Recording with a camera using Cheese

Recording the screen with an external camera has the following advantages over recording with a screencast:

  • Recording a whole session, even if the user restarts Tails.
  • Saving the video directly to your computer and not relying on the computer used for the tests.

You can use a document camera. The Ziggi-HD Plus by IPEVO works fine from Tails.

  1. Move the AF switch of the camera to C to have continuous autofocus.

  2. Install Cheese:

    apt install cheese ffmpegthumbnailer

  3. In Cheese, choose Menu ▸ Preferences and adjust the video resolution to find a good trade-off between resolution and fluidity.

    On my ThinkPad X250, I use 1280 × 720.

  4. Adjust the orientation of the camera to capture as much of the screen as possible while not obfuscating the light of sight of the participant.

Recording a screencast

Recording the screen with a screencast has the following advantages over recording with an external camera:

  • Better image quality
  • Lighter setup

Using GNOME Shell

Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R in GNOME to start or stop capturing a screencast.

The video is saved to ~/Videos/.

Unfortunately, this screencast has no sound and more complete applications like Kazam stopped working in Tails 5.8 (December 2022). Tails 6.0 (mid 2023) should integrate better screencast features. (#19441)

Until then, you can record the sound with Sound Recorder.