Installing the Latest FFMPEG on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn comes with an old (relatively: 2006/08/23) version of FFMPEG. The developers of FFMPEG believe everyone should be running the latest and greatest daily builds though and released versions are few and far between.

This tutorial will help those who need to install the latest and greatest version of FFMPEG

Removing FFMPEG and Installing Dependencies

A terminal is required for this. Open one and type the following:

sudo apt-get remove ffmpeg libavformat0d libavcodec0d

Don't worry if this says FFMPEG is not installed, that is a good thing. Next the requirements for compiling ffmpeg are required, these can be obtained using apt-get:

sudo apt-get build-dep ffmpeg

Getting and Installing FFMPEG

To get the source code for FFMPEG we must download it from the project Subversion (a source code control program) repository. First, install Subversion:

sudo apt-get install subversion

Copy and paste the following to create an ‘ffmpeg’ directory, this will also download the latest source code for FFMPEG:

svn checkout svn:// ffmpeg

Move into the directory:

cd ffmpeg

Then compile FFMPEG (easier than it sounds!)

./configure --enable-gpl --enable-shared --enable-libvorbis --enable-libogg --enable-pp --enable-libtheora

This should suit most needs, you may wish to change these to your requirements. To see a list of the available options enter:

./configure --help

Finally compile, then install the program:

make && sudo make install

Technical Backflip: Adding /usr/local/lib to Runtime Library Search Paths

The tricky bit is here. If typing ‘ffmpeg’ at the command line returns an error, these steps should be worked through. Firstly, open the configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/

Note in nano all menu items are listed along the bottom. The caret (^) symbol means control should be pressed as well as the letter. For example: control-x exits the program, control-o saves etc.

Enter the following at the very top of the file:


Having added this to the top of the file, press control-o to save. To apply this change a program must be run. Leave nano (control-x) and enter the following at the command line:

sudo ldconfig -v

This will produce a list of locations and files. At the very top of this list should be: ‘/usr/local/lib’. Finally, type ‘ffmpeg’ at the command line (without the quotes of course!) to make sure it is installed correctly. This should print some information on FFMPEG to the screen.

About the Author

Liam McDermott is the technical bod at The Webmaster Forums. He also writes articles and loves dallying with Drupal. His business site is InterMedia.