System : Xubuntu 13.04 x64

I've found usage of this functionality in ffmpeg here

ffmpeg -i video.avi -vf subtitles=subtitle.srt out.avi

but it doesn't work. I get an error

No such filter: 'subtitles'

on that. Same thing happens if I replace ffmpeg by avconv.

So I tried downloading the libav source here and compile. Again I'm frustrated when I run

./configure --enable-libass

in the source directory, and this time I got

Unknown option "--enable-libass"

I wonder if this is a very particular thing that avconv doesn't support at all. And


Why subtitles filter is missing

Libav tends to ignore features from FFmpeg, so avconv and their counterfeit "ffmpeg" (removed as of 14.04) do not support libass, and therefore does not support the subtitles video filter among many other filters.

How to fix

You have several options to get the real ffmpeg from FFmpeg:



This will "burn" the subtitles into the video, but of course requires that the video be re-encoded:

ffmpeg -i video.mkv -vf subtitles=subtitle.srt -codec:a copy output.mkv


Consists of a susbtitle stream that is muxed into the file. Any player worth using will allow you to turn the subtitles on and off and choose from other subtitle streams that may be present. Does not require any re-encoding.

ffmpeg -i video.mkv -i subtitle.srt -codec copy -map 0 output.mkv

ffmpeg is not exactly the same as avconv. See this about burning subtitles with avconv.

There is another option, easier and with GUI: Avidemux. Install it with:

sudo apt-get install avidemux

Open a video file, then go to Video, choose a video encoder (anything else than Copy), Filters and Subtitles. Choose the Subtitler filter:

enter image description here


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