The Secret to Screencasting with Ubuntu and Free Software
Beth Kanter has asked me to write a little on how I prepare my screencasts under Linux, using only free and open source software. There’s little information available on line already but here’s how you can easily create a screen cast using Ubuntu.
Unfortunately the recording software I use, xvidcap, doesn’t come included with Ubuntu but there’s a Debian package available which worked just fine for me. It’s not as sophisticated as many of it’s Windows counterparts but you could be able to use the accessibility features of your desktop to compensate for features such as magnification. I’ve created a short meta-screencast giving a brief tour of xvidcap.
Once you’ve finished with xvidcap you’ll be left with an MPEG video file which you could upload straight to YouTube or another hosting service. I’m happy with this informal style of short screencasts as single takes but the video editing software Kino comes with Ubuntu for your basic editing needs.As is usual for free software there are many alternatives, this was the selection of software that worked best for me as a complete beginner to screencasting and video in Linux. You might also wish to look at ffmpeg and Istanbul for screen capture and Cinelerra and LiVES for editing.Take a look at the WordPress screencasts I’ve produced, or read about how to use WordPress for web publishing.