How to install FFmpeg on Linux

Last updated on October 22, 2020 by Dan Nanni

FFmpeg is cross-platform free software that can record, transcode, filter and stream audio and video data. FFmpeg builds are available for Linux, Windows and MacOS X platforms. While FFmpeg itself is a versatile multimedia tool for end-users, it also provides audio/video codec library with which many multimedia applications are built.

If you want to install FFmpeg on Linux, there are distro-specific ways to do it. In this post, I will describe how to install FFmpeg on various Linux distros.

Install FFmpeg on Ubuntu, Debian or Linux Mint

To install FFmpeg on Ubuntu, Debian or Linux Mint, you can compile it yourself. Follow this guide to build FFmpeg from the source.

Install FFmpeg on CentOS or RHEL

To install FFmpeg on CentOS or RHEL, first enable Repoforge on your system, and then run the following.

$ sudo yum install ffmpeg

Install FFmpeg on Fedora

To install FFmpeg on Fedora, first set up RPM Fusion on your system, and then use the following command.

$ sudo yum install ffmpeg

If you want to compile FFmpeg from the source on a CentOS/Fedora-based system, follow this guide instead.

Find a List of Codecs Supported by FFmpeg

If you want to know what codecs are supported by FFmpeg, you can use the following commands.

To show available video codecs in FFmpeg:

$ ffmpeg -codecs | grep "^.{3}V"
 . . . . .
 DEVSD  flv             Flash Video (FLV) / Sorenson Spark / Sorenson H.263
 D V D  fraps           Fraps
 DEV D  gif             GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
 DEV D  h261            H.261
 DEVSDT h263            H.263 / H.263-1996
 D VSD  h263i           Intel H.263
  EV    h263p           H.263+ / H.263-1998 / H.263 version 2
 D V D  h264            H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10
 D V D  h264_vdpau      H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10 (VDPAU acceleration)
 . . . . .

To show available audio codecs in FFmpeg:

$ ffmpeg -codecs | grep "^.{3}A"
 D A D  8svx_exp        8SVX exponential
 D A D  8svx_fib        8SVX fibonacci
 DEA D  aac             Advanced Audio Coding
 D A D  aac_latm        AAC LATM (Advanced Audio Codec LATM syntax)
 DEA D  ac3             ATSC A/52A (AC-3)
  EA    ac3_fixed       ATSC A/52A (AC-3)
 D A D  adpcm_4xm       ADPCM 4X Movie
 DEA D  adpcm_adx       SEGA CRI ADX ADPCM
 D A D  adpcm_ct        ADPCM Creative Technology
 D A D  adpcm_ea        ADPCM Electronic Arts
 D A D  adpcm_ea_maxis_xa ADPCM Electronic Arts Maxis CDROM XA
 . . . . .

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