What are some audio/video converters for Linux?

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    "closed" :( Thanks a lot moderators. This question was very important to me. ... did you notice that it was viewed twenty thousand times?
    – 842Mono
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 15:43

3 Answers 3


I'm focusing on video converters here, although FFmpeg or mencoder can encode audio as well.

Graphical interface


From its homepage:

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder.

Easy to use GUI with presets for various hardware devices; can rip DVDs with ease.


From its homepage:

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Also rather easy to use. It is somewhat comparable to VirtualDub on Windows.


VLC provides and easily accessible converting function in Media->Convert/Save. An instruction is given here.

Command line interface

FFmpeg (or its fork avconv) ###

From its homepage:

FFmpeg is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec - the leading audio/video codec library.


ffmpeg -i input.mkv -c:v mjpeg -b 2000k -c:a libmp3lame -ab 128k -ar 44100 -vf denoise3d,scale=640:360 output.avi


mencoder is part of the MPlayer project, so it shares the same syntax.


mencoder input.wmv -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=3000 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=160 -vf denoise3d,scale=640:360 -o output.avi 


Handbrake also has a command line interface.

Codec restrictions due to software patents

Be aware that due to software patents, some programs in the standard Ubuntu repositories don't include certain codecs (H264 encoding is a prominent example).

Workarounds for stripped down binaries:

Enable the Medibuntu repositories:

sudo -E wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Use a prebuilt static binary

For example, you can download FFmpeg with all codecs supported here: http://ffmpeg.gusari.org/static/

If you want to run that binary, don't forget to call it with the full path; otherwise, the FFmpeg of Ubuntu will be run.

Build the binaries for yourself...

...and include everything you want. This is, of course, the most tedious solution.

  • For ffmpeg, at least, there is a pretty comprehensive compilation guide on the ffmpeg wiki.
    – evilsoup
    Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 13:36

A best video/audio converter of choice is WINFF (GUI of ffmpeg is here )

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    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – fossfreedom
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 13:36
  • @NomanJaved At this moment, the software you have linked has just versions for Windows and Mac, no Linux version. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 3:12

That depends on what you mean by Best. There are a lot of them out there. ffmpeg (avconv) is my favourite one. It is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec - the leading audio/video codec library. You can find more information from http://www.ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg.html

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