Creating screencasts with Ubuntu: a summary of available desktop recording applications

There are many available options to record your desktop on Ubuntu, but I’ve found only one of them to be properly working with my configuration.

My results could be hardware-dependent, so, this is my hardware:

  • Sony Vaio S-Series
  • i5-2520 @ 2.50 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Intel HD 3000 integrated graphic card (Hybrid Graphics with discrete ATI card is disabled)

RecordMyDesktop

recordmydesktop

Project Home Page: recordmydesktop

This seems to be the most popular option when talking about screencasting software for Ubuntu.

It can easily record video + audio from your microphone and it is very easy to use it.

My problem is that the recorded video will not be synchronized with my actions, resulting in glitches, delay and low frame rate.

This is exactly what I am talking about:

However, many people are happy with this software (I’ve seen many HD videos properly recorded with recordmydesktop on YouTube), further, it is one of the simplest solution to test, just type:

sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop

or use the software center.

If it works with your configuration, good for you.

XVidCap

XVidCap

Project Home Page: xvidcap

This application works really well for video recording, however I wasn’t able to record audio from the microphone. Anyway, I have to admit that didn’t spend much time trying to fix the audio configuration.

The settings dialog is rich of options and the application is highly customizable.

Like recordmydesktop, you can find it in the repositories, so you can install it with

sudo apt-get install xvidcap

or through the software center.

Tibesti

Tibesti

Project Home Page: tibesti

This application is not present by default in Ubuntu repositories, but you can find instructions on its home page on how to add the PPA to install it.

Alternatively you can download the last source archive, extract it and build the application with the setup.py script:

python setup.py build

The application is very simple to use but I had major issues when recording videos.

After a few seconds, the video stopped recording what was being displayed on the desktop and started collecting a big delay.

It must be remarked that recording audio from the microphone or from the system out is very easy, but the video problem prevented me from using this application.

FFMPEG

There are many tutorials on how to use ffmpeg for recording the desktop. It is also possible to easily record audio from the microphone.

One of the most useful resource I’ve come across is this page on Ubuntu Forums.

This is a very effective solution, but a GUI approach is preferred by most users for this kind of applications.

Kazam

Kazam

Project Home Page: kazam

This is the winner for tonight contest on desktop recording applications.

  • It records video flawlessly: no glitches, no frame losses, perfectly synchronized
  • When you stop the recording, your video is instantaneously available (with recordmydesktop you have to wait for a long encoding process)
  • It is very easy to record audio with video
  • The interface is modern and the look and feel is great, a special mention goes to the countdown window preceding the recording of a new screencast

Kazam is not present in Ubuntu repositories, but you can easily install it using the .deb archive that is provided on the launchpad page.

Conclusions

Kazam really had all the features of a modern desktop recording application for a modern OS. I was quite surprised for not having found it in the official repositories.

If I have omitted some other relevant desktop recording applications, just let me know about it.

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