Vokoscreen: A new screencasting tool for Linux

Vokoscreen: A new screencasting tool for Linux

The last few years, many users upload their how-to videos (also known as videorials — like tutorials) in Youtube, showing their Linux desktop and explaining how to do a bunch of stuff. So instead of reading an article or a guide with static images and multiple pages, maybe there is a quick educational video waiting for you somewhere in the Internet. There are several tools who help you to do this job, like Kazam and Record-My-Desktop but, both of them are not as expected.

Vokoscreen is a new application that helps you to record your Linux desktop. It’s very simple and it uses a minimalistic GUI.


Even though it is a new application (let’s say in beta phase), it manages to record your desktop (zoom in or zoom out) efficiently. Furthermore, it can capture your face using a webcam in the same time, so this feature is especially suitable for screencasting purposes. Truth to be told, there are many things yet to be fixed and optimized in Vokoscreen, but it surely worths your attention.

The application is available in GitHub, while Ubuntu-related distros (like Mint) have their own repository.


Type following commands in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vokoscreen-dev/vokoscreen
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vokoscreen 

Vokoscreen is very simple to use, thanks to its minimalistic GUI. It basically uses FFMPEG. Take a look at the following demonstration:


Vokoscreen provides you with an easy click-and-capture way of doing your screencasting. But, if you are up to screencast your gaming experience then you are probably going to have some FPS-drop problems. This is not because of ffmpeg, but because of your computer hardware. You need a monster PC in order to screencast in full HD and play your game smoothly in full graphics. For my system (Intel Core i5 2500K overclocked up to 4.8GHz) I used this command:

ffmpeg -f alsa -i pulse -f x11grab -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0 -c:a libmp3lame -ab 128k -ac 2 -c:v mpeg2video -qscale:v 0 amnesia_mpeg_0.avi

Let me show you my experiment results using mpeg4 and Amnesia via Steam (please watch it in 1080p in fullscreen):


In my system, this is the best I can do for gamecasting purposes, thus H.264 needs a lot of more horsepower.

I hope you find this article useful and do some screencasting video as well;)

  • cakezula

    “there are many things yet to be fixed and optimized in Vokoscreen”

    such as… ?

  • http://www.ubuntuxtream.com/ Panos Georgiadis

    I would like to be able to tweak the basic options-parameters in these two video encoders/decoders (H.264 and MPEG4) such as select different profile, bitrate, etc. The FFMPEG has many options that most of the users are not aware of, and a GUI (for at least the most basic of them) would be such a great idea ;)

    In that so, Vokoscreen could have some scaling profiles. Low hardware, Med Hardware, High and super.

    All in all is a great program and I use it, but in general I prefer the ffmpeg command line. I have to do lot’s of video exports in Apple’s ProRes for my work and that’s a pain in the arse…

  • cakezula

    Thanks Panos! Whenever a review says something vague about an app not being ready, I always want to know “What?”. I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

  • Michael

    Hi Panos,
    thanks for the report.
    Different ffmpeg-strings for different computer is a good idea –
    A workaround for your “problems” – try mpeg4 and 20 frames for recordings. I think it solve it a little (?)



  • http://www.ubuntuxtream.com/ Panos Georgiadis

    somewhere in the source code, there is usage of “sameq” which has been removed from latest FFMPEG version (git). Using the ubuntu PPA version for FFMPEG, Vokoscreen works great because Ubuntu provides an older version of FFMPEG that sameq command works fine.

    After compiling the FFMPEG following the directions over the FFMPEG official website, Vokoscreen fails to run the ffmpeg and provides some errors. Currently I am in work, so I can’t copy-paste you the errors I got, but as soon as I get home, I will get you some info.

    the latest (beta 2) version fails to start and keeps asking me to restart it over and over again… it would be great if you could keep up with the latest FFMPEG parameteres.

    I think there is a change in vcodec to v:c and acodec to a:c or something like that, but that’s not an issue — just a different kind of typing the parameters.

    The problem comes in “sameq” parameter that you use which doesn’t stands for same quality and it has been removed from latest FFMPEG. I would be great if you could remove it in further versions. Instead is uses something like qscale in order define Bitrate value.


    Improvements wise I would like to say an option for CRF and two-pass (H.264 encoding). I have many ideas about Vokoscreen.

  • Michael

    We know the problems with ffmpeg.
    vokoscreen search the ffmpeg Version. If lower than 0.11 it takes -sameq. When 1.0 or higher, then takes -qscale.
    But only tested with the original Ubuntu ffmpeg.

    >> I have many ideas about Vokoscreen

    Please send to the mailinglist :-) vokoscreen@googlegroups.com


  • Alexandra Pagkrati

    Strange enough, when I force the framerate, the video plays very very fast (not normally). Why is that ?

  • mr Hani

    how to use zooming?

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  • http://learnwithsimeon.tk/ Simeon Prince

    works good with these video settings. Check out this pic below

  • http://www.binarytides.com/ Silver Moon

    how to zoom in ?

  • http://vladizorov.info/ Vladislav Zorov

    Cool! This looks even better than FRAPS :)

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