Problems with RecordMyDesktop and a Command Line Alternative

I have been trying to create screencasts using RecordMyDesktop on Ubuntu. While the app itself functioned well I had a serious problem with the image quality: switching windows seemed to lead to massive diagonal pixelation of the captured images rendering the screencast useless.

I played around for a while with various RecordMyDesktop settings (frame rate, full capture etc) but to no avail. Some searching on the web brought me to this forum post which appeared to describe an exactly similar problem — the screenshot in the original question was almost identical in pixellation effect to what I was seeing. (Aside: interestingly the user says there problem arose after they installed compiz so that may be part of the cause …)

While the forum did not have a resolution for RecordMyDesktop it did provide a working ffmpeg command line command that worked perfectly:

ffmpeg -f alsa -itsoffset 00:00:02.000 -ac 2 -i hw:0,0 -f x11grab -s $(xwininfo -root | grep 'geometry' | awk '{print $2;}') -r 15 -i :0.0 -sameq -f avi -s wvga -y screencast.avi
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One Comment

  1. Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    ffmpeg on Ubuntu? You’ll have seen the warning that it’s been deprecated then in the latest versions.

    Apparently the new fork ‘avconv’ ( has “more powerful and easier to use” syntax. I haven’t yet tried it myself, but I must agree the ffmpeg syntax is a little unwieldy. Worth a try with avconv, then?

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