Ubuntu – How to record the screen (or screencast) in text mode


Basically I want to capture the process of installing a driver in Ubuntu so I can watch it later.

There are screen capture applications such as SimpleScreenRecorder, but they won't work in text mode because there is no display driver when I stop LightDM.

There is also fbcat which lets us take screenshots in textmode, but I wonder if there is something I can use to screencast when I switch to Ctrl+Alt+F2?

Best Answer

  • Asciinema

    If you want to go youtube style, look at asciinema. You can install it using:

    sudo apt install asciinema

    To get a more recent version if you are not on 18.04 yet, you can either use this ppa:

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:zanchey/asciinema
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install asciinema

    or use the pip method:

    sudo apt install python3-pip
    pip3 install asciinema --user

    (see also: How to install pip (python) to user without root access)

    Now start a recording session using

    asciinema rec output.cast

    which will drop you in another shell. Recording will last until you exit this shell. You can play the result using:

    asciinema play output.cast

    Beware! If you start asciinema rec without providing an output file name, it will default to uploading the recorded session to asciinema.org and returning just a URL. You can cancel before, but it's easy to miss that point.