Creating Screencasts

How to create screencasts of various formats on various OSs

Created by: xing, Last modification: 07 Jan 2007 (21:16 UTC)

Generic Notes

  • After you have created a bitweaver tutorial screencast, you can upload it to the screencast file gallery
  • Please activate the bitweaver information module that viewers can see what version of bitweaver you are using in the screencast.

.swf Screencasts on Linux - using x11vnc and vnc2swf

required software

  1. x11vnc
  2. vnc2swf
  3. make sure you have xwininfo available

Determine window id

we now resize the browser window to a reasonable size, something like 600x600px or whatever suits you. the smaller the better since the screencast filesize will be greatly influenced by this.

open up a terminal such as xterm and type:

Find the window id of the browser


$ xwininfo

# to minimize the output, you can use:
$ xwininfo | grep "id:"


your mouse pointer should now be a crosshair. use this to target the browser window and in the terminal it should say something like this:

xwininfo output


$ xwininfo

xwininfo: Please select the window about which you
          would like information by clicking the
          mouse in that window.

xwininfo: Window id: 0xc00008 "Edit: - bitweaver - Opera"
<snip />


the only information we want from this is the the Window id: 0xc00008

Start up x11vnc

First you should set a password that other people with net access can't simply take over your computer.

Set VNC password


x11vnc -storepasswd


To start x11vnc run this in your xterm window, where you insert the window id you just determined. This will start VNC for only the window you specified and therefore only this window will be recorded. Add the trailing & that you can continue working in the one terminal window (you might have to hit enter to regain control of the terminal)

Starting x11vnc


x11vnc -usepw -localhost -viewonly -id 0xc00008 &


Start recording with vnc2swf

Now that your browser is controlled by x11vnc, you can start vnc2swf. Run the following to create an swf files named by date and time:

Commence recording with vnc2swf


vnc2swf -nowindow ~/screencast-$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H.%M).swf :0

After you have entered your password, your recording will start. Do what you came here to do and once you're done with the recording, hit <ctrl> in the terminal where you started vnc2swf. This should stop the recording and also the x11vnc server. You can confirm that x11vnc has stopped by typing:
ps aux | grep x11vnc
If a process other than the just executed grep shows up, kill it by doing the following:

Killing x11vnc


ps aux | grep x11vnc
xing     26390  0.0  0.3  10012  3320 pts/8    S    20:01   0:00 x11vnc -localhost -viewonly -usepw -id 0xa0000d
killall x11vnc


that's it. in your home folder, you should have a file called something like:
~/screencast-2007-01-07-20.04.swf

Final tips

If you are planning on doing this regularly, you can add something like this to your ~/.bashrc

Updating ~/.bashrc


alias xvnc="x11vnc -usepw -localhost -viewonly"
alias xswf='vnc2swf -nowindow ~/screencast-$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H.%M).swf :0'

now all you need to type in your terminal is
$ xvnc -id 0xc00008 &
$ xswf
and you're set

if you have swftools installed, you can get details from your swf file or even manipulate it.
$ swfbbox ~/screencast-2007-01-07-20.04.swf
Original Movie Size: 540.00 x 564.00 :0.00 :0.00</ctrl>

Related Items

Documentation » Tutorials

Tutorials to help you work out how something in bitweaver is done

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Comments

ftyzivzu

by ftyzivzu, 28 May 2007 (16:05 UTC)
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