Ubuntu 14.04 server here. I want to see what versions of ffmpeg are available for download. Usually I can run apt-cache policy <packageName> to do this, but because ffmpeg was excluded from the official Ubuntu repos as of 14.04, that command doesn't work.

I typically install ffmpeg with the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

But this doesn't give me control over which version gets installed.

So I ask: On Ubuntu 14.04, how can I preview the list of available ffmpeg versions that are available, and then how do I specify any particular version?

Please note: this is not the same as the answer for packages/libs that exist in the Ubuntu repos, because again, ffmpeg isn't in them.


To list the available version you can you the following command.

apt-cache search ffmpeg | grep Version

To install a specific version, the syntax is as follows.

apt-get install ffmpeg=<version>

Where <version> should be replaced by the version string from the above command.


If apt-cache search ffmpeg | grep Version does not report any version, it is very likely that you are missing a repository and you might want to add it.

add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media
apt-get update
  • Thanks @Thomas (+1) but the first command yields the following error: E: Invalid operation search. Also I don't see how it could work because ffmpeg is not in the official Ubuntu repos (you have to add the mc3man/trusty-media repo manually first to make it available). Thanks again! – smeeb Nov 14 '16 at 10:36
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    Thanks again @Thomas but apt-cache search ffmpeg | grep Version returns no results, likely because apt-cache cannot find ffmpeg, because ffmpeg is not the in the official Ubuntu repos. – smeeb Nov 14 '16 at 11:15
  • Yes, ffmpeg is not in the official repository. As you mentioned the ppa above I thought you already know that... – Thomas Nov 14 '16 at 17:02
  • Sure, thanks @Thomas, I think there might be a disconnect. It sounds like you are saying that I should be able to create a brand new Ubuntu 14.04 server and run apt-cache search ffmpeg | grep Version, and the output of that command should list all available versions. I'm seeing evidence that this is not true. Because when I create a brand new Ubuntu 14.04 server and run that command, there is no output whatsoever. Thoughts? – smeeb Nov 14 '16 at 17:21
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    Hi @Thomas (and everyone else reading this) - while I sincerely appreciate your help thus far, I simply can't mark this as an answer because your command doesn't actually produce any output for me. – smeeb Nov 14 '16 at 23:43

See 'snap info ffmpeg' for additional versions.

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