Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

t-rec: Terminal Recorder

License: GPL v3 dependency status Build Status LOC

Blazingly fast terminal recorder that generates animated gif images for the web written in rust.




  • Screenshotting your terminal with 4 frames per second (every 250ms)
  • Generates high quality small sized animated gif images or mp4 videos
  • Build-In idle frames detection and optimization (for super fluid presentations)
  • Applies (can be disabled) border decor effects like drop shadow
  • Runs on MacOS and Linux
  • Uses native efficient APIs
  • Runs without any cloud service and entirely offline
  • No issues with terminal sizes larger than 80x24
  • No issues with fonts or colors
  • No issues with curses based programs
  • No issues with escape sequences
  • No record and replay - just one simple command to rule them all
  • Hidden feature: Record every window you want
  • Written in Rust 🦀

Installation on MacOS

with homebrew

brew install t-rec

with macports

sudo port selfupdate
sudo port install t-rec

with cargo

NOTE t-rec depends on imagemagick.

brew install imagemagick
cargo install -f t-rec 

NOTE -f just makes sure the latest version is installed

Installation on Linux

as .deb

sudo apt-get install imagemagick
sudo dpkg -i t-rec_0.5.0_amd64.deb

as snap

Get it from the Snap Store


sudo snap install t-rec --classic
/snap/bin/t-rec --version
t-rec 0.4.3

from AUR

t-rec can be installed from available AUR packages using an AUR helper. For example,

paru -S t-rec

If you prefer, you can clone the AUR packages and then compile them with makepkg. For example,

git clone
cd t-rec
makepkg -si

with cargo

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev imagemagick
cargo install -f t-rec
tested on those distros
ubuntu 20.10 on GNOME
ubuntu 20.10 on i3wm
linux mint 20 on cinnamon
ArcoLinux 5.4 on Xfwm4



or with specifying a different program to launch

t-rec /bin/sh

Full Options

t-rec --help
t-rec 0.5.0
Sven Assmann <[email protected]>
Blazingly fast terminal recorder that generates animated gif images for the web written in rust.

    t-rec [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] [shell or program to launch]

    -h, --help          Prints help information
    -l, --ls-win        If you want to see a list of windows available for recording by their id, you can set env var
                        'WINDOWID' to record this specific window only
    -n, --natural       If you want a very natural typing experience and disable the idle detection and sampling
    -q, --quiet         Quiet mode, suppresses the banner: 'Press Ctrl+D to end recording'
    -V, --version       Prints version information
    -v, --verbose       Enable verbose insights for the curious
    -m, --video         Generates additionally to the gif a mp4 video of the recording
    -M, --video-only    Generates only a mp4 video and not gif

    -b, --bg <bg>                     Background color when decors are used [default: transparent]  [possible values:
                                      white, black, transparent]
    -d, --decor <decor>               Decorates the animation with certain, mostly border effects [default: shadow]
                                      [possible values: shadow, none]
    -e, --end-pause <s | ms | m>      to specify the pause time at the end of the animation, that time the gif will show
                                      the last frame
    -s, --start-pause <s | ms | m>    to specify the pause time at the start of the animation, that time the gif will
                                      show the first frame

    <shell or program to launch>    If you want to start a different program than $SHELL you can pass it here. For
                                    example '/bin/sh'

Disable idle detection & optimization

If you are not happy with the idle detection and optimization, you can disable it with the -n or --natural parameter. By doing so, you would get the very natural timeline of typing and recording as you do it. In this case there will be no optimizations performed.

Disable shadow border decor

In order to disable the drop shadow border decor you have to pass -d none as an argument. If your only want to change the color of the background you can use -b black for example to have a black background.

Hidden Gems

You can record not only the terminal but also every other window. There 2 ways to do so:

  1. abuse the env var TERM_PROGRAM like this:
  • for example lets record a window 'Google Chrome'
  • make sure chrome is running and visible on screen
TERM_PROGRAM="google chrome" t-rec

Frame cache dir: "/var/folders/m8/084p1v0x4770rpwpkrgl5b6h0000gn/T/trec-74728.rUxBx3ohGiQ2"
Recording window: "Google Chrome 2"
Press Ctrl+D to end recording

this is how it looks then: demo-chrome

  1. use the env var WINDOWID like this:
  • for example let's record a VSCode window
  • figure out the window id program, and make it
  • make sure the window is visible on screen
  • set the variable and run t-rec
t-rec --ls-win | grep -i code
Code | 27600

# set the WINDOWID variable and run t-rec
WINDOWID=27600 t-rec

Frame cache dir: "/var/folders/m8/084p1v0x4770rpwpkrgl5b6h0000gn/T/trec-77862.BMYiHNRWqv9Y"
Press Ctrl+D to end recording

this is how it looks then: demo-vscode


To contribute to t-rec you can either checkout existing issues labeled with good first issue or open a new issue and describe your problem. Also every PR is welcome. Support for Linux and Windows needs to be done.

On the web & social media


Get A Weekly Email With Trending Projects For These Topics
No Spam. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
rust (4,848
hacktoberfest (4,276
demo (507
chrome (474
vscode (412
command-line-tool (300
hacktoberfest2020 (273
fast (212
recorder (43
screen-recorder (20