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I am running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-Bit, and I am attempting to use avconv to record the primary display connected to my computer (resolution of 1920x1080) using x11grab at 30 frames per second, along with audio from the default audio device connected to my computer through pulse.

However, when I run the command:

avconv -f x11grab -s hd1080 -r 30 -i :0.0 pulse -i default recording.ogv

the terminal prints out the error:

Unable to find a suitable output format for 'pulse'.

What is causing this error message to be displayed?

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avconv is assuming that your output is named "pulse", so you need to add some additional options to indicate that it is an input. I use ffmpeg from the FFmpeg project and not avconv from the fork so I'll use ffmpeg for my examples.

ffmpeg -f x11grab -s hd1080 -r 30 -i :0.0 -f pulse -i default recording.ogv

Unfortunately this won't work with avconv from the repository because it was not compiled with --enable-libpulse as far as I know. So instead you can try:

ffmpeg -f x11grab -s hd1080 -r 30 -i :0.0 -f alsa -i pulse recording.ogv

If you find that you need to use -f pulse then you will have to compile. See How To Compile FFmpeg and x264 on Ubuntu for a complete guide. You will need to additionally add libpulse-dev as a dependency and --enable-libpulse to the configure line. Also see HOWTO: Proper Screencasting on Linux for some good x11grab examples. It's for ffmpeg but should probably work for avconv.

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Could you possibly clarify how to use ffmpeg on Ubuntu 12.04 becaues when I try to run an ffmpeg command, I get the message: This program is not developed anymore and is only provided for compatibility. Use avconv instead (see Changelog for the list of incompatible changes). – Kevin Gurney May 14 '12 at 20:44
In 12.04 the avconv and ffmpeg binaries are from the same repository package and there is no difference other than the name. See Who can tell me the difference and relation between ffmpeg, libav, and avconv for more details. – LordNeckbeard May 14 '12 at 22:29

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