record and replay interactive terminal sessions
Playitagainsam is a tool and a corresponding file format for recording and replaying interactive terminal sessions. It takes inspiration from the unix commands “script” and “ttyrec” and the python tool “playerpiano”.
Useful features include:
- ability to replay with fake typing for enhanced “interactivity”
- ability to replay synchronized output in multiple terminals
It’s early days, still kinda buggy and easy to crash. But I hope this will be resolved in short order!
Run the software using either the included “pias” script, or using the python module-running syntax of “python -m playitagainsam”.
Record a session like this:
$ pias record <output-file>
This will drop you into a shell and record all the input and output that occurs during the session. Once you exit the shell, all activity will be written into the output file as a JSON document.
Replay a recorded session like this:
$ pias play <input-file>
This will start a simulated playback of the original shell. Press any keys to type, and hit “enter” when you reach the end of a line.
Playitagainsam has some extra features that distinguish it from similar solutions.
It’s possible to record activity in several terminals simultaneously as part of a single session, which can be useful for e.g. demonstrating a server process in one terminal and a client process in another. Join a new terminal to an existing recording session like this:
$ pias --join record <output-file>
Choice of Manual or Automated Typing
While the default playback mode assumes interactive typing, it is also possible to have pias type automatically for you. You can have it enter individual commands but wait for you to manually trigger each newline like this:
$ pias play <input-file> --auto-type
Or you can have it automatically type all input like this:
$ pias play <input-file> --auto-type --auto-waypoint
These options both accept an integer millisecond value which will control the speed of the automated typing.
And an example presentation using this code is at:
Getting this all running just right can be tricky business! Here’s some thing that you should be aware of:
- All terminals should be using utf8 encoding, or you’ll see strange output and probably some outright errors.
- All terminals in a session should be the same size. This restriction may go away in the future.