Terminal session recorder


Associate the local install of asciinema with an account

$ asciinema auth

Make a new recording (once finished, user will be prompted to upload it or save it locally)
$ asciinema rec

Make a new recording and save it to a local file
$ asciinema rec [path/to/file].cast

Replay a terminal recording from a local file
$ asciinema play [path/to/file].cast

Replay a terminal recording hosted on
$ asciinema play[cast_id]

Make a new recording, limiting any idle time to at most 2.5 seconds
$ asciinema rec -i [2.5]

Print the full output of a locally saved recording
$ asciinema cat [path/to/file].cast

Upload a locally saved terminal session to
$ asciinema upload [path/to/file].cast


asciinema --version

asciinema command [options] [args]


asciinema lets you easily record terminal sessions and replay them in a terminal as well as in a web browser.


asciinema is composed of multiple commands, similar to git, apt-get or brew.

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

rec [filename]

Record terminal session.

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 omitted then (after asking for confirmation) the resulting asciicast is uploaded to asciinema-server ( (by default to, where it can be watched and shared.

If the filename argument is given then the resulting recording (called asciicast (doc/ is saved to a local file. It can later be replayed with asciinema play <filename> and/or uploaded to asciinema server with asciinema upload <filename>.

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 the shell is being recorded.

Available options:


Enable stdin (keyboard) recording (see below)


Append to existing recording


Save raw STDOUT output, without timing information or other metadata


Overwrite the recording if it already exists

-c, --command=<command>

Specify command to record, defaults to $SHELL

-e, --env=<var-names>

List of environment variables to capture, defaults to SHELL,TERM

-t, --title=<title>

Specify the title of the asciicast

-i, --idle-time-limit=<sec>

Limit recorded terminal inactivity to max <sec> seconds

-y, --yes

Answer “yes” to all prompts (e.g. upload confirmation)

-q, --quiet

Be quiet, suppress all notices/warnings (implies -y)

Stdin recording allows for capturing of all characters typed in by the user in the currently recorded shell. This may be used by a player (e.g. asciinema-player ( to display pressed keys. Because it's basically a key-logging (scoped to a single shell instance), it's disabled by default, and has to be explicitly enabled via –stdin option.

play <filename>

Replay recorded asciicast in a terminal.

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

Following keyboard shortcuts are available:

Space - toggle pause,
. - step through a recording a frame at a time (when paused),
Ctrl+C - exit.

Playing from a local file:

asciinema play /path/to/asciicast.cast

Playing from HTTP(S) URL:

asciinema play
asciinema play

Playing from asciicast page URL (requires <link rel="alternate" type="application/x-asciicast" href="/my/ascii.cast"> in page's HTML):

asciinema play
asciinema play

Playing from stdin:

cat /path/to/asciicast.cast | asciinema play -
ssh user@host cat asciicast.cast | asciinema play -

Playing from IPFS:

asciinema play dweb:/ipfs/QmNe7FsYaHc9SaDEAEXbaagAzNw9cH7YbzN4xV7jV1MCzK/ascii.cast
Available options:

-i, --idle-time-limit=<sec>

Limit replayed terminal inactivity to max <sec> seconds

-s, --speed=<factor>

Playback speed (can be fractional)

cat <filename>

Print full output of recorded asciicast to a terminal.

While asciinema play replays the recorded session using timing information saved in the asciicast, asciinema cat dumps the full output (including all escape sequences) to a terminal immediately.

asciinema cat existing.cast >output.txt gives the same result as recording via asciinema rec --raw output.txt.


Upload recorded asciicast to site.

This command uploads given asciicast (recorded by rec command) to, where it can be watched and shared.

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


Link your install ID with your user account.

If you want to manage your recordings (change title/theme, delete) at you need to link your “install ID” with user account.

This command displays the URL to open in a web browser to do that. You may be asked to log in first.

Install ID is a random ID (UUID v4 ( generated locally when you run asciinema for the first time, and saved at $HOME/.config/asciinema/install-id. It's purpose is to connect local machine with uploaded recordings, so they can later be associated with account. This way we decouple uploading from account creation, allowing them to happen in any order.

Note: A new install ID is generated on each machine and system user account you use asciinema on, so in order to keep all recordings under a single account you need to run asciinema auth on all of those machines.

Note: asciinema versions prior to 2.0 confusingly referred to install ID as “API token”.


Record your first session:

asciinema rec first.cast

Now replay it with double speed:

asciinema play -s 2 first.cast

Or with normal speed but with idle time limited to 2 seconds:

asciinema play -i 2 first.cast

You can pass -i 2 to asciinema rec as well, to set it permanently on a recording. Idle time limiting makes the recordings much more interesting to watch, try it.

If you want to watch and share it on the web, upload it:

asciinema upload first.cast

The above uploads it to <>, which is a default asciinema-server (<>) instance, and prints a secret link you can use to watch your recording in a web browser.

You can record and upload in one step by omitting the filename:

asciinema rec

You'll be asked to confirm the upload when the recording is done, so nothing is sent anywhere without your consent.



This variable allows overriding asciinema-server URL (which defaults to in case you're running your own asciinema-server instance.


This variable allows overriding config directory location. Default location is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/asciinema (when $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is set) or $HOME/.config/asciinema.


See GitHub Issues: <>


asciinema's lead developer is Marcin Kulik.

For a list of all contributors look here: <>

This Manual Page was written by Marcin Kulik with help from Kurt Pfeifle.

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