Video downloads are fun until they become unplayable.
So, here’s the list of top open-source video converters to help your downloads stay relevant everywhere. Want to bulk convert videos on Linux? Install one of these 11 free video converter apps to get the job done.
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. General features to look for in any video converter:
- Supports several formats
- Permit changing frame rates
- Allow adding audio tracks
- Capable of scaling and changing resolutions
So, here’s our round-up of the 11 Best Free Video Converters for Linux in 2022
Table of Contents
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 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
FFqueue is an advanced GUI for FFmpeg.
It uses the native graphical settings of the operating system. Straightaway, the installation is not a cakewalk and is not recommended for beginners.
But if you got through the tricky installation, then it presents you with a very functional GUI. Notably, this doesn’t come with any default presets. Instead, you can make your own. FFqueue is available for Linux and Windows.
- Process multiple encoding jobs
- Create reusable (or temporary) presets for easy job creation
- Autodetect subtitles or audio from external files
- Create thumbnails and / or mosaics through presets or Thumb make tool
- Display advanced stream information for media files
- Make video from images (create slideshow) with optional audio track
- Two pass video stabilization (utilizing vidstab* filters)
- Support for both 32bit and 64bit FFMpeg
- Progress indication with remaining time
- Batch creation for multiple jobs (Drag & Drop support)
- Two-pass encoding with handling of temporary files
- Specify custom command-line (with or without preset) to cover all FFMpeg functionality
- Easy burn-in of subtitles (both text and bitmap based subtitles are supported)
- Concatenate multiple media files (audio / video) into a single file
- Solid support for FFMpeg filtergraphs (see below)
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 Debian/Ubuntu:
$ 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
4. MEncoder with Mplayer
Mplayer is again an advanced option that doesn’t come with a GUI.
You will have it upon yourself to find and download from the available unofficial MEncoder frontends. The functionality depends upon the GUI you use.
Most of them are outdated and not in current development. One such GUI is GMEncoder. MEncoder is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS X.
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 Videomass application.
Avidemux is by far one of the easiest to use. It also comes as an AppImage, so just download the file, make it executable, and you’re good. It’s free and open-source. Avidemux is specially designed for beginners.
It’s a video editor and encoder bundled in one, though you can play with other multimedia formats as well. Avidemux comes with a preview option.
It really helps you as a newbie or medium user to check out the result before going for a full-blown conversion. Conclusively, Avidemux is a nifty video encoder available for Linux, Windows, Mac, PC-BSD.
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, type the following command to update your system’s repository list and install MystiQ package.
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install mystiq
# dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:llamaret/Fedora_31/home:llamaret.repo # dnf install mystiq
Ciano is yet another GUI that is based on FFmpeg (for audio and video) and ImageMagick (for images). It has an oversimplified user interface for beginners.
Your experience with Ciano is limited to selecting the format from the sidebar, exporting the file, and finally, checking the output folder for conversion. Just remember to install FFmpeg and Imagemagick before you start with Ciano. Finally, this simplistic video converter is only for Debian and its derivatives.
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
9. Cine Encoder
Cine EncoderCine 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 above mentioned 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
10. Shutter Encoder
Shutter encoder is free and extremely easy to install. It’s not just for videos, as it can process audio and images as well.
The one major downside is that it has a dated UI that feels like you went ten years back in time. It’s a really robust encoder but only in the hands of an advanced user. It has tons of features, but without a preview, an average user is left to try each hoping for a decent output.
Right away, the user interface is not the most intuitive, and most of the time it feels like finding a needle in a haystack. This is strictly recommended for expert users. Shutter encoder is can be used on Linux and Windows.
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
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.
That’s pretty much it! So, there are Best Free Video Converters.
If you have any other favorite Best Free Video Converters then don’t forget to share them with us in the comment below. Also, if you liked this article, Share it on your favorite Social media platform.