Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty) users might be interested in a newer version.

Some things have changed since I wrote my original instructions for getting a fully-functional ffmpeg on Ubuntu Linux over a year ago. Based on comments and tips there, I’ve updated the instructions to work with the latest release of Ubuntu, 6.10 (a.k.a. ‘Edgy’).

For various boring legal reasons, Ubuntu Linux’s various packages are separated out into different repositories based on their licensing restrictions. As a result of this, packages which are in the main repository but require packages in other repositories for additional functionality are compiled without those extra features.

Very tedious.

Here’s how to get a copy of ffmpeg to work with things like AAC, MP3, and so on. I am assuming that you have already enabled the ‘multiverse’ and ‘universe’ repositories. If not, do so first. Now, open a terminal, and type this:

sudo apt-get build-dep ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install liblame-dev libfaad2-dev \
libfaac-dev libxvidcore4-dev liba52-0.7.4 \
liba52-0.7.4-dev libx264-dev checkinstall \
apt-get source ffmpeg
cd ffmpeg-*
./configure --enable-gpl --enable-pp --enable-vorbis \
--enable-libogg --enable-a52 --enable-dts \
--enable-dc1394 --enable-libgsm --disable-debug \
--enable-mp3lame --enable-faad --enable-faac \
--enable-xvid --enable-pthreads --enable-x264

Before proceeding, find the currently-available ffmpeg version:

apt-cache show ffmpeg | grep Version

You’ll get something like this:

Version: 3:0.cvs20060823-3.1ubuntu1

You can then use a newer version number for the custom-built version you’re about to install. In this case, just increment the last number to get 3:0.cvs20060823-3.1ubuntu2.

sudo checkinstall

The program asks for some details. You can accept the default choices, except for the following changes:

  • Set ‘Name’ to ‘ffmpeg’.
  • Set ‘Version’ to something newer than the currently installed ffmpeg, as discussed earlier (I used 3:0.cvs20060823-3.1ubuntu2).

After that, you should have a system-recognised, fully-loaded version of ffmpeg. As ever, please leave a comment if you have any problems.