Linux users mistakenly think that all quality video converters and encoding software have a premium cost.
It may come as a surprise that you can access some of the best and fastest free video converters on open source Linux distributions. These video converters are designed to give their premium alternatives a run for their money.
Let’s start cracking with the best free and open source video converters for Linux.
Handbrake is an easy-to-learn open-source video converter tool. It greets you with an interface that lists built-in video conversion presets based on your device. You can rely on the Universal profile for standard or high definition conversions, especially if the settings upset you.
Handbrake supports MP4, MKV, WebM file containers, H.264 and H.265 video encoders with hardware acceleration support, MPEG-4 and MPEG-2.
Since Handbrake supports audio encoding formats such as AAC/HE-AAC, MP3, FLAC and AC3, you can quickly convert videos to audio-only files. The video converter extends audio passthrough support for AC-3, E-AC3, FLAC, DTS, DTS-HD, TrueHD, AAC, MP3 and MP2 tracks.
Handbrake is able to convert video fields ripped from DVD and Blu-ray media. Rest assured, you can perform title/chapter and track selection with markers, batch analysis, encoding queue, VobSub/closed subtitles, hard encoding and video filtering.
To install Handbrake on Ubuntu/Debian:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get handbrake-gtk handbrake-cli
On Arch Linux:
sudo pacman -S handbrake
On Fedora, CentOS, and other RPM-based distributions, add the free and non-free RPM Fusion repositories first:
su -c 'dnf install https://download0.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download0.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm'
Next, install Handbrake by running:
sudo dnf update
dnf install handbrake
FFmpeg is a powerful, yet free, Linux video converter tool that consists of custom-built libraries for basic video concatenation and post-production effect trimming. The tool comes with ffplayer to preview your processed files. the ffprobe library determines video file information to facilitate video conversions.
Despite its free status, FFmpeg includes libavcodec, a library of codecs typically found in high-end video converter software. Use the formatlibav audio/video multiplexing and demultiplexing container, as well as the libavfilter library for GStreamer filter graph enrichment and editing.
The tool includes libavdevice for internal/external A/VI/O, post-processing library libpostprocand libswresample for audio resampling. FFmpeg is great for extracting and exporting audio from video files.
To install FFmpeg on Arch Linux:
pacman -S ffmpeg
sudo apt install ffmpeg
On Fedora, CentOS and RHEL:
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo dnf update
sudo dnf install ffmpeg
The Videomass video converter tool belongs to a rare breed of FLOSS software or free/free and open source software. This nifty cross-platform converter helps you transcode videos to and from a wide variety of formats.
You can batch process videos for conversion while keeping detailed logs to track your work. The tool’s GUI setup will speed up advanced and complex file conversions in FFmpeg with WYSIWYG and drag-and-drop file handling of old.
You can integrate Videomass with FFmpeg, youtube-dl and yt-dlp, as this allows you to rely on the video converter’s extensive library of plugins. Moreover, you can use these powerful codecs without prior knowledge of the CLI.
Videomass speeds up your workflows with conversion presets. It has descriptive dialogs to help you deal with errors. You can add additional options such as audio volume normalization features, making Videomass a must-have for any Linux media professional.
To download: mass video (AppImage)
To install Videomass, start by downloading AppImage and navigate to the Downloads folder using the cd command.
Then run the following command to make the image executable:
sudo chmod +x ./Videomass-*.AppImage
Finally, go to the location of AppImage and double click on the file to launch the program.
MystiQ is another free video converter for Linux based operating systems. Its Qt-based codebase guarantees better performance, especially when working on Qt-compatible distributions.
This cross-platform converter offers high quality conversions for a list of popular formats, such as MP4, WebM, MKV, MP3, MOV, OGG, WAV, ASF and many more.
You can run it on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems and push it to adjust audio quality samples on conversion projects. This video converter software helps you with grayscale, video rotation, subtitle encoding and video scaling.
To install MystiQ on Ubuntu/Debian, first add the MystiQ repository and GPG key:
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/llamaret/xUbuntu_20.04/ /' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/home:llamaret.list"
wget -nv https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/llamaret/xUbuntu_20.04/Release.key -O Release.key
sudo apt-key add - < Release.key
Next, update your system’s list of repositories and download MystiQ:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mystiq
You can install MystiQ from the AUR on Arch Linux:
yay -S mystiq
dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:llamaret/Fedora_31/home:llamaret.repo
dnf install mystiq
Ciano is one of the best video converters ideal for prolonged use of Linux. This media converter app uses two premium video converter libraries, namely FFmpeg and ImageMagick.
Ciano extends its support to handle the most popular video, audio and image codecs and containers. It supports batch processing of files and its user-friendliness is distinguished by its notification system and native error-solving techniques.
You can install Ciano on your Linux desktop using Flatpak. Note that Flatpak must be installed on your system before running the following command:
flatpak install flathub com.github.robertsanseries.ciano
Cine Encoder bundles the best video encoding and conversion library plugins to handle multimedia tasks on Linux. This open-source converter software combines the ever-powerful FFmpeg with the MKVToolNix and MediaInfo libraries.
Cine Encoder is one of the few tools on this list that preserves HDR metadata when converting your videos. It supports hardware encoding with NVENC and QSV on Linux. The encoder mainly relies on modes like H265, H264, VP9, MPEG-2, XDCAM, XAVC, DNxHR and ProRes.
To download: Cine encoder
To install Cine Encoder on Ubuntu and Debian, first download the DEB package file from the above link. Next, navigate to the Downloads folder and type the following command to install Cine Encoder:
sudo dpkg -i cine-encoder-*.deb
Similarly, on Fedora, CentOS, and RHEL-based distros, download the RPM package from the GitHub Releases page. Then run the following command to install the package:
sudo rpm -i cine-encoder-*.rpm
You can install Cine Encoder from the AUR on Arch Linux:
yay -S cine-encoder
Shutter Encoder exists to simplify the video conversion task. Apart from videos, it can also handle audio, image codecs, and containers.
Shutter Encoder allows you to perform highly advanced video encoding and editing operations with little experience. FFmpeg libraries allow you to duplicate and interpolate frames, analyze videos and deinterlace them from a list of filters.
Shutter Encoder lets you perform innovative video trimming exercises for efficient multi-file editing and conversion. You can effectively trim and cut your videos without re-encoding them.
If you are using Ubuntu or another Debian-based distro, download the DEB package from the official website using wget:
wget -O shutterencoder.deb https://www.shutterencoder.com/Shutter%20Encoder%2015.8%20Linux%2064bits.deb
Run the following command to install the package:
sudo dpkg -i shutterencoder.deb
On Arch Linux:
yay -S shutter-encoder
You may have used VLC Media Player to run disparate audio and video files with the rarest extensions. But do you know its video conversion efficiency?
VLC is not only a local media file player, it also captures audio/video streams. Capture clips from your favorite programs and convert them to supported file formats on a wide variety of devices.
The software helps you deinterlace videos with utmost ease and efficiency.
Convert between different video formats in Linux
The video converters mentioned in the list above are some of the best options available for Linux users.
If you’re a frequent videographer and looking to try out some audio and video inputs, rest assured that each of these eight options will prove to be quite handy for you.
Looking for a way to convert your videos to audio files? Try these free online conversion tools.
About the Author