Upgrade your multimedia power: A beginner`s guide to installing FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18 with easy-to-follow code snippets

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding FFMPEG
  3. Preparing your Ubuntu 18 system for FFMPEG
  4. Installing FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18
  5. Converting multimedia files with FFMPEG
  6. Enhancing multimedia files with FFMPEG
  7. Troubleshooting common FFMPEG issues
  8. Conclusion


If you're looking to enhance your multimedia prowess, then installing FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18 is a must. FFMPEG is a powerful multimedia framework that can be used to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter, and play almost any kind of media format available today. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced programmer, this guide will take you through the basics of installing FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18, and it will provide you with easy-to-follow code snippets designed to help you get started quickly. Throughout this guide, you'll learn how to use FFMPEG to enhance your multimedia experience, and you'll gain valuable insights and techniques that you can use to take full advantage of this powerful multimedia tool. So, let's get started and take your multimedia power to the next level!

Understanding FFMPEG

FFMPEG is a powerful multimedia framework that can be used for a variety of multimedia tasks, such as transcoding, streaming, and recording. It is open-source software that can be used on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

FFMPEG is a command-line tool, which means that it must be used from within a terminal or shell. It supports a wide range of audio and video formats, codecs, and protocols, which makes it a very flexible tool for multimedia processing.

In addition to its core functionality, FFMPEG can also be extended with plugins that provide additional features and capabilities, such as support for specific formats or codecs.

Although FFMPEG can be complex to use, there are many resources available online to help beginners get started. By following step-by-step tutorials and guides, new users can quickly learn how to use some of FFMPEG's basic features and commands, and start experimenting with multimedia processing tasks.

Preparing your Ubuntu 18 system for FFMPEG

Before installing FFMPEG on your Ubuntu 18 system, it is important to first ensure that your system meets the necessary requirements. These requirements include an up-to-date version of Ubuntu 18 and a minimum of 1 GB of RAM.

To check the version of Ubuntu 18 installed on your system, open the terminal and enter the following command:

lsb_release -a

This command will display information about the version of Ubuntu 18 that is currently installed on your system.

Next, you will need to update your system to ensure that all necessary packages and dependencies are installed. Enter the following command to update your system:

sudo apt-get update

This command will refresh the package list and ensure that all packages are up-to-date.

You will also need to install a number of packages that are required for FFMPEG to run correctly. Enter the following command to install these packages:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git tar curl xz-utils pkg-config \
  cmake automake autoconf libtool libssl-dev bzip2 unzip \
  imagemagick libavcodec-extra libavcodec-extra58 libass-dev libfreetype6-dev \
  libvorbis-dev libmp3lame-dev libx264-dev libopus-dev

This command will install a number of packages, including development tools such as build-essential, as well as libraries required for multimedia encoding and decoding.

Once all packages have been installed, your Ubuntu 18 system will be ready for the installation of FFMPEG.

Installing FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18

FFMPEG is a powerful multimedia framework that enables users to easily edit and convert video and audio files. is a relatively straightforward process that can be done in a matter of minutes.

To get started, open up the terminal and type the following command:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

This will install FFMPEG onto your Ubuntu 18 system. Once installed, you can start using FFMPEG to perform various multimedia tasks.

For those who prefer to install FFMPEG manually, it can be downloaded from the official FFMPEG website, and the installation process can be completed through the terminal. However, it is important to note that the installation can be quite complex and may require a certain level of technical expertise.

Overall, the easiest and most efficient way to install FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18 is through the terminal using the above command. Once installed, users can easily upgrade their multimedia power and edit and convert their multimedia files with ease.

Converting multimedia files with FFMPEG

is a straightforward and useful task that you can easily perform with Python. FFMPEG is a powerful multimedia framework that offers a wide range of codecs, formats, and filters for handling audio and video files. It is compatible with Ubuntu 18, and with a few lines of code, you can leverage its functionalities to transcode media files to different formats, adjust their quality, or add effects.

To convert a multimedia file with FFMPEG, you will first need to install it on your Ubuntu 18 machine following the steps described in the previous section. Once you have installed FFMPEG, you can use the subprocess module in Python to execute the FFMPEG command line tools from your script. For example, to transcode a video file from one format to another, you can use the following code snippet:

import subprocess

input_file = "my_video.mp4"
output_file = "my_video.avi"

cmd = ["ffmpeg", "-i", input_file, "-c:v", "mpeg4", "-c:a", "copy", output_file]


In this code, input_file and output_file are strings that define the input and output files' paths, respectively. cmd is a list that contains the FFMPEG command and its corresponding arguments. In this case, we use the -i option to specify the input file, -c:v to set the video codec to MPEG-4, -c:a to copy the audio codec as-is, and output_file to indicate the output file path. The subprocess.call() function executes the cmd command and waits for it to complete.

You can customize the cmd list with other FFMPEG options and filters to achieve different effects. For instance, you can add the -s option to resize the video, the -ss and -t options to trim or split the video, or the -vf option to apply video filters such as brightness, contrast, or saturation. By combining these options and filters, you can create complex multimedia processing pipelines that automate your multimedia tasks and save you time and effort.

Enhancing multimedia files with FFMPEG

is a powerful tool that can help improve the quality and functionality of your multimedia files. With FFMPEG, you can convert and transcode video and audio files into a wide range of formats and codecs, manipulate and adjust video and audio streams, and add special effects and filters to your multimedia files.

To enhance multimedia files with FFMPEG, you will need to have a basic understanding of the FFMPEG command line tool and how it works. You will also need to know the specific commands and options needed to achieve the desired effects or conversions you want to perform.

One of the advantages of using FFMPEG is its ability to work with a wide range of multimedia file formats and codecs. FFMPEG supports a vast array of input and output options, including popular video and audio file formats like MP4, AVI, MKV, FLAC, and MP3, as well as more niche codecs like ProRes and DNxHD.

Another benefit of using FFMPEG is its flexibility and versatility. With FFMPEG, you can perform a range of tasks like cutting and trimming audio and video files, adding subtitles and watermarks, adjusting audio and video quality settings, and performing more complex tasks like batch processing and audio extraction.

Overall, can help you take your multimedia content to the next level, providing you with the tools and functionality to create professional-quality media files that meet your specific needs and requirements.

Troubleshooting common FFMPEG issues

When working with FFMPEG on Ubuntu 18, there are some common issues that may arise. One of the most common is the inability to find the path to the FFMPEG binary. This can typically be resolved by adding the path to the binary to the system's PATH variable.

Another issue that may occur is the failure of the FFMPEG command to run. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as missing dependencies or incorrect command syntax. A good way to troubleshoot this is to run the command with the -v option to print verbose output and identify the root cause of the problem.

Lastly, FFMPEG may fail to recognize certain file formats or codecs. To resolve this, it may be necessary to install the relevant codecs or libraries on the system. This can typically be done through the system's package manager, such as apt-get or yum.

Overall, by understanding these common FFMPEG issues and how to troubleshoot them, you can more effectively work with multimedia files and improve your multimedia power on Ubuntu 18.


In , installing FFMPEG can greatly enhance your multimedia capabilities on Ubuntu 18. With the easy-to-follow code snippets provided in this guide, even beginners can successfully install FFMPEG and begin using it to manipulate multimedia files. Remember to always use caution when installing and executing code, and to backup important files before making any changes. With the right tools and a bit of practice, you'll soon be able to unlock the full potential of your multimedia software and create high-quality content with ease.

As a seasoned software engineer, I bring over 7 years of experience in designing, developing, and supporting Payment Technology, Enterprise Cloud applications, and Web technologies. My versatile skill set allows me to adapt quickly to new technologies and environments, ensuring that I meet client requirements with efficiency and precision. I am passionate about leveraging technology to create a positive impact on the world around us. I believe in exploring and implementing innovative solutions that can enhance user experiences and simplify complex systems. In my previous roles, I have gained expertise in various areas of software development, including application design, coding, testing, and deployment. I am skilled in various programming languages such as Java, Python, and JavaScript and have experience working with various databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle.
Posts created 1810

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top