Create flash videos of your desktop with recordmydesktop

John Varouhakis is the author of recordmydesktop and gtk-recordmydesktop (front-end) which is a tool to help you record a session on your Linux desktop and save it to a Flash video (.flv).

To install, click on System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager, and search for gtk-recordmydesktop. Install it. Then, the application is available from Applications/Sound&Video/gtkRecordMyDesktop.

Screenshot of gtk-recordmydesktop

Before you are ready to capture your Flash video, you need to select the video area. There are several ways to do this; the most common is to click on Select Window, then click on the Window you want to record. A common mistake is that people try to select the window from the preview above. If you do that, when you would have selected the recorder itself to make a video of, which is not really useful. You need to click on the real window in order to select it; then, in the desktop preview you can see the selected window. In the above case, I selected the OpenOffice Writer window.

Assuming that you do not need to do any further customisation, you can simple press Record to start recording. Generally, it is good to check the recording settings using the GNOME Sound recorder beforehand. While recording, you can notice a special icon on the top panel. This is gtk-recordmydesktop. Once you press it, recording stops and the program will do the post-processing of the recording. The resulting file goes into your home folder, and has the extension .ogv.

Some common pitfalls include

  • I did not manage to get audio recording to work well for my system; I had to disable libasound so that the audio recording would not skip. With ALSA, sound skips while with OSS emulation it does not. Weird. Does it work for you?
  •  The post-processing of the recording takes some time. If you have a long recording, it may take some time to show that it makes progress, so you might think it crashed. Have patience.

I had made one such recording, which can be found at the Greek OLPC mailing list. John told me that the audio part of the video was not loud enough, and one can use extra post-processing to make it sound better. For example, one could extract the audio stream of the video, remove the noise, beautify (how?) and then add back to the video.

It’s good to try out gtk-recordmydesktop, even for a small recording. Do you have some cool tips from your Linux desktop that you want to share? Record your desktop!

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  1. hello Simos!i dont know how disable libasound must i go to synaptic and remove it . i am on Ubuntu jaunty and i have no sound at all when recording an FLV animation with mp3 sound

  2. i did not record my flv.html file on Firefox but on Opera (better)

  3. recordmydesktop produces OGV video files (*.ogv). I am not sure why I put FLV.

    The audio issues have been fixed and you do not need to perform changes relating to libasound. If you cannot capture sound, then the issue is probably with audio input. This post is from 2008, where a few things have changed since then in audio for Linux.

  4. yes there is now a good nautilus script: ogv-to-flv converter very easy to convert ogv files in flv files when uploading to Youtube . But i try some audio converters and mp3 to ogg always always bad . May be one of the reason it dont work . May be you have to correct the tittle of your blog in CREATE OGV VIDEO FROM FLV VIDEO ON YOUR DESKTOP with RECORDMYDESKTOP but i understood . I just wanted to upload a karaoke (an HTML file containing a .swf file a “marquee”text and a mp3 file) . I just succeeded with swf and prompt text . Thanks !

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