Note: This is README for
development branch. See the version for latest stable release.
Terminal session recorder and the best companion of asciinema.org.
asciinema lets you easily record terminal sessions and replay them in a terminal as well as in a web browser.
Install latest version (other installation options):
sudo pip3 install asciinema
Record your first session:
asciinema rec first.cast
Now replay it with double speed:
asciinema play -s 2 first.cast
Or with normal speed but with idle time limited to 2 seconds:
asciinema play -i 2 first.cast
You can pass
-i 2 to
asciinema rec as well, to set it permanently on a
recording. Idle time limiting makes the recordings much more interesting to
watch. Try it.
If you want to watch and share it on the web, upload it:
asciinema upload first.cast
You can record and upload in one step by omitting the filename:
You'll be asked to confirm the upload when the recording is done. Nothing is sent anywhere without your consent.
These are the basics, but there's much more you can do. The following sections cover installation, usage and hosting of the recordings in more detail.
asciinema is available on PyPI and can be installed with pip (Python 3 with setuptools required):
sudo pip3 install asciinema
This is the recommended way of installation, which gives you the latest released version.
asciinema is included in repositories of most popular package managers on Mac OS
X, Linux and FreeBSD. Look for package named
asciinema. See the
list of available packages.
Running latest version from source code checkout
If you can't use Python package or native package for your OS is outdated you can clone the repo and run asciinema straight from the checkout.
Clone the repo:
git clone https://github.com/asciinema/asciinema.git cd asciinema
If you want latest stable version:
git checkout master
If you want current development version:
git checkout develop
Then run it with:
python3 -m asciinema --version
asciinema Docker image is based on Ubuntu 18.04 and has the latest version of asciinema recorder pre-installed.
docker pull asciinema/asciinema
When running it don't forget to allocate a pseudo-TTY (
-t), keep STDIN open
-i) and mount config directory volume (
docker run --rm -ti -v "$HOME/.config/asciinema":/root/.config/asciinema asciinema/asciinema rec
Container's entrypoint is set to
/usr/local/bin/asciinema so you can run the
container with any arguments you would normally pass to
asciinema binary (see
Usage section for commands and options).
There's not much software installed in this image though. In most cases you may
want to install extra programs before recording. One option is to derive new
image from this one (start your custom Dockerfile with
FROM asciinema/asciinema). Another option is to start the container with
as the entrypoint, install extra packages and manually start
docker run --rm -ti -v "$HOME/.config/asciinema":/root/.config/asciinema --entrypoint=/bin/bash asciinema/asciinema root@6689517d99a1:~# apt-get install foobar root@6689517d99a1:~# asciinema rec
asciinema is composed of multiple commands, similar to
When you run
asciinema with no arguments help message is displayed, listing
all available commands with their options.
Record terminal session.
asciinema rec [filename] you start a new recording session. The
command (process) that is recorded can be specified with
-c option (see
below), and defaults to
$SHELL which is what you want in most cases.
You can temporarily pause recording of terminal by pressing Ctrl+P. This is useful when you want to execute some commands during the recording session that should not be captured (e.g. pasting secrets). Resume by pressing Ctrl+P again.
Recording finishes when you exit the shell (hit Ctrl+D or type
exit). If the recorded process is not a shell then recording finishes when
the process exits.
filename argument is omitted then (after asking for confirmation) the
resulting asciicast is uploaded to
asciinema-server (by default to
asciinema.org), where it can be watched and shared.
filename argument is given then the resulting recording (called
asciicast) is saved to a local file. It can later be
asciinema play <filename> and/or uploaded to asciinema server
asciinema upload <filename>.
ASCIINEMA_REC=1 is added to recorded process environment variables. This
can be used by your shell's config file (
.zshrc) to alter the
prompt or play a sound when the shell is being recorded.
--stdin- Enable stdin (keyboard) recording (see below)
--append- Append to existing recording
--raw- Save raw STDOUT output, without timing information or other metadata
--overwrite- Overwrite the recording if it already exists
-c, --command=<command>- Specify command to record, defaults to $SHELL
-e, --env=<var-names>- List of environment variables to capture, defaults to
-t, --title=<title>- Specify the title of the asciicast
-i, --idle-time-limit=<sec>- Limit recorded terminal inactivity to max
-y, --yes- Answer "yes" to all prompts (e.g. upload confirmation)
-q, --quiet- Be quiet, suppress all notices/warnings (implies -y)
Stdin recording allows for capturing of all characters typed in by the user in
the currently recorded shell. This may be used by a player (e.g.
asciinema-player) to display
pressed keys. Because it's basically a key-logging (scoped to a single shell
instance), it's disabled by default, and has to be explicitly enabled via
Replay recorded asciicast in a terminal.
This command replays given asciicast (as recorded by
rec command) directly in
Following keyboard shortcuts are available:
- Space - toggle pause,
- . - step through a recording a frame at a time (when paused),
- Ctrl+C - exit.
Playing from a local file:
asciinema play /path/to/asciicast.cast
Playing from HTTP(S) URL:
asciinema play https://asciinema.org/a/22124.cast asciinema play http://example.com/demo.cast
Playing from asciicast page URL (requires
<link rel="alternate" type="application/x-asciicast" href="/my/ascii.cast"> in page's HTML):
asciinema play https://asciinema.org/a/22124 asciinema play http://example.com/blog/post.html
Playing from stdin:
cat /path/to/asciicast.cast | asciinema play - ssh user@host cat asciicast.cast | asciinema play -
Playing from IPFS:
asciinema play dweb:/ipfs/QmNe7FsYaHc9SaDEAEXbaagAzNw9cH7YbzN4xV7jV1MCzK/ascii.cast
-i, --idle-time-limit=<sec>- Limit replayed terminal inactivity to max
-s, --speed=<factor>- Playback speed (can be fractional)
For the best playback experience it is recommended to run
asciinema playin a terminal of dimensions not smaller than the one used for recording, as there's no "transcoding" of control sequences for new terminal size.
Print full output of recorded asciicast to a terminal.
asciinema play <filename> replays the recorded session using timing
information saved in the asciicast,
asciinema cat <filename> dumps the full
output (including all escape sequences) to a terminal immediately.
asciinema cat existing.cast >output.txt gives the same result as recording via
asciinema rec --raw output.txt.
Upload recorded asciicast to asciinema.org site.
This command uploads given asciicast (recorded by
rec command) to
asciinema.org, where it can be watched and shared.
asciinema rec demo.cast +
asciinema play demo.cast +
asciinema upload demo.cast is a nice combo if you want to review an asciicast before
publishing it on asciinema.org.
Link your install ID with your asciinema.org user account.
If you want to manage your recordings (change title/theme, delete) at asciinema.org you need to link your "install ID" with asciinema.org user account.
This command displays the URL to open in a web browser to do that. You may be asked to log in first.
Install ID is a random ID (UUID
locally when you run asciinema for the first time, and saved at
$HOME/.config/asciinema/install-id. Its purpose is to connect local machine
with uploaded recordings, so they can later be associated with asciinema.org
account. This way we decouple uploading from account creation, allowing them to
happen in any order.
A new install ID is generated on each machine and system user account you use asciinema on, so in order to keep all recordings under a single asciinema.org account you need to run
asciinema authon all of those machines.
asciinema versions prior to 2.0 confusingly referred to install ID as "API token".
Hosting the recordings on the web
As mentioned in the
Usage > rec section above, if the
filename argument to
asciinema rec is omitted then the recorded asciicast is uploaded to
asciinema.org. You can watch it there and share it via
If you prefer to host the recordings yourself, you can do so by either:
- recording to a file (
asciinema rec demo.cast), and using asciinema's standalone web player in your HTML page, or
- setting up your own asciinema-server instance, and setting API URL accordingly.
You can configure asciinema by creating config file at
Configuration is split into sections (
[play]). Here's a
list of all available options for each section:
[api] ; API server URL, default: https://asciinema.org ; If you run your own instance of asciinema-server then set its address here ; It can also be overriden by setting ASCIINEMA_API_URL environment variable url = https://asciinema.example.com [record] ; Command to record, default: $SHELL command = /bin/bash -l ; Enable stdin (keyboard) recording, default: no stdin = yes ; List of environment variables to capture, default: SHELL,TERM env = SHELL,TERM,USER ; Limit recorded terminal inactivity to max n seconds, default: off idle_time_limit = 2 ; Answer "yes" to all interactive prompts, default: no yes = true ; Be quiet, suppress all notices/warnings, default: no quiet = true [play] ; Playback speed (can be fractional), default: 1 speed = 2 ; Limit replayed terminal inactivity to max n seconds, default: off idle_time_limit = 1 [notifications] ; Should desktop notifications be enabled, default: yes enabled = no ; Custom notification command ; Environment variable $TEXT contains notification text command = tmux display-message "$TEXT"
A very minimal config file could look like that:
[record] idle_time_limit = 2
Config directory location can be changed by setting
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME is set on Linux then asciinema uses
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/asciinema instead of
asciinema versions prior to 1.1 used
$HOME/.asciinema. If you have it there you should
mv $HOME/.asciinema $HOME/.config/asciinema.
If you want to contribute to this project check out Contributing page.
Copyright © 2011–2019 Marcin Kulik.
All code is licensed under the GPL, v3 or later. See LICENSE file for details.