I'd like to show a Linux installation process in real-time, by broadcasting a video (a livestream like the ones you can see on twitch.tv and other similar sites).

I know it's possible to take screenshots and record videos of the framebuffer and event that there are existing tools for the former.

Now from what I understand it should be possible because it's just like broadcasting a video from X11 but with a different FFMPEG backend, but I may be wrong.
I'd like to know if:

  • There's any reason why this shouldn't be possible
  • There's an existing tool for this or any other solution that would not require me to drop down to a low-level language (for example, a way to do it using a shell script), so far I haven't found anything.
  • 1
    ffmpeg can record and broadcast the framebuffer via fbdev, but how would you intend to run it on the same machine you are installing the OS to?
    – llogan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 2:07
  • Will it be impossible to run it on the live install media?
    – ohmree
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:27
  • I'll guess that you can (it's been a while since I installed Linux–been running the same rolling release for years). I'll undelete my answer; maybe it will be helpful once you get ffmpeg installed.
    – llogan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:41
  • I found this, I'll read through it and try doing what I wanted, if it works I'll post the results in an answer and mark it as the solution :)
    – ohmree
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:50
  • 1
    I wouldn't put much faith in that particular guide: it was written by a scatterbrained user. To me it seems more like a hastily written, badly formatted "notes to self" than an actual guide.
    – llogan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


I'll leave installation of ffmpeg up to you. Once you get it installed you can try using fbdev in ffmpeg.

Basic example:

ffmpeg -f fbdev -framerate 25 -i /dev/fb0 output.mp4

Streaming example:

ffmpeg -f fbdev -framerate 25 -i /dev/fb0 -c:v libx264 -preset veryfast -maxrate 2000k -bufsize 4000k -vf "format=yuv420p" -g 50 -f flv rtmp://live.twitch.tv/app/<stream key>

Also see:

  • Well I guess this works. I had problems both on Facebook (their streaming thing is so bad, you must open a specific web page and it was inaccessible so I had to find a website that gave me my stream key which was useless because the page I mentioned refused to load) and on Youtube (it showed that I was streaming at the beginning but I couldn't see my framebuffer and after a while it just said I'm offline). I'm still going to accept this because it may work for other people and I'm not interested in streaming my framebuffer anymore.
    – ohmree
    Aug 18, 2017 at 8:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.