How to Record Your Desktop Video and Audio Using “Avconv” Tool in Ubuntu

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17 Responses

  1. Gary Leon says:

    Thanks for taking the time for making this tutorial, really appreciated. I always create screencast with a web-based software calls Acethinker Online Screen Recorder, It is an online tool that lets you record your screen right from the browser. Share it here as an alternative method.

  2. xerostomus says:

    Thanks. I finally created this script:

    echo $’\n'” Video Grab Desktop”
    echo $’————————-\n\a’
    echo ” Syntaxe: $(basename 0) [directory]”
    echo ” Output: /directory/$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S ).avi”
    echo -e “Attention: Records mouse cursor too.\n”
    read -n1 -p “Press CTRL-C to stop encoding.
    Continue? Y/n ”
    if [ ! “a${REPLY,,}” == “an” ];then
    avconv -f x11grab -r 15 -s 1366×768 -i :0.0 -vcodec wmv1 -acodec pcm_s16le -q 7 $1$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S ).avi

    • Ravi Saive says:


      Yeah that’s really great, why not you share this script at github? let other users download and enhance the functionality of script more better..

    • Dre says:


      Is it possible to record something in the future with this, and make it stop after some time?

  3. Zeeshan says:

    I want to Record the video for 30 minutes for example, how do i include it on the code?

  4. mark says:

    This is not working. How can i just uninstall this app?

  5. Fernando Biondi says:

    Hello I’m getting this error : Unknown input format: ‘X11grab’
    I’m running Ubuntu14.04 LTS on a hp compaq 6910 laptop
    eve using x11 or X11 always gives the same error
    Would you please tell me what’s wrong ?
    Thanks in advance for your kind answer

  6. any says:

    Before updating avconv with following commands youtube-dlg was running fine on Mint 17.1.

    $ sudo apt-get install yasm
    $ git clone git://
    $ cd libav
    $ ./configure
    $ make
    $ sudo make install

    But if i want to convert audio of a youtube video to mp3 now, i receive the error-message:
    ERROR: audio conversion failed: Unknown encoder ‘libmp3lame’

    libmp3lame-dev and libmp3lame0 are installed.

    Please can you help me to fix the error?

  7. Hello,

    I compiled the avconv command on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and received the following error:

    [email protected]:~$ avconv -f alsa -i hw:1 -f x11grab -r 25 -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0 -vcodec libx264 -threads 4 output-file2.avi
    avconv version v12_dev0-1240-gcfdaa4d, Copyright (c) 2000-2015 the Libav developers
    built on Apr 24 2015 10:24:42 with gcc 4.8 (Ubuntu 4.8.2-19ubuntu1)

    Unknown input format: ‘alsa’

  8. tom says:

    Q1. I am playing a game. The game has a very interesting sound theme. If I record my desktop, I can’t capture that sound theme right now. Is there any options to grab the sounds that come from the system.

    Q2. With this command, is it possible to record in tty (text terminals)?

  9. Dimitris Anogiatis says:

    You can also try ScreenStudio as a gui for avconv. It allows you to record your desktop and add other things like a logo and a small blurb as a title for your screencast, and also capture the picture from your webcam.

    it can also allow you to stream what you get to either Youtube live and a few other sites.

    Check it out at:

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