Sunday, May 15, 2011

webex file formats (arf/wrf) and Ubuntu 10.x

Now I went out and subscribed to webinars that are recorded on webex . Unfortunately for me, ubuntu doesn't have a player for arf and wrf formats. If you're in that bowl of soup...fear not, here's what you do:

webex provides a host of tools to make your life easier. The one you need is the converter for arf to mp4 that vlc or most media players can handle.

Its really simple:
untar and extract a '.sh' file
tar - xvf nbr2mp4.tar
chmod +x

a folder nbr2_mp4 will be created, go in there and run
./nbr2mp4 'abcd.arf'
output will be
or whatever you want to name it.
you can change the FPS - frames per second to whatever you need. I left the default 5 for my case.

As its working, you can preview the file just to be sure it works with vlc in the /tmp directory. a file like:

cd /tmp
ls -lrta 
-rw-r--r--  1 jgitau jgitau 1355776 2011-05-15 18:50 wbx_nbr_3523.h264
will be available. when its done - it takes a while, you'll get an mp4 file that you can play.

vlc wbx_nbr_3523.h264


  1. Hi.

    I tried to follow Your instructions on Ubuntu 10.10, converting a 20Mb arf file.
    After one night, the resulting h264 file was 190Mb, and the process was still running...
    I guess something went wrong, but what ? Any idea ?

  2. I tried this too. The conversion program doesn't like directory names in the path with a space.. corrected that and the process started. 3hrs later and still grinding away..

  3. Hi,
    I installed the nbr2mp4.tar in my server.
    when I run the conversion command
    ./nbr2mp4 file.arf ./ 6 ,

    its giving message like -- 'nbr2mp4: unable to open display "" '.
    what other settings are needed to work fine.I need the solution asap.Please help.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi
      I know, your question is very old; but I have the same problem right now. Did you solve it?
      Thanks in advance.

  4. Ubuntu 12.04.. I've left the conversion process to go on all night and it's still not done. I know it's still working because I can see the processor cores are still being heavily utilised and the output file in /tmp exists and is increasing in size.. 20 MB source file is approx 500+ MB now. The final file is not ready yet, so when I play the .MP4 file in /tmp, there's no audio yet. Should I wait or should I kill the process and try a more efficient method?

  5. one small mistake on command tar -xvf download.tar (because if we leave - xvf) system understand that - means sysinput (console). other problems with this script is that when you run and you especify folder/file of input and folder/file of output this script says that we do not have authority to write on. but if you put delimiters with '/home/usradm/filein.arf' '/home/usradm/fileout.mp4' all things is gone ok. i use debian squeeze i386.
    while converting this script sends sound to speakers. there are a more jerk mode of doing this? where we found specs of this mode webex way of work? we need build something that ffmpeg or avconv handle this vcodec h264 on linux way. please who find or have hints they are well come. thanks for your post.

  6. To convert WRF to MP4 on Mac or Windows, you may try this method at