FFmpeg distribution status

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FFmpeg distribution packages are often incomplete or crippled. Oftentimes they are not crippled, but people claim they are. This page tries to track the status of FFmpeg in distributions to clear up this confusion and provide a quick overview of the situation.

Gentoo

Gentoo packages are supporting all the available options, including external encoders (like x264 or libvpx). Given the modular and adapting nature of Gentoo setups, the user defines which features are to be enabled.

The latest stable release as well more recent snapshot are provide across almost every architecture supported.

It is also available a live ebuild in order to track the main branch development.

Check the Packages web interface for the up to date status.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu ships two variants of FFmpeg packages, from which both are uncrippled. The variant in the "multiverse" section has been built against the additional (optional) packages x264, mp3lame and xvidcore, which enables the respective additional encoders.

FFmpeg is not available on the install DVDs.

Check packages.ubuntu.com for the up to date status.

Debian

The packages in Debian Squeeze are uncrippled. Packages in Debian Lenny packages are based on a snapshot from February 2008 and have the following some encoders disabled:

  • h263
  • mpeg2video
  • mpeg4
  • msmpeg4 (and variants)

Note that even Debian Squeeze does not ship the packages x264, xvidcore or mp3lame, which means that these packages cannot be used for encoding to h264 or MP3.

Fedora / Red Hat

Fedora does not ship FFmpeg or any other software implementing codecs patented in the US in the official repositories (libvpx and libvorbis are included, however).

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and newer ships a stripped down version of FFmpeg (called qffmpeg) containing only the MJPEG encoder/decoder for use with KVM (SPICE protocol).

FFmpeg and other packages are available for both Fedora and Red Hat from the RPM Fusion repositories.

OpenSUSE (unverified)

The status regarding OpenSUSE is unknown. Supposedly they ship no FFmpeg packages, users need to get them from packman instead.


Mandriva

The packages in 2010.1 and later have the aac decoder and encoder disabled. The packages in 2010.0 and older are uncrippled.

Also, some external libraries are not shipped with Mandriva and are therefore disabled (mp3lame, faad, opencore-amr, x264).

There is a build-time switch in the package that can be used to enable all the disabled codecs, and binary builds using that switch are provided in a 3rd party PLF repository. The builds are always kept in sync so that there are no binary incompatibilities.