a handy tool xvidcap. You can […]

83. godelbach - March 15, 2007

Thanks Thorix for the bash/dash tip — working on Edgy for me now.

84. computer (in) security & more... - March 22, 2007

Creating screencasts for Google Video or YouTube on ubuntu

Ever tried to create a screencast (e.g. to explain something more illustrative) under linux? And managed to upload your video to Google Video or YouTube in a way every important detail can be seen?

85. embrik kaslegard - April 1, 2007

I’ve tried your recipee on ffmpeg and found out that I had to choose a small window, if I wanted to get it working. Even if it was small, the graphic was bad and the motion of the cursor was everything but smooth. Is it hardware related problems, do you think. Im working on an old pentium III, 600 MHZ, 512 MB and a regular vga video card.


86. embrik kaslegard - April 1, 2007

I’ve got one question for you: I record screenactivity in ffmpeg. The capture rate is really bad (3,5) This means that the video is very fast and the recorded comments from me is too long. The video and the audio don’t fit. Any comments? Is it my computer or? I record video seperate, because recording both video and audio in ffmpeg gives a really bad result. What is my problem? Have I got a too slow laptop? Or can I adjust the conf. to deal with this problem?

Your tutorial on Youtibe seemed to sync nice..

87. James Davis - April 18, 2007

Just thought I’d mention that I’ve written a similar article based on Ubuntu, xvidcap and link at http://www.freecharity.org.uk/2007/04/12/the-secret-to-screencasting-with-ubuntu-and-free-software/

88. The Boffin - April 23, 2007

Thanks for writing this article. I too faced the dreaded error but it was resolved by post #61. I am using this for converting flash swf’s to mpeg’s as other solutions aren’t as easy !

89. Nilesh Trivedi - April 24, 2007

Istanbul works out of the box on Feisty Fawn.


90. carthik - April 24, 2007

I still have trouble recording audio with istanbul, Nilesh.

91. bernhard - April 27, 2007

istanbul dows not work out of the box with my ubuntu 7.04 amd 64 😦

92. links for 2007-04-29 | Patrick Kempf - April 28, 2007

[…] How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu « Ubuntu Blog (tags: ubuntu screencast howto) No Tags Gelesen: 2 / heute: 2 […]

93. streamcast - May 25, 2007

I am happy that this is possible in Ubuntu and that you showed us how to do a screencast in Ubuntu. The funny thing is, that I would be even more happier if there would exist something like camtasia for Ubuntu. 🙂

94. Dougle - August 5, 2007

Great! the first use that comes to mind is video tutorials for my web apps. good work and thanks for sharing.

95. brianwebb.org ~ Rails::Linux::Flex » Blog Archive » How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu - September 3, 2007

[…] How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu […]

96. harijay - September 15, 2007

Using the latest gentoo and the subversion build the syntax I used was
ffmpeg -v 3 -f x11grab -s xga -qscale 8 -i $DISPLAY+0,0 ~/test.avi

Where -f x11grab
ANd the -i ponted to the monitor display by statement $DISPLAY+0,0
Output file was test.avi

97. Victor - October 18, 2007

Thank you very much, you help me here.
I also use wink, which is very useful program:

98. Easy Ubuntu Screencasting Feisty Gutsy Gibbon USB Headset - October 24, 2007

[…] get it working without any code hacks once I got on the the right software and instructions. This tutorial ranks really high but has out of date information for my […]

99. DJ Fadereu - November 29, 2007

Might as well hit a century 😛

Very useful post, especially since Istanbul hangs!

100. Ashok - February 1, 2008

Great walkthrough.

One problem that I keep running into is that I can’t get ffmpeg to identify x11grab. So I get either the error “vd option not recognized” or “unknown input or output format X11”. Any ideas on libraries that I may be missing in this instance?

101. The Mainbrace » Blog Archive » screen cap stuff - April 7, 2008

[…] ubuntu.wordpress.com/2006/06/08/how-to-create-a-screencast-in-ubuntu/ […]

102. none - July 7, 2008

that at least works. ty. i just want to say that i wasn’t able to simply play the video. but “mplayer -vo x11 /PathTo/name.avi” worked fine. (i should say that i’m not working on ubuntu but Debian ;]) any suggestion how to record audio aswell using ffmpeg?

103. ilestre - July 31, 2008

apt-get install recordmydesktop !

104. Τώρα σαπίζουμε και online (v2.1) » Screencast σε Kubuntu (Linux) - October 7, 2008

[…] φταίει το youtube-το πραγματικό βίντεο είναι σέεενιο) Πηγή 1 – Πηγή […]

105. mikel - December 16, 2008

thank you for this tutorial

106. Brice - February 16, 2009

Any idea to make online screencasts… A kind of screencast server that records a video stream from a Java applet or a Flash application ?

107. Ara - February 21, 2009


Online screencasts:

It works fine!

108. Is There Any Good Screencasting in Ubuntu? | Ubuntu Linux Help - December 9, 2009

[…] – I did try the solution presented by Embrace Ubuntu (where ffmpeg was patched), and while it did work, I found that ffmpeg (in this case) did not […]

109. Geeee Corner » How to Create a Screencast in Ubuntu - June 5, 2010

[…] Posted by Geeee on June 6, 2010, filed in: Uncategorized 0 via embraceubuntu.com […]

110. Jasper - August 17, 2010

I understood that with the latest ffmpeg no patches are needed to do screen recordings. Is this so? Just compiled ffmpeg from scratch without your suggested patch and I hope this is the case.

111. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

I know of wink, and have tried it. Am afraid that one day it will die when the developer(s) stop working on it, and it won’t be around. I would have loved it if it were a GNOME app.

112. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

Sorry to make so many comments. Just finished doing your howto and it works quite well.

113. müzik dinle - October 7, 2010

iyi müzikler burada

114. Free p o r n videos - October 12, 2010

it looks as though you’ve already said that!

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good work…..

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121. spiele - August 6, 2011

that at least works. ty. i just want to say that i wasn’t able to simply play the video. but “mplayer -vo x11 /PathTo/name.avi” worked fine. (i should say that i’m not working on ubuntu but Debian ;]) any suggestion how to record audio aswell using ffmpeg?

122. Modesto - December 16, 2012

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123. http://www.wipenewreview.info/wipe-new - August 6, 2014

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125. MarynakirovaDox - January 16, 2018

Приветствую всех пользователей! Сразу оговорюсь, может, опубликовала тему не не по теме ресурса, но всеже, знающие люди должны быть.
Не так давно поспорила с подругой, что сделаю сайт по типу инвестирование и монетизация https://seorunet.com/
и за 6 месяцев я смогу вывести его в топ 10 поисковиков и получать на него сумарно трафик не меньше 500 посетителей. К сожалению, вся проблема в том, что я не понимаю в этом деле, а спор проигрывать не хочу. Поэтому к вам просьба, для тех, кто разбирается, сколько может стоить такой сайт под ключ с наполнением, который написан выше.
А самое главное, за какую цену вы могли взяться и сделать такой сайт? Много средств у меня нет, но, какую-то сумму за работу оплатить смогу.
Если вы можете взяться за это дело, напишите по контактам
Если я вам не ответила, то, цена не устраивает.
Модераторы, если не в тот раздел написала, перенесите тему по тематике или в раздел свободного общения, спасибо заранее.

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