The 8 Best Free Video Converters for Linux
There’s a common misconception among Linux users that all quality video converters and encoding software come at a premium cost.
It might come as a surprise that you can access some of the best free and fastest video converters on open-source Linux distros. These video converters are geared toward giving their premium alternatives a run for their money.
Let’s get cracking with the best free, open-source video converters for Linux.
Handbrake is an easy-to-learn, open-source video conversion tool. It welcomes 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 parameters vex you.
Handbrake supports MP4, MKV, WebM file containers, H.264 and H.265 video encoders with hardware acceleration support, MPEG-4, and MPEG-2.
Given Handbrake’s support for audio encoding formats like AAC/HE-AAC, MP3, FLAC, and AC3, you can rapidly convert videos to audio-only files. The video converter extends audio pass-through support for AC-3, E-AC3, FLAC, DTS, DTS-HD, TrueHD, AAC, MP3, and MP2 tracks.
Handbrake is capable of converting video fields ripped from DVD and Blu-ray mediums. Rest assured, you can perform title/chapter and range selection with markers, batch scanning, encode queuing, VobSub/closed captions, 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 distros, first, add the free and non-free RPM Fusion repositories:
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'
Then, install Handbrake by running:
sudo dnf update
dnf install handbrake
FFmpeg is a powerful, yet free, Linux video converter tool, that consists of libraries tailor-made for basic video concatenation and trimming post-production effects. The tool comes bundled with ffplayer to preview your processed files. The ffprobe library determines video file information to ease video conversions.
Despite its free status, FFmpeg includes libavcodec, a codec library typically found in premium video conversion software. Use the libavformat audio/video mux and demux container, along with the libavfilter library for GStreamer filter graph enhancing and editing.
The tool includes libavdevice for internal/external A/V I/O, post-processing library libpostproc, and libswresample for audio resampling. FFmpeg is ideal 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 conversion tool belongs to a rare breed of FLOSS software or Free/Libre and Open Source Software. This resourceful, cross-platform converter helps you transcode videos to and from a large variety of formats.
You can batch process videos for conversion while maintaining detail-rich logs for tracking your work. The tool’s GUI setup will accelerate advanced and complex file conversions in FFmpeg with the former’s WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop file management.
You can integrate Videomass with FFmpeg, youtube-dl, and yt-dlp, as it allows you to rely on the video converter’s extensive library of plugins. Additionally, you can put those powerful codecs to use without prior CLI knowledge.
Videomass accelerates your workflows with conversion presets. It has descriptive dialogues to help you handle errors. You can add extra options like audio volume normalization features, making Videomass a must-have for any multimedia professional on Linux.
Download: Videomass (AppImage)
To install Videomass, first, download the 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 AppImage’s location and double-click the file to launch the program.
MystiQ is another free video converter for Linux-based operating systems. Its Qt-based codebase ensures better performance, especially when working on Qt-enabled distros.
This multi-platform converter offers high-quality conversions for a popular list of formats, such as MP4, WebM, MKV, MP3, MOV, OGG, WAV, ASF, and many others.
You can run it on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems and push it to tweak the audio quality samples on conversion projects. This video converting software assists you with grayscaling, 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
Then, update your system’s repository list 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 extended Linux use. This multimedia conversion application uses two premium-grade video conversion libraries, i.e., FFmpeg and ImageMagick.
Ciano extends its support for handling the most popular video, audio, and image codecs and containers. It supports batch processing of files and its user-friendliness shines through its notification system and native error troubleshooting techniques.
You can install Ciano on your Linux desktop using Flatpak. Note that you should have Flatpak installed on your system before running the following command:
flatpak install flathub com.github.robertsanseries.ciano
Cine Encoder aggregates the best video conversion and encoding library plugins for handling multimedia tasks on Linux. This open-source conversion 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 while 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.
Download: Cine Encoder
To install Cine Encoder on Ubuntu and Debian, first, download the DEB package file from the aforementioned link. Then, 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, issue 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 bring simplicity to the task of video conversion. Apart from videos, it can handle audio, image codecs, and containers too.
Shutter Encoder allows you to perform highly advanced video encoding and editing operations with little experience. The FFmpeg libraries enable 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’re running Ubuntu or some other 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 about its video conversion efficiency?
VLC is not just a player for local media files, it also captures audio/video streams. Capture clips of your favorite programs and convert them to file formats supported on a wide variety of devices.
The software helps you with deinterlacing videos with the utmost ease and effectiveness.
Converting Between Different Video Formats on Linux
The video converters mentioned in the list above are some of the best options available for Linux users.
If you are a frequent video maker and are looking to dabble with some audio and video inputs, rest assured, each of these eight options will prove to be rather handy for you.
Looking for a way to convert your videos into audio files? Try these free online converter tools.
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