Recording screencasts on Ubuntu Hardy

August 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm 3 comments

I’ve just been playing with recording my desktop on ubuntu hardy.

I didn’t spend very long on this – but the fact that the first two applications I tried didn’t work at all suggests that writing something don’t might be mildly useful.

The applications I tried were

* istanbul

* byzanz

* gtk-recordMyDesktop

Out of these gtk-recordMyDesktop was the only one to work adequately – though I managed to think it wasn’t working for a while.

The problems I encountered:

  • byzanz only produced animated GIFs and had a tendency to stop recording after short lengths of time (like seven seconds)
  • instanbul would produce videos which would frequently become entirely black – only showing a few frames of the recorded video

gtk-recordMyDesktop seemed to work fairly well however it confused me quite a lot at first. Its dialog has a Save As button that must be pressed before recording – this meant for a while I was convinced that the application wasn’t producing output, or was using the previous filename I entered to produce output. I guess I’m just rather slow. In gtk-recordMyDesktop’s defence I didn’t actually read anything about it before attempting to use it. Perhaps Save As should be changed to Select save path.

Summary for the impatient

If you want to record on Ubuntu, gtk-recordMyDesktop seems to work adequately. Though you have to click the Save As button to specify the save-path before clicking the record button. Also, to stop recording you have to click a stop button that will (probably unbeknownst to you) appear in your system tray after you start recording.

istanbul didn’t work – but this may well be something to do with my machine – or something to do with ubuntu’s distributed version. I don’t mean to malign its makers.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paris  |  October 26, 2008 at 11:45 am

    thanks… i was trying istanbul, but didn’t work…

    recordMyDesktop also don’t seem to work.. it just hangs at ‘recording is bring encoded’ – 0% complete.

    i have a feeling i’m missing some dependencies….

  • 2. MikeP  |  November 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Audio seems most problematic… play around without audio 1st!

  • 3. ubunt2  |  December 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    ive tried all three of these apps and i find byzanz the best,istanbul although a good app only records in ogg format which if you want to transfer between systems that arent linux they would have problems,recordmydesktop is a pain although people find it good its just too fiddly (unless im doing something wrong) it just hangs at 0% when trying to encode,byzanz on the other hand works fine,and can be played back on all systems,im not sure what the problem is you had with 7 second record times but i had a 8 minute video of wow without any glitches,the only thing i would say about byzanz….and you might think im picky (which i am when it comes to visuals on my desktop 😛 ) is that the icon in my panel just looks totally out of place manky white background disturbing all the lovely high res .png;s i downloaded for various apps…lol,petty i know but i was seriously considering looking elsewhere for desktop recording on this basis :).


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