The objective is to Install FFmpeg on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.

This guide will provide you with an information on how to install FFmpeg on Ubuntu 18.04 from a standard Ubuntu repository as well as how to install latest FFmpeg by compiling it from a source.

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver


Privileged access to your Ubuntu System as root or via sudo command is required.




  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user


Install FFmpeg from Ubuntu Repository

The easiest way to install FFmpeg on Ubuntu is to use the apt command, open up terminal and enter:
$ sudo apt install ffmpeg
In most cases you do not need to go any further. To check for a installed ffmpeg version run:
$ ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg version 3.4.2-1build1 Copyright (c) 2000-2018 the FFmpeg developers
To see all available FFmpeg's encoders and decoders execute:
$ ffmpeg -encoders
$ ffmpeg -decoders

Install FFmpeg from source

This FFmpeg installation will yield the highest possible FFmpeg and codes versions.


The following linux command will install all FFmpeg compilation prerequisites for Ubuntu 18.04:
 $ sudo apt install -y libopus-dev libmp3lame-dev libfdk-aac-dev libvpx-dev libx264-dev yasm libass-dev libtheora-dev libvorbis-dev mercurial cmake
We will also need libx265-dev development library. However, the version of x256 from Ubuntu's libx265-dev package is lower than expected by latest FFmpeg source code.

You may try to install libx265-dev using $ sudo apt install libx265-dev and fast forward to compilation. However, if you see ERROR: x265 not found using pkg-confg you will need to compile the x256 library from source using the below commands:
$ mkdir ~/ffmpeg; cd ~/ffmpeg
$ hg clone https://bitbucket.org/multicoreware/x265
$ cd x265/build/linux 
$ PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH" cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="$HOME/ffmpeg_build" -DENABLE_SHARED:bool=off ../../source && PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH" 
$ make && make install

Compile and Install FFmpeg

Once we have all the prerequisites installed we are now ready to compile FFmpeg.

First download the latest FFmpeg source code:
$ if [ -d ~/ffmpeg ]; then cd ~/ffmpeg; else mkdir ~/ffmpeg && cd ~/ffmpeg; fi
$ wget -O- http://ffmpeg.org/releases/ffmpeg-snapshot.tar.bz2 | tar xj
Navigate to the newly extracted ffmpeg directory:
$ cd ~/ffmpeg/ffmpeg
Next, compile and install FFmpeg by coping the below text into your terminal and hitting the ENTER key. Be patient as this may take some time:

PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH" PKG_CONFIG_PATH="$HOME/ffmpeg_build/lib/pkgconfig" \
   ./configure \
  --prefix="$HOME/ffmpeg_build" \
  --pkg-config-flags="--static" \
  --extra-cflags="-I$HOME/ffmpeg_build/include" \
  --extra-ldflags="-L$HOME/ffmpeg_build/lib" \
  --extra-libs="-lpthread -lm" \
  --bindir="$HOME/bin" \
  --enable-gpl \
  --enable-libass \
  --enable-libfdk-aac \
  --enable-libfreetype \
  --enable-libmp3lame \
  --enable-libopus \
  --enable-libtheora \
  --enable-libvorbis \
  --enable-libvpx \
  --enable-libx264 \
  --enable-libx265 \
  --enable-nonfree && \
PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH" make && make install
If successful, your should now have the ffmpeg command available on your Ubuntu system:
$ ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg version N-90268-g9fe61b6 Copyright (c) 2000-2018 the FFmpeg developers
built with gcc 7 (Ubuntu 7.3.0-5ubuntu1)
For additional information on how to remove and update your FFmpeg installation visit https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/CompilationGuide/Ubuntu
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