How can I record all activity on the screen for a certain amount of time? I know about tools like xwd that capture a still image; can they be extended to record video? I'd prefer not using any fancy debian tools or ImageMagick utilities

8 Answers 8


You could try xvidcap.



  • Graphical
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What about a VNC based solution? Start a VNC session (via Xvnc or the builtin gnome/kde VNC tools). Then use vnc2flv, or the older vncrec or vnc2swf.


Another alternative is the open-source Wink (http://www.debugmode.com/wink/). It is nowhere near as functional as Camtasia, but it runs on Windows and Linux. I have used it to create some small recordings, and it works reasonably well.

  • I must say it works, and in some ways it's better tool for making screencasts than pure recorders - even I am opponent of closed software and Flash player. But if someone don't mind about closedsource Flash, He/She might not mind about this tool :). Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 9:42

You can use ffmpeg.

ffmpeg -f x11grab -qscale 0 -s wxga -r 25 -i :0.0 recording.mpg

VMWare also includes screen recording capabilities. Are you working with a virtualized system?


You can use www.screenr.com which is great for recording screen activity. The down side is that it posts directly to the internet or youtube, and I can't remember if it lets you download a copy of your recording. It requires Java. The quality produced is HD and you can also record with or without audio.

Screenr gives you a maximum of 5 minutes to record. They do have a premium option, though I have not used that so can't tell if that lets you record for longer.


If you have Debian or a Debian-based system, I recommend SimpleScreenRecorder. To retrieve it, execute sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder
and then execute sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder.

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