Saturday, May 28, 2016

How to screencast into GIF image on Lubuntu

On lubuntu (and ubuntu in general), you can do screencast/ screen capture of your desktop and save it as animated GIF images, in this article i will show you how to do that, it's pretty cool stuff.

To create GIF animated screencast, we can use a program called byzanz, byzanz is a small and efficient screencast creator. It records your desktop session or parts of it to an animated GIF, OGG Theora or Flash.

Byzanz is implemented as a GNOME applet and can thus be used directly from any panel which supports GNOME applets.

Furthermore it consists of two different tools, byzanz-record, which allows you to make recordings from the command line and byzanz-play‐ back, which makes it possible to convert debug recordings into other supported formats.

To install byzanz is pretty easy, all you have to do is open terminal/ console/ command prompt, and then run this command to install byzanz.

sudo apt-get install byzanz

Byzanz is available part of lubuntu/ubuntu repository, but if you are using older version of lubuntu/ubuntu you need to add PPA repo to install byzanz.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/byzanz
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install byzanz

Alright, now once installed you can run two program from command line byzanz-record and byzanz playback, there is no user interface for byzanz, it's suppose to run from command line.

How to use byzanz
  • to start recording, run byzanz-record followed by the output filename
  • byzanz-record [filename.gif]
    byzanz-record my-desktop.gif
    byzanz-record --width=500 --height=400 my-desktop.gif
    byzanz-record --y=200 --x=300 my-desktop.gif
  • to stop recording, press CTRL + C on the command line where you run the byzanz-record
Note: on lubuntu to open the gif image you need to use a web browser such as firefox or chrome, the image viewer on lubuntu can't handle animated GIF image.


  1. Getting always this error:

    ** (byzanz-record:22058): WARNING **: Error retrieving accessibility bus address: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.a11y.Bus was not provided by any .service files