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Procedure to get "flashing xterms" screenshots


Thanks to Michael Montreal, I describe a procedure that can be used to take a screenshot of a "flashing xterm" just before it closes. As you know, debugging such problems is very difficult, because the text in the xterm console appears and disappear in the blink of an eye  :) Therefore, I think this procedure can be very helpful in those situations.

  • You need the xvidcap tool (http://xvidcap.sourceforge.net/) and mplayer (http://www.mplayerhq.hu) tools
  • Capture a screen video using 'xvidcap'
  • Play it using mplayer. You can press <space> to pause, so if you hit <space> fast you can skip nearly frame by frame, slowly skipping forward until the window opened and make the screenshot from the video.

Installing tools in deb-based distributions

This procedure is based on Debian. Maybe other deb-based distributions (Ubuntu, etc.) don't needed or it is not valid there.

In order to install xvidcap, go to http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=81535 and download the newest available .deb. After download, install it using something like that:

 dpkg -i xvidcap_1.1.6_i386.deb

In the case the newest version require dependencies not available in your systems (use to be if your installation is synchronized with stable or testing branches, instead of with the cutting-edge unstable one), just try downloading previous versions, until one meet your requirements. (For example, in my case, the latest version where 1.1.6, but I had to use 1.1.4p1).

In order to install mplayer you can use the Debian port at http://www.debian-multimedia.org/.

  • Add one of the APT mirrors suggested in the page to your /etc/apt/sources.list file. For example:
 deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main
  • Update and install debian-multimedia-keyring package:
 apt-get update
 apt-get install debian-multimedia-keyring
  • Update and install mplayer:
 apt-get update
 apt-get install mplayer