How to record your desktop on Debian using Gnome

recordmydesktop interface in gnomeRecording my desktop on Debian with RecordMyDesktop.

If you are using Debian or other debian derivatives, you can record your desktop session to a video using RecordMyDesktop. This program is available in the Wheezy repository and ad usual, you just need a command to install it:

sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop gtk-recordmydesktop

The program will be available in gnome menu and in the Debian applications menu:
recordmydesktop menu
recordmydesktop menu gnome 2

To start recording your desktop is sufficient to start the recorder clicking on “Record”. The new recorded video of my desktop wiil be automatically saved in ~/Video. As you can see from the image below, there are several option directly available in the main interface and others, more specific, are available after clicking on the button “Advanced”

recordmydesktop interface in gnomeIf you click on the button “Advanced” you will be able to modify further parameters using 4 different tabs:
recordmydesktop advanced settings-files tab
The “Files” tab contains just one option: to save the path of the working directory. The Working Directory is the folder used by the program to store the video while it is being recorded. Then when the user stops the recording, this video is normally moved in the directory chosen by the user in the previous window with the button “Save As“. So this will not change the final destination file of your recording but just the temporary file used by recordmydesktop



recordmydesktop advanced settings performances-tab


The “Performance” tab contains settings for the quality of the final video:

  • Frames per second
  • Encode on the fly
  • Zero Compression
  • Quick subsampling
  • Full shot at every frame



recordmydesktop advanced settings sound-tab
The “Sound” tab can be used to set the best setting you want for the audio of your desktop or it can be used to not record any audio at all. Also it can be used to select the device from which you want to capture audio:

  • Channels
    The number of audio channels
  • Frequency
    Sound frequency
  • Device
    Alsa sound device that is used for recording

recordmydesktop advanced settings misc-tab

Within the “Misc” tab are present options for:

  • Display
    Connection to the Xserver.
  • Show the mouse cursor
    The mouse cursor that will be drawn: Normal is for the real cursor you see while recording, while black and white are fake cursor drawn by th eprogram. You can also disable the mouse cursor at all.
  • Follow mouse
    When this option is enabled, the capture area will follow your mouse cursor. Enabling this options will also enable full shots at every frame, so it is not recommended for large capture areas.
  • MIT-Shm extension
    Use the MIT-shared memory extension, whenever appropriate, depens on other program, settings.
  • Include Windows Decorations
    When selecting a window via the “Select Window” button include that window decoration in the recording area.
  • Tooltips
    Enables or disables tolltips (requires restart)
  • Outline Capture Area On Screen
    Draw a frame on the screen around the area that will get captured
  • Reset Capture Area
  • Extra options
    Other command line otions, separated with a space. Consult man page

Have a nice sunday people!! And let me know how it goes with RecordMyDesktop 

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Author: Giuseppe Urso

Giuseppe lives in Haarlem now with his shiny dog, Filippa In 1982 received his first home computer, a Commodore 64, followed by Datasette and a 1541 Floppy Disk Drive. In 1999 he installed his first Linux distro (LRH6). In 2006 he switched to Debian as favourite OS. Giuseppe Urso actively sustains the Free Software Fundation and his founder Richard Mattew Stallman, he speaks to people trying to convince them to join the fight now, and about how important is to use Free Software only. He has a job as Infra Specialist at Hippo Enterprise Java Cms an Open Source Enterprise class Content Management System, one of the coolest company ever, in Amsterdam. He's always ready to install Debian on other people computers for free.

One thought on “How to record your desktop on Debian using Gnome”

  1. Hello. I’m a novice in Linux. I came across your blog by doing a search. I like your screen “Activities”, seen on the photo of your ticket “How to record your desktop”. This is different from the original. How did you get this setup? I have a Debian Jessie 8.6 with Gnome. Thank you.

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