Installation for Linux users

First install the FFmpeg package using either Homebrew or a binary build. Then test that the software is properly installed. (The compilation from the source code is out of the scope of this tutorial.)

Installing the software with Homebrew

Installing Homebrew

Install Homebrew, a package manger originally designed for macOS, that works now under Linux as well (and actually supersedes Linuxbrew). You can install Homebrew by pasting the following command at a Terminal prompt:


/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"


Then add to your configurations file for the terminal sessions (which is usually ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc) the following three lines:


echo 'export PATH="/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc


echo 'export MANPATH="/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/share/man:$MANPATH"' >> ~/.bashrc


echo 'export INFOPATH="/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/share/info:$INFOPATH"' >> ~/.bashrc


After successful installation you should restart the Terminal and execute:


brew doctor


Detailed instructions for Homebrew are posted at:

Installing FFmpeg

Once Homebrew is installed, for our purpose, we recommend to install the most recent stable FFmpeg release with the following command:1


brew install avpres/formulae/ffmpeg --with-openjpeg --with-rubberband --with-tesseract


If you really need it, you can also install the current FFmpeg development branch with the following command (please note that we generally do not recommend using the development branch in production):


brew install avpres/formulae/ffmpeg --HEAD --with-openjpeg --with-rubberband --with-tesseract


As, sadly, the fascist “America alone” ideology becomes predominant in the open-source community as well, if you need the support of more languages than just English, then you have to run an additional command:


brew install tesseract-lang

Upgrading FFmpeg with Homebrew

To update Homebrew and upgrade FFmpeg to the most recent stable release, use the following line:


brew update && brew upgrade avpres/formulae/ffmpeg


To update Homebrew and upgrade FFmpeg to the current development branch, use the following line:


brew update && brew upgrade avpres/formulae/ffmpeg --fetch-HEAD

Installing the software from a build

Please follow the instructions given at:

Testing your installation

Once you followed the installation above, you should have the commands ffmpeg, ffplay and ffprobe installed.


Test ffmpeg by pasting into the Terminal the line:


ffmpeg -f lavfi -i mandelbrot -t 10 -pix_fmt yuv420p ~/Desktop/mandelbrot.mkv


This should produce on your Desktop a file of the Mandelbrot pattern.


Test ffplay by pasting into the Terminal the line:


ffplay ~/Desktop/mandelbrot.mkv


This should play the Mandelbrot file.


Test ffprobe by pasting into the Terminal the line:


ffprobe -show_format -show_streams -print_format json ~/Desktop/mandelbrot.mkv


This should display the Mandelbrot file’s technical metadata.



The recommended parameters are:

Enables JPEG 2000 encoding and decoding with the OpenJPEG library.
Enables the Rubberband audio filter, which allows time-stretching and pitch-shifting.
Enables the Tesseract video filter for optical character recognition, e.g. for extracting intertitles or subtitles.


To see the available options paste into the Terminal the line:


brew options avpres/formulae/ffmpeg