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libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04

I was going through for some news, found some curious gOS screenshots and then looked for a site that used to be available at (IIRC) cause I was curious to see gOS in action. It appears osvids is no longer available, and searching for it I instead ended up at OSXvids instead, showcasing some stuff from Mac OS X Leopard.

And this gave me an idea. I know it's not a new idea at all and that some have already done this, like the Ubuntu Video project, but it's still not done so much to make it a really saturated "market" so to speak.

So the idea is to open up a Nuxified video site at, where we would be posting very simple screen casts simply showing how to do things, even simple things, on GNU/Linux and with certain software programs. They don't have to have any audio except perhaps for some nice ambient music and it can only have some textual messages on it.

In addition to our own videos it would also display videos from other Free Software web sites all in one place, so it would be a mixture of both.

We can also encourage visitors to submit their own videos for inclusion and allow them to plug their blog or web site on it.

Videos can be hosted on YouTube, Blip.TV and similar sites just to save up some bandwidth, but we would offer people to view them directly from our server too. I even know how exactly to do this all using simply wordpress. It's brain dead easy.. The infrastructure is all really there. It just needs to be done and populated with interesting video content.

What do you think? Should we attempt something like this? It's a great way to promote "Nuxified" as the name and hence and this great community! I've no intention to hide that ambition here. Eye

Thank you

Joined: 2007-09-10 is a great idea

Subconsciously, I think I too had picked up on that trend: . I am now more conscious of the many screencasts different groups are making in order to sell their products.

A vid is not as good as any other. As screencasts accumulate, we should be able to see techniques that work and even standardize (see land0's posting in above thread).

You/we may also want to provide a reference page/posting linking to existing repositories of such screencasts (or even to individual cases). This way we don't reinvent the wheel too many times.

An initially useful screencast would be of how to make and package screencasts. For example, what application does it and how, and if you don't have it installed, how might you do that? How would the music be integrated? Etc.

I think that a webpage to go along with screencasts is most useful. Maybe the clips would be imbedded in the page or maybe a full video would point to the page. The point being that words help to express the many things that the author/editor of the screencast did not know how to do, did not have time to do, or would not be able to do.

Consider as an example a link to source code. A particular screencast showing how to accomplish something in an IDE should have a link to the full source code shown (or rather, highlighted) in the screencast. This allows perusal at the pace of the viewer and to the extent the viewer wants to delve into the details. S/he may only take a glance at something particular, but it would have to be according to the needs of the viewer. The author of the screencast could not read the mind of all viewers in order to know exactly what to highlight on the video, especially for something a little involved and that not only involves a recipe but is meant as a tutorial, meaning a goal is for the viewer to understand and not just follow blindly.

Even "follow this blindly" screencasts would probably have potential gotchas that would best be addressed in a page so as not to break the flow of the vid.

You can discuss this over at the Tux Project if you'd like. My main interest is to increasing participation, by the Linux/FOSS community, in this sort of activity. I would like many to work on this in parallel. This goal is different but complementary to using nuxified to build one such repo of screencasts. Even if not at Tux Project, it would be nice to have someone address this issue aggressively somewhere so that others can go there to share input and link up to their specific projects.

BTW, I would go further than just screencasts. Through editing and using other tools, we can turn a vanilla screencast into something really nice and educational. I am assuming "screencast" refers merely to the recording of what transpired exactly through a particular continuous period of time. It would be useful for example to have various portions of the screencast be magnified. In fact, I would prefer a type of presentation where the user could divert from a single thread in order to follow their own path. Now, though, I am refering to giving the user a sandbox to play in and stock that sandbox with tooltips, popup vid clips, perhaps a narration voice in the background guiding the user into a particular path while diverting to answer the user in some way as the user moves off the main plot thread. I am talking about a full-blown well thought out video game/environment.

.. and simple vanilla screencasts would be the start Smiling


There are many web tutorials online that we can convert into screencasts. We might do one or two and then use that to encourage the particular community to continue the effort. When I was going through a blender tutorial (to learn to use it), work was simultaneously being done on the tutorial. The effort was to add more pics as a sub for text. Taking that to the next level would incorporate vids into the tutorial at designated points. Also, go to the sites of any of these multimedia tools (eg, gimp) and you may find many tutorials that could serve as sources for screencasts. I'd be curious to see what approach nuxified takes. I wouldn't mind *borrowing* material from a repo in order to help motivate others closer to the relevent projects to participate. A set of vids AND a vid-making project is a great way to grow the user base of a project. Part of that new growth would be users/testers that provide feedback to the project necessarily in their attempt to make a vid/screencast.

Oh, and we should address the licenses of the vids. All vids are good but foss-y ones allow others to edit to improve on them and to use clips larger than what fair use allows.

Joined: 2006-03-28
I pretty much like the

I pretty much like the idea.
Although I have no idea yet what kind of stuff I could post there. Maybe a realtime-video of a EasyLFS-installation. ;-) No, just kidding.

A good tool for recording might be gtk-recordmydesktop. I have used it a few times and pretty much like it.
If we also want to do some editing afterwards we'd have to find something. I actually like Kino, but I don't know if it can handle OGG/Theora as I think it's more for DV-editing.
Cinelerra on the other hand should be capable, but also more complex than Kino and a pretty heavyweight.
Well, I guess we'll have to see, and in the end I guess everybody should use what he/she/it is most comfortable with.

Joined: 2007-09-10
An EasyLFS screencast?

>> Although I have no idea yet what kind of stuff I could post there. Maybe a realtime-video of a EasyLFS-installation. Wink alt No, just kidding.

If you were looking for someone to say "now, now, a video of an EasyLFS installation is a great idea," then you came to the right place, and I am that person.

I have to look over that project because I have not been following it (just came across it recently). I worked my way through most of LFS several years back and I really think it is a great thing. If anything would help bring such a neat project to more people, it could be a well done video. Take for instance the manual that you are writing (that you posted, ). IIRC, libervisco made the point that it looks complex except that he has been through the steps already. I also got stopped in my tracks the first time I got to your posting. "Show me don't tell me" works particularly well (I am guessing) for easy things that look complex on paper. When I read a bunch of instructions and don't see context or pics and it just seems long and complicated, I imagine it is complicated and it would actually take me a while to build the mental pictures and context necessary to understand whatever set of instructions I am reading. In fact, I seem to enjoy presenting this sort of pain for others in a large portion of my posts! It's not true, I don't enjoy it, but I do seem to fall into that trap frequently.

Anyway, I think EasyLFS screencasts would be great if you can make it very clear what is going on. This way people can easily relate to each step and have a general memory/intuition of the sort of work and time it would take to do the job. If they decide to go forward, they would already know roughly how easy/difficult it is, how to execute the steps precisely (with little room for misinterpretations), and what they would end up with at the end.

Since there may be a lot of text in the EasyLFS How to Do It Yourself Even More Video, better than a screencast with tiny fast scrolling text might be to edit the procedure well in any sort of mock video or animation and make sure that anything that is typed is in very large letters and is easy to read (ie, zoom in so that a fraction of a full terminal window uses up the whole view). Also, I am not sure how you would pull off a screencast if that is how you start (maybe through a virtualization environment).

As an aside, I have some ideas in mind on building a distro that would incorporate newbie-friendly things that I don't think are currently being done (maybe hidden away in work-in-progress projects but probably not yet available in the main distros). I was hoping LFS, together with the scripts to make livecds, could serve as a starting point. This would give a lot of flexibility and transparency since LFS documents so many details for others to know what is going on and to extend the idea however they see fit. I'll try and post something coherent under a more suitable forum posting.

Finally (yeah right), I am interested in seeing screencasts on using kino, cinelerra, etc. Anyone can start by explaining anything basic to get the ball rolling. Or we can try and convert an existing tutorial (leveraging the though already put into the tutorial). This sort of screencast would be particularly useful as it would document and show how to use the tools that would help others make and improve upon other vid tutorials thus helping to generate a snowball rolling downhill effect.

One more thought, making a vid is extra useful if words are spoken slow and clearly. Similarly, there should be room to digest images on screen; HOWEVER, that is all cream on top of a cupcake. Editors can slow things down and/or renarrate later on to clean up and polish a vid. Even a rushed screencast helps to give a feel for something and to help unlodge inertia from its lazyback chair. It opens the game by showing that something is realizable and not theoretical. It is easier to follow than words. It can whet the appetite which is crucial to getting anyone off their hiney. Finally, any bad screencast serves as a rough draft/ prototype for those that come after, now more clearly able to visualize version .002.

Here is a decent screencast but I would like even more zooming in and a voice narration if the intent was to show how to do things (I think the intent was simply to show off capabilities; music works well here). Brief words introducing the next scene seem very user friendly to me.

Also, I had forgotten the name of this environment (and was in need of it not long ago actually). The vid/screencast is a useful selling tool. ->

No one person has to do the whole thing. One can do a particular scene and post it. Someone else can add music. ETC. [If the licensing allows it!]

Joined: 2006-03-28
Jose wrote: Also, I am not
Jose wrote:

Also, I am not sure how you would pull off a screencast if that is how you start (maybe through a virtualization environment).

Since I do all my work on EasyLFS in KVM already it wouldn't be any problem to have a screencast of it.
It could really be an interesting idea to go through the initial steps, kernel-choice (SMP or not), seeing it boot, selecting the keyboard-layout and then partitioning and configuration.
The latter part actually takes up most of the document, this there you have a bunch of settings you can set in order to have the system the way you want it.
The cast then could end with launching the installation-script and show the first few seconds of the installation-process.

As for a Kino- or Cinelerra-cast. I have been working with Kino quite a few times, have used it to record the videos from or DV-cam to DVD, and in the process do a bit of cutting, so there I might offer something. With Cinelerra I also didn't do much yet, but it would be quite interesting.

Joined: 2007-09-10
A useful set of screencasts: package downloading to use apps

[following comment is a bit long and not completely clear.. but it may inspire]

The screencast starts right after a livecd has been installed. You (may) show how to make a few interesting changes to the desktop or whatever (introduction to get feet wet and/or to handle preliminaries). You may, eg, want to start up music playing from a collection on the hard drive that was auto discovered. This sets the mood for the screencast (ie, Linux is easy, functional, and relaxing, perhaps.. linux might be so easy like taking candy from a baby.. 123).

[Come to think of it, we can partition series of screencasts with common music that help convey the theme of the series. Examples that focus on game playing.. multimedia creation.. office productivity.. etc would each have a set of music selections (preferably with some original music).]

You show how to start up the package manager for the distro. You download a few fresh apps. You show yourself taking advantage of these fresh hot apps. It answers the general gripe, "I didn't have XXXX on my distro." It shows that acquiring new applications or updating old applications for hot new functionality can be easy and appears to be almost limitless on Linux. Perhaps you (apt) get a new player to replace the app that you had just started for playing music (to get new functionality). Perhaps you upgrade the same player and it works or looks better than at the beginning of the screencast.

We make many of these screencasts to handle various combinations of apps/distro/package managers/problems-solutions.

Another potential goal is to cover particularly useful or tricky app packages. We can also show that some errors or missing functionality can be solved this way by showing common cases like missing plug-ins or data files or optional libraries.

The overall theme could be on the easy but inobvious steps of acquiring apps through a package manager, of turning a 600MB CD into a trove of many gigabytes' worth of no-cost apps and of solving some problems through updates or by switching apps (which are maintained for us out on the Internet for free).


Here are some more thoughts:

More complex gripes are:
"XXX didn't work"
"I couldn't start XXX"
"How do you use XXX"

These can involve complex solutions, but occasionally it is a matter of looking for a package and downloading it and then perhaps querying the package system (or google) to find the name of the app if you can't find it under a suitable desktop menu.

By showing how to use the command line to start an app and using google and man/info to get some of the basic info, we have hope when we otherwise might give up. As stated already, the application might not be in menus or we might want multiple versions of the same application. To deal with multiple versions, we'd have to have introduced at least a bit of "configure-make" or of apt pinning.

Doing some troubleshooting with the cli for a few examples of common apps/problems, if not losing the user's attention, would at least start to convey the big picture of the power of the CLI and of Linux.. and that dead end "impossible" problems sometimes have very simple solutions.

Through all of the examples, the newbie may eventually start to think, wow, I have SOOOOOO much accessible at my fingertips. Yum yum (or synaptic.. etc).

One problem (which could be addressed) that I encountered recently with a virgin PCLOS, but which was not a prob with my prior distro, was that the local database was not fresh and the repo didn't contain the package because the version number is on the package name and the repo didn't maintain old packages (at least that was my quick assessment of the problem, the problem which was solved after a synaptic "refresh," a solution I attempted after a little sleuthing).

Basic apt-XXX command line commands to match the gui clicks can also be demonstrated as they are sometimes faster, and cli apt is a useful tool as it is more common than any of the gui's for it, giving the user a way to survive when in front of a new distro.

Joined: 2007-09-10
Screencasts for the CLI: perhaps a tough sell

Screencast showing various useful cli commands that have multiple gui (as well as alternative cli) ways to achieve the effect.

The cli is more robust because the shell and cli utilities are generally simpler programs with less dependencies and potentially hidden bugs than the gui equivalents. For these reason, they sometimes end up saving the day (or simply saving time) when gui's won't work (properly) or you haven't found a gui.

Cli allows for users to build simple programs where they find interesting ways to combine the outputs or effects of various applications.

Batch processing and cron can be very useful to the creative person.

Some of the commands would have no comparable gui (in this case, try to pick things where Windows is also short).

For more advanced viewers, we can go into some shell scripting to then really show how the cli can shine as most gui cannot keep up.

Finally, we show how some understanding of the cli helps, in this case, not with the intent of crafting commands, but for understanding parts of FOSS programs. This can be useful to get you out of a jam or to overcome a currently weak gui interface in some app. This is advanced, but we might find good examples where a lot of power is given to the user willing to fight a bit.

These screencasts can follow themes and levels of difficulty.

They can be tricky in terms of keeping a newbie interested. Would the focus be on someone that wants to learn and is looking for clarity and efficiency or is it for someone that needs to be convinced/entertained? Both types of screencasts would have their audience.

If the name of the game is freshness and diversity (of apps.. of distros.. etc), learning some CLI can go a long way to allowing you to fight the odds to acquire these.

Needless to say, the cli is very useful to the technically sophisticated (dev or admin).


Related are basics in some scripting languages.

We can show examples of scripting games or apps like gimp. Python and scheme/lisp seem to be popular here.

We also have vb style macros in apps like Openoffice.

Joined: 2007-09-10
>> It could really be an

>> It could really be an interesting idea to go through the initial steps, kernel-choice (SMP or not), seeing it boot, selecting the keyboard-layout and then partitioning and configuration.
The latter part actually takes up most of the document, this there you have a bunch of settings you can set in order to have the system the way you want it.
The cast then could end with launching the installation-script and show the first few seconds of the installation-process.

The audience would not be newbies, but such a screencast (or family of screencasts) would open the door for a lot of people. In fact, this might help attract a lot of Windows admins/ service providers that have not been willing to take a leap to Linux or that would like more hands on experience. Compiling a kernel has its attraction, especially to be able to roughly understand many of the various configuration parameters (fwiw, I have never compiled a kernel.. in fact, I stopped before that step when I did LFS.. I was building a 2.4 platform from a 2.0 host and was not able to overcome all the issues that crept up before I got sidetracked to something else).

So I guess virtualization is extremely useful to making such a screencast .. cheaply (I haven't virt either). A screencast for setting up virtualization should be very useful.

And this would also be a useful screencast for introducing Easy/LFS to more tech oriented people. This isn't a screencast I have seen. That's for sure.

One approach to this would be for someone to just do it. Someone with an ability to handle criticism well, ie, be told they stink and the screencast stinks and everything they have ever done in life stinks. Then we could pick up the pieces and do a second version and so on.

A second approach is to plan it out, but I worry this approach may result in next to nothing at the end (before we move to approach one). In the early stages it may just help to have anything to work with. I don't really know though.

Also, if this picks up steam, we should be able to get participation from kernel people, lfs people, and an assortment of others. At that point, we might be able to end up with good "film." [Not to give up hope, but better to keep expectations tamed.. as is, I am being optimistic that more than two people will be attracted to this concept.]

[I might go and post on Tux Project under the "Target Markets" forum section to mention this particular audience mentioned above and may others .]

Joined: 2006-03-28
Well, I also always wanted

Well, I also always wanted to write that big kickass kernel-compilation-tutorial, but I think that might actually be something that's as possible as walking to the Moon. ;-)

As for a cast about virtualization, I could do something there about QEmu/KVM, since that's what I use. I guess that could be something to get warm, together with my cast of upgrading Fedora 7 to 8. Then I could go for the big badass of configuring EasyLFS. And if I feel really suicidal I could even imagine going for a kernel-cast.

Joined: 2007-09-10
>> Well, I also always

>> Well, I also always wanted to write that big kickass kernel-compilation-tutorial, but I think that might actually be something that's as possible as walking to the Moon.

My trophy case currently has a T-Rex head and a spot for a Bill G head. With one small step, I can reserve something for kernel compilation screencasting.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Sorry for dropping this

Sorry for dropping this idea off and then not replying. Smiling I'll be reading above and exploring the idea a bit further later on, but we don't have to rush too much. There are other projects that require attention.


Joined: 2006-03-28
Well, although there is no

Well, although there is no rush I think we can just pick up things as we go.
As mentioned I could do something about upgrading Fedora 7 to 8, which I'll do anyway this weekend, and since I work with QEmu and KVM every day it also shouldn't be a big deal to get something done on that, although here I'll need a bit more planning in order to not only show how I use it, but to explain the important options a bit, to show how to create an image-file, how snapshots work (and that they don't seem to work properly in KVM), things like that.

And I guess we should decide what format we should use. If we like it or not, I think Flash might be the best format for integration into a website, and to show it to people on different platforms. Of course a free format like OGG/Theora might be nice, but I don't know anybody who has that on Windows, including myself!

Joined: 2007-09-10
>> although here I'll need

>> although here I'll need a bit more planning in order to not only show how I use it, but to explain the important options a bit, to show

I truly understand the desire to clean up one's work, but keep in mind that we can all help. For example, once you have something, we may have suggestions on the colors, the narration, and any other facet of what shows or we hear.

>> And I guess we should decide what format we should use.

That is another unimportant detail early on because people will convert as necessary to fit the end destination.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
I say we offer ogg, avi and

I say we offer ogg, avi and if we must, flv.. We can offer ogg and avi integration on-site as well. It's not a problem to do in wordpress.


Joined: 2006-03-28
My concern is just that we

My concern is just that we somehow have to bring the data to the people. With Flash you have the advantage that there can be some sort of loading while viewing. I don't know if that's possible with AVIs or OGGs.
Also we should try not to make the videos monster-sized, because if people have to download 200MB of video they probably won't do it.

I will check with the german community I'm also participating in, there we also have video-tutorials, so I'll ask what's the average length and size of those videos.

Joined: 2006-03-28
Okay, the image for Fedora

Okay, the image for Fedora 8 32-Bit is done and recorded (on a Lightscribe-DVD which I burned that cool werewolf-logo onto) and the image for the 64-Bit version will be done in 10 minutes (and will go on a similarly labeled DVD).
That means that tomorrow I'll record the video "Pimp my Fedora", featuring the upgrade from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8, done in KVM.
Then let's see what to do with it... ;-)

Edit: The 64-Bit Image is also done and recorded. Now I got two nice Fedora 8 DVDs here. Since it's past 11 already I'll just do the upgrade tomorrow, as planned. But if my wife sleeps soon I might try it on the notebook already. ;-) Let's see.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Sounds good. I agree

Sounds good. Smiling

I agree videos shouldn't be too big. As for loading in browser while it's still playing.. not sure about that, but the plugin I've used in wordpress for my blog allows easily embedding even ogg files into the web site so people basically just have to click the play button and maybe wait a bit. With 1Mbit ADSL connection or better and firefox with movie player integration of some sort (most major distros have it) viewing should be fine.

But nothing's set in stone. We may very well provide a flv as default with links below for other formats.. we'll see.


Joined: 2006-03-28
Okay, I had a little idea

Okay, I had a little idea how to change my idea of making Fedora-upgrade-videos.
Since I also have a Fedora 6-DVD I deleted my old image and created a fresh one. There I installed a basic installation of Fedora 6.
This then I upgraded to Fedora 7, which I recorded.
The next step will be to take this system and then do the upgrade to Fedora 8, which of course then also will be recorded.
When in about 6 months Fedora 9 comes I can do a video from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9, and so on.
This can be a real series!

Of course some parts of the videos have to be cut, nobody wants to see 30 minutes of pure progress-bar movement. ;-)
All the stuff that takes a more than a minute can be reduced, thus saving time on the video (and also patience on the viewer) and filesize.

Joined: 2007-09-10
>> Of course some parts of

>> Of course some parts of the videos have to be cut, nobody wants to see 30 minutes of pure progress-bar movement.

You might be able to generalize that to save even more. It may usually be doable to cut whenver more than (eg) 5 seconds passes with very little changing on the screen. In those cases, we should be able to edit the screencast. A simple technique may be to black out to a message that says, "20 seconds later... " then jump in after the change or just before it.

Some strategies like what you mention we should all use in most cases (there are always exceptions) because it saves reviewers time and bandwidth. In general though, there may be many ways to skin a cat, and contributors, reviewers, etc, should feel comfortable giving ideas or (better) showing what they mean. The person providing the original working material is not expected to do all of the work. [Again, some tips like cutting out huge chunks of almost worthless video should be done whenever possible.]

>> This can be a real series!

And I have a feeling it is only the first baby steps on our way to learning to crawl.

Joined: 2006-03-28
Jose wrote:

And I have a feeling it is only the first baby steps on our way to learning to crawl.

Sure, but we have to start somewhere, right? ;-) If we never start we can never get better.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
If there is a need for

If there is a need for collaborative space we can start one up where people can upload materials and other people can download and edit them. We can publish a brief reference guide for how to edit them and in which programs. KDENlive, for example, seems quite usable for various editing purposes.

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