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Terminal session recorder 📹
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Terminal session recorder and the best companion of



On Linux and Mac OS X, the easiest way to install asciinema recorder is to run the following shell command:

curl -sL | sh

This script will download the latest asciinema recorder binary for your platform, and install it in your $PATH.

Other installation options, including Homebrew and distro packages (Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch Linux, Gentoo), are also available.

If you have Go development environment set up you can go get to build asciinema and put the binary in $GOPATH/bin/asciinema.

Building from source

To build asciinema from source you need to have Go development environment set up.

Following the steps below will get the source code and compile it into a single statically linked binary:

mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
make build

This will produce asciinema binary at bin/asciinema.

To install it system wide (to /usr/local):

sudo make install

If you want to install it in other location:

PREFIX=/the/prefix make install


asciinema is composed of multiple commands, similar to git, rails or brew.

When you run asciinema with no arguments help message is displayed showing all available commands with their options.

rec [filename]

Record terminal session.

This is the single most important command in asciinema, since it is how you utilize this tool's main job.

By running 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.

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.

If the filename argument is given then the resulting recording (called asciicast) is saved to a local file. It can later be replayed with asciinema play <filename> and/or uploaded to with asciinema upload <filename>. If the filename argument is omitted then (after asking for confirmation) the resulting asciicast is uploaded to for further playback in a web browser.

ASCIINEMA_REC=1 is added to recorded process environment variables. This can be used by your shell's config file (.bashrc, .zshrc) to alter the prompt or play a sound when shell is being recorded.

Available options:

  • -c, --command=<command> - Specify command to record, defaults to $SHELL
  • -t, --title=<title> - Specify title of the asciicast
  • -w, --max-wait=<sec> - Reduce recorded terminal inactivity to max seconds
  • -y, --yes - Answer yes to all prompts (e.g. upload confirmation)

play <filename>

Replay recorded asciicast in a terminal.

This command replays given asciicast (as recorded by rec command) directly in your terminal.

NOTE: it is recommended to run it in a terminal of dimensions not smaller than the one used for recording as there's no "transcoding" of control sequences for new terminal size.

upload <filename>

Upload recorded asciicast to site.

This command uploads given asciicast (as recorded by rec command) to for further playback in a web browser.

asciinema rec demo.json + asciinema play demo.json + asciinema upload demo.json is a nice combo for when you want to review an asciicast before publishing it on


Assign local API token to account.

On every machine you install asciinema recorder, you get a new, unique API token. This command connects this local token with your account, and links all asciicasts recorded on this machine with the account.

This command displays the URL you should open in your web browser. If you never logged in to then your account will be created when opening the URL.

NOTE: it is necessary to do this if you want to edit or delete your recordings on

You can synchronize your ~/.asciinema/config file (which keeps the API token) across the machines but that's not necessary. You can assign new tokens to your account from as many machines as you want.

Configuration file

When you first run asciinema, local API token is generated and saved in the configuration file ~/.asciinema/config. It looks like this:

token = d5a2dce4-173f-45b2-a405-ac33d7b70c5f

There are several options you can set in this file. Here's a config with all available options set:

token = d5a2dce4-173f-45b2-a405-ac33d7b70c5f
url =

command = /bin/bash -l
maxwait = 2
yes = true

The options in [api] section are related to API location and authentication. To tell asciinema recorder to use your own asciinema site instance rather than the default one (, you can set url option. API URL can also be passed via ASCIINEMA_API_URL environment variable.

The options in [record] section have the same meaning as the options you pass to asciinema rec command. If you happen to often use either -c, -w or -y with rec command then consider saving it as a default in the config file.


If you want to contribute to this project check out Contributing page.


Developed with passion by Marcin Kulik and great open source contributors


Copyright © 2011-2015 Marcin Kulik.

All code is licensed under the GPL, v3 or later. See LICENSE file for details.

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