Doing a Screencast on Debian

Being accepted for GSOC 2017, we were asked by OpenMRS; my mentoring organization to submit a small screencast demonstrating our final work carried out during the summer. Not knowing the right tools nor having any prior experience, trying to make a video with my voice over the background was quite a daunting task.

So this post is for me and the alike, who are Debian users, yet want to make a video out of it.

Out of many applications. I have chosen two that can record one’s screen.


This reminds me of the command line utility youtube-dl which provides one with all possible features.

$ sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop
Usage: recordmydesktop [OPTIONS] filename
$ recordmydesktop --no-cursor out.ogv

This will write the output to a file named out.ogv. You could stop the recording simply by pressing ctrl + c

The flag --no-cursor here is used to disable drawing of the cursor. To find all available options run with -h or the --help flag.

The output however is limited to ogg-encapsulated theora/vorbis formats. (identified with the .ogv file extension), though it can be seen as a limitation, there are simple means to convert an ogv file to mp4 and the like.


vokoscreen screenshot

The latest stable or the beta release can be downloaded from the official website. They provide you with a binary executable which runs on all distributions.

tar -xf vokoscreen-2.5.0-trial.tar.gz

It has some nice features such as the magnifier, and can display keystrokes, and mouse clicks too.


I’ve used Audacity to record my voice over video. Audacity is by far considered the most powerful free audio editor around, yet I find it very easy to use. Audacity’s Noise Removal, which is perhaps the most commonly used filter, helped make my background noise tolerable.


Lightworks Gif

recorded with vokoscreen

$ sudo apt-get install lightworks

So finally to join audio and video together, I have used Lightworks. It claim to be the fastest, most professional and focused non-linear video editor in the industry.

I also gave Blender a try. But there seems to have a very steep learning curve for me to able to get over the hump. Lightworks, on the contrary has a sleek and intuitive UI which makes it suitable even for the beginner.

You may probably have heard of better alternatives. If so let us know in the comments section below.

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