Application: Desktop recorder software for Ubuntu and uploading to YouTube

Desktop recorder software is highly useful in teaching, tutorial and knowledge sharing side. That too in Open Source communities, the video tutorials are famous through YouTube.

You can also make your own desktop recorded video tutorial using gtk-recordMyDesktop software in Ubuntu. This tool has matured a lot to make it easy to use and quality output with better CPU consumption.

Here is how to install and use this application in Ubuntu.


Install gtk-recordmydesktop application in command line. Open terminal and enter the following command to install the application

$ sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop


You can find the application shortcut in Applications -> Sound & Video -> gtk-recordMyDesktop. When you run this application, you will be shown a options dialog. You can select to record the entire desktop screen or a portion of desktop (used to record a window activity). Click the below screenshots for full view.

gtk-recordMyDesktop Main Window

To record full desktop, just click Record button. The application will get minimized in top panel. Once recording is over, click the square button on top panel to end the recording.

To record a portion of desktop, click Select Window button. Next click the mouse, hold and drag to select the portion shown as preview. And then click Record button to start recording. In the below screenshot I am recording Dictionary application.

gtk-recordMyDesktop - Selecting a Recording Window
gtk-recordMyDesktop - Selected Window to record

At the end of recording the following dialog appears while encoding the video to ogg theora format (.ogv). By default the video is out.ogv, which is created in your home directory.

gtk-recordMyDesktop - Saving the video file at the end of recording session

Now it is time to upload this video in YouTube. Currently the encoding of this video file is not properly supported in YouTube – the video is totally distracted, so disaster 🙁 . This is a temporary problem. I have seen this working some times before. Here is a thread going on regarding this issue. But there is an alternative to this. You can convert this video to .avi format using mencoder tool.

Install the mencoder tool from command line as given below.

$ sudo apt-get install mencoder

Convert the recorded out.ogv file to recorded.avi of AVI format using the following command.

$ mencoder out.ogv -o recorded.avi -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc

Now you can upload recorded.avi to YouTube. Happy sharing of knowledge! Here is my video recorded and uploaded in YouTube.

Note: If you are interested in Open Source free desktop recorder application for Window, check CamStudio.

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