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Turn R scripts into terminal screencasts

asciicast takes an R script and turns it into an asciinema cast. It can simulate typing, and records all terminal output in real time as it happens.


  • Input is an R script, output is a v2 asciicast recording.
  • Record all terminal output in real time, as it happens.
  • Simulate typing in the commands, with a configurable, randomized speed.
  • Alternatively, whole comment blocks or expressions can just appear on the screen.
  • Convert casts to SVG images using svg-term. The package comes with its own svg-term bundle, no external dependencies are needed.
  • Render a single frame of a cast as an SVG image.
  • Configurable delay at the beginning, at the end and between paragraphs.
  • HTML widget, to be used in Rmarkdown documents, e.g. in vignettes.
  • Read casts from asciinema JSON files (version 2), or from directly.
  • Special knitr engine to create R markdown files with ascii casts. See the asciicast-demo vignette.
  • Create ascii casts in GitHub READMEs via animated SVG files. See an example in inst/examples or the README.Rmd source of the README file you are reading.



You can install the released version of asciicast from CRAN:



See the inst/examples directory for these examples.

Hello world

The input script:

print("Hello world!")

The result:

Asciicast demo in asciicast

Input script that uses asciicast itself:

#' Title: asciicast example recorded in asciicast
#' Empty_wait: 3
#' End_wait: 20

# An example for using asciicast, recorded in asciicast itself!      #!

# First, save the R code you want to run, in a script file.          #!
# The file can contain any code, including interactive code,         #!
# as long as it is a syntactically valid R file.                     #!

# Second, perform the recording with the `record()` function.        #!
# We are recording an example file now, that comes with the package. #!

src <- system.file("examples", "hello.R", package = "asciicast")
cast <- asciicast::record(src)

# `cast` is an `asciicast` object, which has some metadata and the   #!
# recording itself:                                                  #!


# You can write `cast` to a JSON file that can be played by any      #!
# asciinema player. Or you can write it to an SVG file that can      #!
# be embedded into a web page, or a GitHub README.                   #!

svg <- tempfile(fileext = ".svg")
asciicast::write_svg(cast, svg, window = TRUE)

Errors are recorded

Input script with errors:

#' End_wait: 20
# Demonstrate that errors are handled well

# Base R error

# callr errors are saved to `.Last.error`, including a stack trace
callr::r(function() library("another-failure"))


MIT @ RStudio