Re: [SLUG] Record XScreensaver to file?

From: Ian C. Blenke (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2006 - 18:17:00 EDT

steve szmidt wrote:
> On Tuesday 25 April 2006 15:20, wrote:
>> Hello all
>> I have an odd question. I would like to record an xscreensaver to file.
>> I want to use it as the background loop for a presentation I am doing.
>> Is this possible?
> If it is a gif file I'm quite certain you can open it up with Gimp and save
> each sub image. Let me test it... Yup. It shows up as frames. Save each one
> the way you want to use it. Now I've never tried to loop a background in
> "powerpoint" so that's a different issue. Ah, my kid says you can use a gif
> as a background if you want to.
If you're using VMWare, you can record a session directly in vmware's
own movie format (though it is basically encapsulated VNC). You will
need a special codec to play it back, or something like mplayer that
natively groks that format. Then you can transcode to mpeg or any other
video format. Incredibly useful. This is really the _easiest_ way to do
what you want to do, if you have a vmware guest laying around with the
xscreensaver in question.

If you're using VNC otherwise (say with krfb or x0rfbserver), you can
record VNC sessions, though motion video or graphics are going to be
blotchy depending on the encoding. You can also transcode recorded VNC
sessions to mpg or flash (swf) video with things like VNCast and vnc2swf.

The hard part is catching the output of the video display as it changes
in real-time.

You could theoretically use Windows or OS/X to run Xscreensaver and use
native tools on those platforms to capture xscreensaver there (either
natively running locally, or over an X11 networked connection).

Roblimo found a nice Windows package for capturing video for training
media a while back.

 - Ian C. Blenke <>

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