How to Install Handbrake on Ubuntu 20.04 – An Open Source Video Converter

HandBrake is a free and open source application for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. This application includes the ability to rip DVDs: a great addition to the program but it’s the video conversion side of things that we’re interested in.

Installing the application is as simple as dragging it into your Applications folder. HandBrake is a cross-platform application available for Microsoft Windows, Mac and Linux.

The features of this converter are easy enough to understand. You can get quick results with HandBrake by simply loading up a video into the program and then using one of the many presets in the side panel to convert to different formats with various settings in place. Users can customize the output by altering the bit rate, maximum file size or bit rate and sample rate via “constant quality”.

While HandBrake is neither the simplest nor the most versatile video transcoder it is hugely powerful and packed with features. This tool can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection.

Key Features of HandBrake

  • Free and Open Source
  • Multi-Platform (Windows, Mac and Linux)
  • Live preview
  • Video Encoders: H.264 and H.265 (Including hardware acceleration support), MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, VP8, VP9 and Theora
  • Convert video from nearly any format
  • Audio Encoders: AAC / HE-AAC, MP3, FLAC, AC3, E-AC3, Opus and Vorbis
  • Batch Scan and Queueing of encodes
  • Support for VFR and CFR
  • Queuing tray for batch conversions

This article explains two methods of installing Handbrake on Ubuntu 20.04.

Choose the installation method that is most appropriate for your environment.

Method 1: Installing Handbrake as a Snap Package

The easiest way to install Handbrake on Ubuntu 20.04 is by using the snap packaging system.

A snap package is a type of universal Linux package that you can enjoy irrespective of the distro. Its an self-contained software packages that include the binary all dependencies needed to run the application.

All you need is the snap service pre-configured, In the case of Ubuntu 20.04, it comes with snap pre-installed.

If snapd package is not already installed then you can install it by running following command.

$ sudo apt install snapd

Note: Snap packages can be installed from either the command-line or via the Ubuntu Software application.

This is actually the Snap version of the Handbrake. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support.

Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command to install the Handbrake package.

$ sudo snap install handbrake-jz

At this step, you have successfully installed Handbrake on Ubuntu 20.04 system.

If you are not comfortable with the command line, open Ubuntu Software, search for “Handbrake” and install the application.

Type the following command to update Handbrake package.

$ sudo snap refresh handbrake-jz

Method 2: Installing Handbrake via PPA Repository

If you want to install the most recent version of Handbrake, you can use the PPA repository.

Personal Package Archives (PPA) are software repositories designed for Ubuntu users and are easier to install than other third-party repositories. PPAs are often used to distribute pre-release software so that it can be tested.

Step #1

First of all open the terminal from system application launcher and type the following command to add the Handbrake PPA to your system.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases

Step #2

Then, execute the following commands to install Handbrake package on your Ubuntu system.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install handbrake-gtk

Once installed, launch it from your system application menu.

Starting Handbrake

In the Activities search bar type “Handbrake” and click on the icon to launch the application.

Handbrake User Interface:

How to Uninstall Handbrake from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall Handbrake, refer following methods.

Method #1

If you have installed Handbrake via Snap type the following command:

$ sudo snap remove handbrake-jz

Method #2

If you have installed the Handbrake appication through PPA then uninstall it by following one of the below procedures.

Procedure #1

It’s most likely that you added the PPA using add-apt-repository command. You can use the same command to remove the PPA as well. Just give it --remove option in the command.

$ sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases

Note: Use this procedure only if you need to remove the PPA and not the applications installed by it.

Procedure #2

You must have noticed that in the above procedure we only talked about deleting or removing a PPA. What about the applications installed using these PPAs? Will they be removed as a result of removing the PPA? The answer is NO.

So this is when ppa-purge comes in picture. It not only disables the PPA but also uninstalls all the programs installed by the PPA or revert them to original version provided by your distribution.

So type the following command to install the ppa-purge package and uninstall the Handbrake package.

$ sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases


I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to Install Handbrake on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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