Thursday, March 19, 2009

Debugmode Wink ;-) on Ubuntu Intrepid

Update: As of Nov. 4, 2009 the wink.deb file in this page is not installable in Ubuntu Karmic Koala because 9.10 dropped libstdc++5 and is now using libstdc++6. Perhaps compiling a new deb package against libstdc++6 can be done but I don't have the time to test that yet. In the mean time readers are advised to install wine in Karmic and then the windows installer of wink. Wink version 2.0's sound recorder does not work in Ubuntu Karmic as far as I know, but the screen capture does work.

I consider screencasting tools as a workhorse for developing digital instructional content for distance education. Two of the best that is available for Ubuntu GNU/Linux are recordmydesktop and wink.

Screenshot of Wink

Wink is neither a "free software" nor an opensource software. But it is freeware. It's license states that:

"This program and the accompanied DLLs/plugins are FREEWARE. You can use it for personal, business, educational or any other need of yours, subject to ... restrictions:"

So if you're sensitive about licenses then stick to recordmydesktop.

Recordmydesktop produces theora-vorbis videos in ogg containers usually with the extension .ogv. The video can then be converted with mencoder to any other format (e.g. avi). On the other hand Wink produces flash swf applets. SWF's advantage over videos is having a smaller file. 20-30 MB of video may be equivalent to 5 MB of SWF with the same content.

Aside from this, swf allows some interactivity. Wink allows you two Goto Buttons aside from Next/Previous Buttons that allows you to jump to a frame. According to the Wink User Guide:

"This enables the creation of more complex flows though a presentation than just a linear flow from start to finish. If you are showing two ways to do a particular action in your presentation, you can capture screenshots of both ways and give the end user the option to choose which way he/she wants to see.

Another use would be if there is both some basic knowledge and more advanced knowledge in a presentation. Here it would be possible to make the option to jump directly to the advanced knowledge if the user already knows the basic stuff." (Madsen and Kumar, 17-18)

Wink in Ubuntu Intrepid

The Wink in Ubuntu Intrepid is older than that available for Windoze. It's currently Wink 1.5 build 1060. The main feature lacking in this version is the inability to record voice simultaneously with screencapture.

But even without that feature it's still a great software. Your user guide should be available in your computer at /usr/share/doc/wink/Wink User Guide.pdf.gz. And you can look at tutorials by clicking the help menu->View Tutorial Project 1. It will first ask you to render the tutorial. The preferences dialogue box will pop up and will ask you to put the path of your browser. Type the following in the box labeled "External HTML viewer path...":


Your tutorials reside at /usr/lib/wink/Samples/ (make sure to type Samples and not samples in your file browser because Ubuntu Linux is case sensitive). There you will find a sample.wnk, tutorial.wnk, and websample.wnk. You may want to open each in Wink.

Installing Wink on Ubuntu Intrepid AMD64

Wink does not have an ubuntu package for amd64 (ubuntu version not your chip; an amd64 machine can run i386 or amd64 flavors of ubuntu) , it only has for the i386 version. If you try to install the i386 wink, it will result in error in architecture.

First off install the following package:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Further instructions are here: Or just download the deb package I prepared following the said instructions here:

wink.deb (2.86 mb)

After downloading. Right-click and install with Gdebi or in a terminal window type:

dpkg -i wink.deb

Have fun (^-^)


Bent Moller Madsen, & Satish Kumar. S. (2003-2004). Debugmode 1.5. Wink User Guide [PDF].


  1. you provide a good information - update wink - that echos launchpad Wink package on Karmic. Thanks

    I like Wink, although its application is limited on Linux (notabliy the Windows manager bug & num lock bug)

    For the video sc. I use ffmpeg and huffyuv lossless codec. gtk-recordMyDeskop output ogv (re-encoding a lossy codec is called transcoding and reduce the output quality)

    anyway it was nice reading your blog.

  2. I got it working in Lucid. For directions go to


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