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% TERMTOSVG(1) % Nicolas Bedos % December 2018


termtosvg [output_file] [-c COMMAND] [-g GEOMETRY] [-t TEMPLATE] [--help]

termtosvg record [output_file] [-c COMMAND] [-g GEOMETRY] [-m MIN_DURATION] [-M MAX_DURATION] [-h]

termtosvg render input_file [output_file] [-m MIN_DURATION] [-M MAX_DURATION] [-t TEMPLATE] [-h]


termtosvg makes recordings of terminal sessions in animated SVG format. If no output filename is provided, a random temporary filename will be automatically generated.


The default behavior of termtosvg is to render an SVG animation of a shell session

termtosvg record

Record a terminal session in asciicast v2 format. The recording is a text file which contains timing information as well as what was displayed on the screen during the terminal session. It may be edited to alter the timing of the recording or the information displayed on the screen of the terminal.

termtosvg render

Render an animated SVG from a recording in asciicast v1 or v2 format. This allows rendering in SVG format of any recording made with asciinema.


-c, --command=COMMAND

specify the program to record with optional arguments. COMMAND must be a string listing the program to execute together will all arguments to be made available to the program. For example --command='python -h' would make termtosvg record the usage of the Python interpreter. If this option is not set, termtosvg will record the program specified by the $SHELL environment variable or /bin/sh.

-g, --screen-geometry=GEOMETRY

geometry of the terminal screen used for rendering the animation. The geometry must be given as the number of columns and the number of rows on the screen separated by the character "x". For example "82x19" for an 82 columns by 19 rows screen.

-h, --help

Print usage and exit

-m, --min-frame-duration=MIN_DURATION

Set the minimum duration of a frame in milliseconds. Frames lasting less than MIN_DURATION milliseconds will be merged with consecutive frames. The default behavior of termtosvg is to produce a frame for each update of the terminal screen, but when recording commands that update the screen very frequently this can cause animations filesize to blow up. Enforcing a minimum frame duration helps reduces the number of frame of the animations, and thus helps control the size of animation. MIN_DURATION defaults to 1 millisecond.

-M, --max-frame-duration=MAX_DURATION

Set the maximum duration of a frame to MAX_DURATION milliseconds. Frames lasting longer than MAX_DURATION milliseconds will simply see their duration reduced to MAX_DURATION.

-t, --template=TEMPLATE

Set the SVG template used for rendering the SVG animation. TEMPLATE may either be one of the default templates (gjm8, dracula, solarized_dark, solarized_light, progress_bar, window_frame, window_frame_js) or a path to a valid template.


Templates make it possible to customize the SVG animation produced by termtosvg in a number of ways including, but not limited to:

  • Specifying the color theme and font used for rendering the terminal session
  • Adding a custom terminal window frame to the animation to make it look like a real terminal
  • Adding JavaScript code to pause the animation, seek to a specific frame, etc

See the dedicated manual page for more details.


In case the --command option is not specified, termtosvg will spawn the shell specified by the SHELL environment variable, or /bin/sh if the variable is not set.


Record a terminal session and produce an SVG animation named animation.svg:

termtosvg animation.svg

Record a terminal session and render it using a specific template:

termtosvg -t ~/templates/my_template.svg

Record a specific program such as IPython with the pretty printing option:

termtosvg -c 'ipython --pprint'

Record a terminal session with a specific screen geometry:

termtosvg -g 80x24 animation.svg

Record a terminal session in asciicast v2 format:

termtosvg record recording.cast

Render an SVG animation from a recording in asciicast format

termtosvg render recording.cast animation.svg

Enforce both minimal and maximal frame durations

termtosvg -m 17 -M 2000