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Record a Desktop Video on SLED

After posting a couple videos from my SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 system, some network admins have asked me to share how I record these. One said that he sees practical use in creating how-to videos for his end users.

So here is how I set up my SLED10 system for capturing my desktop as a video file.

The Short Version

  • Use RecordMyDesktop.
    • (Um…That’s it. You don’t need to read the rest.)

The Detailed Version


  1. Make sure you have the following packages to your SLED10 machine: gcc, make, ogg, libogg-devel, libtheora-devel, libvorbis-devel, alsa-devel, jack-devel.
    • If you find that I omitted any packages, please let me know which I need to add to the list.
  2. Download the latest version of RecordMyDesktop and gtk-RecordMyDesktop from the RecordMyDesktop project site. (These will be source code tarballs that you must build and install onto your machine.)
  3. Put the two source packages in a folder and extract them.
  4. Open a Terminal window and change to the newly-extracted RecordMyDesktop source folder.
  5. As a regular user, use the command “./configure –prefix=/usr” to configure the build environment. If the configure errors out, it’s likely because of a missing package. Add the missing package and its “-devel” accompaniment.)
  6. Now use the “make” command to build the package.
  7. Finally, use the command “sudo make install” to install the software. This will prompt you for the root user’s name.
  8. Repeat the same steps for the gtk-RecordMyDesktop source folder.


  1. Use Alt-F2 to start a Run Application window.
  2. Type “gtk-recordMyDesktop” on the command line and hit enter.
  3. Start recording!




A Few Best Practices Suggestions

  • I recommend creating a special user account for recording videos. It will help you to ensure that you always have an uncluttered desktop with a consistent background for your videos.
  • Use a simple wallpaper or background color so that viewers are not distracted from the subject of your video.
  • Turn of your instant messenger. It really blows a video to have “yt?” pop up.
  • If you have other suggestions for me to include, please post a comment.

12 Responses

  1. The police you choose is also important if you want to make a nice movie for youtube or something else.

    I tried many tests and import ogg videos in Kino to produce something better. After i re-encoded with ffmpeg because i think h264 codec is the best way to obtain the best rendering video.
    Have a look in my French Site to watch some old examples. -> http://www.lequidam.net/ilife.php

    Now i try to make some videos slideshows to obtain some demo with Ken Burns effects. Just a little example ->
    [audio src="http://www.lequidam.net/video/banshee_ken2.ogg" /]

    I hope theses videos will give ideas to many people !

  2. Thanks for that awesome and easy tutorial! I was always searching for an easy-to-record tool, and never found anything easy (all solutions I knew of involved vnc or similar).

    As a note: you might also need python-gtk-devel to compile the GUI interface (not tested, though).

    Now the only thing left are precompiled packages provided at the opensuse build server ๐Ÿ˜€

    Talking about build servers, I had a random idea what I would like to read here at your blog: SLED just does include specific well chosen packages – maybe it would be worth a try to interview some of the package maintainers at Suse or some of the people who make the decisions which package to include why they included this package in this form, why not the other package xyz, if their were special difficulties, if they have worries, hopes, etc., all that stuff.
    Or an interview about the problems what it means to maintain a package for 5 years while upstream continues to develop new major versions which cannot be included in SLED so easily (compatibility wise).

    Well, just random ideas, maybe worth a thought, maybe not ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Liquidat:
    The Guru repository has a build of recordmydesktop, but last I checked it was outdated, and there was no gtk-recordmydesktop accompaniment.

    Good one on the “who/how are packages chosen?”

  4. Hello,

    can you help me? I use KDE and opensuse 10.2 i build both packages but if i want record movie i get this error: recording is finish, recordmydesktop has exited with status: 1024, Description: Xdamage extension not present.

    Thank you

  5. Thanks for the software link – it is amazing the amount of high quality Free Software that is available.

    I built a SLED10 RPM for recordmydesktop to add to my personal repository, includes both recordmydesktop as well as the front-end, also adjuted the launcher to be more SLED10 friendly – you can download it from:



  6. […] Record a Desktop Video on SLED ยซ Open Source Advocacy with Reverend Ted […]

  7. […] weeks ago the topic became hot again for me after Ted Haeger reported about recordMyDesktop and showed how easy to use it is. He also posted a very good build howto and […]

  8. Wink will let you connect screenshots into a flash-based video. Highly recommended for low-bandwidth environments.

  9. Jiri,

    I had a similar issue as well and after a little searching around, I discovered that you need to make sure the following is in your xorg.conf file:

    Section “Extensions”
    Option “DAMAGE” “true”

    Mine was set to “false”, and that prevented it from working. Make that change and restart X and you should be set to go.


  10. thanx for info

  11. Thank you very much for sharing.
    i am using gtk-recordmydesktop more than 8 months and you inspired me very much especially with “A Few Best Practices Suggestions”. One thing you have not mentioned here is .ogg format is easily transformed to other file systems like .avi .
    Have a nice day, thank you for your 2ยข.

  12. @Kursat [11]:
    Hey, thanks for your comments and added information. I’m pleased that you found this post helpful.


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