I'm on an amd64 Debian/Squeeze install on an Intel DX58SO motherboard. I want to use recordmydesktop to record application's audiovisual output. It's important any audio generated by the applications is recorded along with the video. The app I actually want to record is VirtualBox, but googling suggests that has it's own complications so for now I'm just trying to get recordmydesktop to even just record audacious playing mp3s. Video works great, but I just can't get any sound recorded.

recordmydesktop --print-config says:

recordMyDesktop was compiled with the following options:
Jack:                   Enabled
Default Audio Backend:  ALSA

When I started off trying to get this to work the machine had ALSA on it (audacious was outputting to it); along the way I've installed pulseaudio and pavucontrol (as suggested by question referenced below) and switched audacious to pulseaudio output - no improvement. Then I installed jackd, fired up qjackctl... and I'm completely out of my depth now.

Is there any simple prescription for getting recordmydesktop to record application's audio ? (Preferably with the system restored to it's original ALSAness and the pulse/jack stuff removed if not necessary; I note VirtualBox, which is the intended target, seems to mention ALSA in its logs).

I'm aware of this question but the solution is, I assume, Ubuntu specific as, for me, nothing ever appears in the PulseAudio volume control (it continues to display "No application is currently recording audio" on the recording tab, whereas that answer seems to imply recordmydesktop should appear there when running so a stream can be routed to it).

I also tried the "instanbul" grabber but that didn't work any better. Also gtk-recordMyDesktop but that just seems to be a thin wrapper for the recordmydesktop commandline tool and just obfuscates problems.

Thanks for any Debian-specific help

  • 1
    An alternative to recordMyDesktop.
    – tshepang
    Jul 12, 2011 at 9:06
  • have you tried gtk-recordMyDesktop
    – daisy
    Oct 6, 2011 at 13:50
  • I think I did try gtk-recordMyDesktop too; it seemed to be a very thin wrapper around the former tool and didn't work any better. Haven't done any more investigations since this was posted; fundamental problem is I just don't understand Linux audio well enough (ALSA, Pulse, Jack etc etc).
    – timday
    Oct 6, 2011 at 17:46
  • I created a video tutorial, how it can be done on 2014 Debian Linux. Dec 15, 2014 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


The most sure-fire way to do this is to add an alsaloop device (a device you can use as output and can record from), but it's not exactly a straightforward task. Installation and configuration of alsaloop is way to long for the length of an answer on a QA site, the alsa wiki has most of the steps.

A simpler way if you're using pulse is detailed here. Basically use the monitor pulse devices in pavucontrol.

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