How to compile and install FFmpeg on Debian/Ubuntu

Here’s how to build and install FFmpeg from source with all the bells and whistles (i.e codec support).  We’ll install it as a custom Debian package using checkinstall. That way, any other package that depends on the ffmpeg package will recognize that it is already installed, and won’t try to fetch it from the Debian or Ubuntu software repositories.

Install the dependencies

sudo apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf automake cmake libtool git
checkinstall

mkdir ffmpegtemp
cd ffmpegtemp

mkdir aom
cd aom
git clone https://aomedia.googlesource.com/aom
cmake aom/ -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=1
make
sudo checkinstall -y --deldoc=yes --pkgversion=1.0.0
cd ..

git clone https://github.com/hoene/libmysofa
cd mysopha
cd build
cmake ..
cd build
cpack
sudo apt-get remove libmysopha0 libmysopha-dev
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
cd..

sudo apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf automake cmake libtool git \      
checkinstall nasm yasm libass-dev libfreetype6-dev libsdl2-dev p11-kit \           
libva-dev libvdpau-dev libvorbis-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-shm0-dev \                 
libxcb-xfixes0-dev pkg-config texinfo wget zlib1g-dev libchromaprint-dev \         
frei0r-plugins-dev gnutls-dev ladspa-sdk libcaca-dev libcdio-paranoia-dev \        
libcodec2-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-dev libfribidi-dev libgme-dev \      
libgsm1-dev libjack-dev libmodplug-dev libmp3lame-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev \      
libopencore-amrwb-dev libopenjp2-7-dev libopenmpt-dev libopus-dev \                
libpulse-dev librsvg2-dev librubberband-dev librtmp-dev libshine-dev \             
libsmbclient-dev libsnappy-dev libsoxr-dev libspeex-dev libssh-dev \               
libtesseract-dev libtheora-dev libtwolame-dev libv4l-dev libvo-amrwbenc-dev \      
libvorbis-dev libvpx-dev libwavpack-dev libwebp-dev libx264-dev libx265-dev \      
libxvidcore-dev libxml2-dev libzmq3-dev libzvbi-dev liblilv-dev \    
libopenal-dev opencl-dev libjack-dev

Install the non-free dependencies too, if you want to convert decrypted Blu-Ray content:

sudo apt-get -y install libbluray-dev libfdk-aac-dev

Download and extract the FFmpeg source code

wget https://ffmpeg.org/releases/ffmpeg-4.2.1.tar.bz2
tar -xf ffmpeg-4.2.1.tar.bz2
rm ffmpeg-4.2.1.tar.bz2
cd ffmpeg-4.2.1

Configure the build

With free dependencies only

./configure --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --disable-static --enable-shared --enable-small --enable-avisynth --enable-chromaprint --enable-frei0r --enable-gmp --enable-gnutls --enable-ladspa --enable-libaom --enable-libass --enable-libcaca --enable-libcdio --enable-libcodec2 --enable-libfontconfig --enable-libfreetype --enable-libfribidi --enable-libgme --enable-libgsm --enable-libjack --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopenmpt --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse --enable-librsvg --enable-librubberband --enable-librtmp --enable-libshine --enable-libsmbclient --enable-libsnappy --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libssh --enable-libtesseract --enable-libtheora --enable-libtwolame --enable-libv4l2 --enable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libwebp --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libxml2 --enable-libzmq --enable-libzvbi --enable-lv2 --enable-libmysofa --enable-openal --enable-opencl --enable-opengl --enable-libdrm

Or, including non-free

./configure --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --disable-static \
--enable-shared --enable-small --enable-avisynth --enable-chromaprint \
--enable-frei0r --enable-gmp --enable-gnutls --enable-ladspa \
--enable-libaom --enable-libass --enable-libcaca --enable-libcdio \
--enable-libcodec2 --enable-libfontconfig --enable-libfreetype \
--enable-libfribidi --enable-libgme --enable-libgsm --enable-libjack \
--enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb \
--enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopencore-amrwb \
--enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopenmpt --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse \
--enable-librsvg --enable-librubberband --enable-librtmp --enable-libshine \
--enable-libsnappy --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex \
--enable-libssh --enable-libtesseract --enable-libtheora \
--enable-libtwolame --enable-libv4l2 --enable-libvo-amrwbenc \
--enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libwebp \
--enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libxml2 \
--enable-libzmq --enable-libzvbi --enable-lv2 --enable-libmysofa \
--enable-openal --enable-opencl --enable-opengl --enable-libdrm \
--enable-nonfree --enable-libfdk-aac --enable-libbluray

Build

make

Purge any existing package installation

sudo apt-get -y purge ffmpeg "libav*" " libpostproc*"
sudo apt-get -y autoremove

Install your custom FFmpeg build as a package

sudo checkinstall -y --deldoc=yes --pkgversion=10:4.2.1
cd ..
rm -rf ffmpegtemp

28 thoughts on “How to compile and install FFmpeg on Debian/Ubuntu”

  1. this doesn’t work for debian 8
    ges/mysite/Build/aom# cmake aom/
    CMake Error at CMakeLists.txt:11 (cmake_minimum_required):
    CMake 3.5 or higher is required. You are running version 3.0.2

    — Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!

    Reply
  2. I tried this on an Ubuntu 18.04 and during the Build stage, the make fails:
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    CC libavcodec/lclenc.o
    CC libavcodec/libaomdec.o
    CC libavcodec/libaomenc.o
    libavcodec/libaomenc.c:703:109: error: ‘AOM_ERROR_RESILIENT_PARTITIONS’ undeclared here (not in a function); did you mean ‘AOM_ERROR_RESILIENT_DEFAULT’?
    ” is still done over the partition boundary.”, 0, AV_OPT_TYPE_CONST, {.i64 = AOM_ERROR_RESILIENT_PARTITIONS}, 0, 0, VE, “er”},
    ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    AOM_ERROR_RESILIENT_DEFAULT
    ffbuild/common.mak:60: recipe for target ‘libavcodec/libaomenc.o’ failed
    make: *** [libavcodec/libaomenc.o] Error 1
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Just thought I would pass it on.

    Reply
  3. Even after apply the patch I cannot get to compile

    /usr/bin/ld: /usr/local/lib/libaom.a(aom_config.c.o): relocation R_X86_64_32 against `.rodata.str1.8′ can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC
    /usr/local/lib/libaom.a: error adding symbols: Bad value
    collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
    ffbuild/library.mak:102: recipe for target ‘libavcodec/libavcodec.so.58’ failed
    make: *** [libavcodec/libavcodec.so.58] Error 1

    Reply
  4. When I’m trying to compile ffmpeg, I have this error

    nasm/yasm not found or too old. Use –disable-x86asm for a crippled build.

    If you think configure made a mistake, make sure you are using the latest
    version from Git. If the latest version fails, report the problem to the
    [email protected] mailing list or IRC #ffmpeg on irc.freenode.net.
    Include the log file “ffbuild/config.log” produced by configure as this will help
    solve the problem.

    Reply
  5. I solved the ffmpeg issue with aom by compiling aom as a shared library:
    cmake aom/ -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=1
    as per (aom/README.md)

    Reply
  6. After removing libavcodec I ended up in command line on boot.
    Looks like libs from this custom ffmpeg package were not linked properly. Any suggestions how to fix?

    Reply
    • I’m stuck there too… really wish someone answered with a solution. Google isn’t helping much… =/

      LD libavcodec/libavcodec.so.58
      /usr/bin/ld: /usr/local/lib/libaom.a(noise_model.c.o): relocation R_X86_64_PC32 against symbol `[email protected]@GLIBC_2.2.5′ can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC
      /usr/bin/ld: final link failed: Bad value
      collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
      ffbuild/library.mak:102: recipe for target ‘libavcodec/libavcodec.so.58’ failed
      make: *** [libavcodec/libavcodec.so.58] Error 1

      Reply
  7. 1) Small typo in instructions;
    –enable-small–enable-avisynth
    should read:
    –enable-small –enable-avisynth
    2) git clone …
    can be
    git clone –depth=1 …
    to avoid unecessary repo history
    3) aom: for this error: “relocation R_X86_64_PC32 against symbol `[email protected]@GLIBC_2.2.5′ can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC” the following works:
    delete ffmpegtemp directory, take all same steps for aom again, but change;
    cmake aom/
    to;
    cmake aom/ -DAOM_EXTRA_C_FLAGS=-fPIC
    then just go back to ffmpeg directory and type make again, build will complete
    4) Latest: https://ffmpeg.org/releases/ffmpeg-4.1.3.tar.gz

    Enjoy & God bless

    Reply
  8. HI,

    I have this warning:

    /usr/bin/ld: warning: libavcodec.so.57, needed by /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/7/../../../x86_64-linux-gnu/libchromaprint.so, may conflict with libavcodec.so.58
    /usr/bin/ld: warning: libavutil.so.55, needed by /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/7/../../../x86_64-linux-gnu/libchromaprint.so, may conflict with libavutil.so.56
    /usr/bin/ld: warning: libswresample.so.2, needed by //usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libavcodec.so.57, may conflict with libswresample.so.3

    Then:
    [email protected]:~/ffmpegtemp/ffmpeg-4.0$ ffmpeg
    ffmpeg: error while loading shared libraries: libavdevice.so.58: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Reply
  9. What a pain in the lower rear… Can anybody provide an Ubuntu build with all the non-free stuff and VAAPI/GPU-encoding included? (or even a Windows EXE to run in Wine, that would be super practical and straight forward…)

    Reply
  10. wow! thank you Sean – this went very well.

    just one little fix on the page formatting: at installing the dependencies
    “sudo apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf automake …\”

    there is white space after each backslash so if we paste the whole block in at the prompt it wants to checkinstall nasm – not the intended consequence!

    the ./configure block is clear of any trailing white space and works as intended.

    Reply
  11. I’ve been using linux for a couple years, but am still a novice, after a bunch of headaches, here are my notes from my install on MX linux 19
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    1. Before you start, you have to have to add MX Linux’s AHS repository:

    Launch synaptic package manager > settings > Repositories > New, then enter
    Binary: deb
    URI: http://mxrepo.com/mx/repo/
    Distribution: buster ahs
    Click OK
    Check the Enabled box next to the new http://mxrepo.com/mx/repo/ entry

    or you run into a bunch of dependency errors when you try to install libsdl2-dev.
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    2. Before you get to the installing libmysofa you have to install yasm by running:

    sudo apt get yasm

    or you’ll get an error
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    3. Running “git clone https://github.com/hoene/libmysofa” creates a folder called “libmysofa” not “mysopha”, so after it finishes downloading run:

    cd libmysofa

    instead of “cd mysopha”
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    4. after running “sudo dpkg -i *.deb” in the mysofa run

    cd ..

    instead of “cd..” because it’s missing a space and so won’t move up the directory.
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    5. Before configuring the ffmpeg build you have to run:

    sudo apt install libdrm-dev

    otherwise you get an error saying that the pkg can’t find it. (added to the list below)
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    6. When installing the long list of dependencies and running the ffmegpeg configuration MX Linux will ignore all the commands after the first \, so remove all of them and enter them as one long list instead:

    sudo apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf automake cmake libtool git checkinstall nasm yasm libass-dev libfreetype6-dev libsdl2-dev p11-kit libva-dev libvdpau-dev libvorbis-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-shm0-dev libxcb-xfixes0-dev pkg-config texinfo wget zlib1g-dev libchromaprint-dev frei0r-plugins-dev gnutls-dev ladspa-sdk libcaca-dev libcdio-paranoia-dev libcodec2-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-dev libfribidi-dev libgme-dev libgsm1-dev libjack-dev libmodplug-dev libmp3lame-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libopenjp2-7-dev libopenmpt-dev libopus-dev libpulse-dev librsvg2-dev librubberband-dev librtmp-dev libshine-dev libsmbclient-dev libsnappy-dev libsoxr-dev libspeex-dev libssh-dev libtesseract-dev libtheora-dev libtwolame-dev libv4l-dev libvo-amrwbenc-dev libvorbis-dev libvpx-dev libwavpack-dev libwebp-dev libx264-dev libx265-dev libxvidcore-dev libxml2-dev libzmq3-dev libzvbi-dev liblilv-dev libopenal-dev opencl-dev libjack-dev libdrm-dev

    ./configure –enable-gpl –enable-version3 –disable-static –enable-shared –enable-small –enable-avisynth –enable-chromaprint –enable-frei0r –enable-gmp –enable-gnutls –enable-ladspa –enable-libaom –enable-libass –enable-libcaca –enable-libcdio –enable-libcodec2 –enable-libfontconfig –enable-libfreetype –enable-libfribidi –enable-libgme –enable-libgsm –enable-libjack –enable-libmodplug –enable-libmp3lame –enable-libopencore-amrnb –enable-libopencore-amrwb –enable-libopencore-amrwb –enable-libopenjpeg –enable-libopenmpt –enable-libopus –enable-libpulse –enable-librsvg –enable-librubberband –enable-librtmp –enable-libshine –enable-libsnappy –enable-libsoxr –enable-libspeex –enable-libssh –enable-libtesseract –enable-libtheora –enable-libtwolame –enable-libv4l2 –enable-libvo-amrwbenc –enable-libvorbis –enable-libvpx –enable-libwavpack –enable-libwebp –enable-libx264 –enable-libx265 –enable-libxvid –enable-libxml2 –enable-libzmq –enable-libzvbi –enable-lv2 –enable-libmysofa –enable-openal –enable-opencl –enable-opengl –enable-libdrm –enable-nonfree –enable-libfdk-aac –enable-libbluray
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    Thanks for the guide, hopefully this will help others if they run into the same issues.

    Reply
  12. I was trying to compile ffmpeg for three days and I failed every time. this tutorial was a savior. thank you very much.

    Reply

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