Compiling ffmpeg with mp3 support on Ubuntu

Joeri Poesen //

[UPDATE May 12, 2008]

The information is this post is outdated.
You should head over to the revised edition.


The Flashvideo module in Drupal uses ffmpeg to convert uploaded video to Adobe Flash Video format (.flv).

However, we’re using Ubuntu based servers and Ubuntu has a strict policy not to include non-free software. This means that the ffmpeg version in the repositories is not built with essential functionality, like mp3 support for audio conversion.

Solution: compile from source:

1. enable universe and multiverse repositories

UbuntuGuide » general notes » how to add extra repositories

2. get your tools

sudo apt-get install checkinstall build-essential subversion

3. get the latest ffmpeg sources

cd /usr/local/src

sudo svn checkout svn:// ffmpeg

4. get the necessary dependencies

sudo apt-get install liblame-dev libfaad2-dev libfaac-dev libxvidcore4-dev liba52-0.7.4 liba52-0.7.4-dev libx264-dev

5. configure

./configure —enable-gpl —enable-pp —enable-libvorbis —enable-libogg
—enable-liba52 —enable-dc1394 —enable-libgsm —disable-debug
—enable-libmp3lame —enable-libfaad —enable-libfaac —enable-xvid
—enable-pthreads —disable-vhook

6. compile


7. go have a snack

8. create the .deb package


9. install the .deb package

dpkg -i [ffmpeg_your_version.deb]

10. rejoice