Many video players support loading subtitle files alongside video files, even on Linux. However, it’s much better to add subtitles directly to the video file. Going this route ensures that no matter what program plays your video file, the subtitles will always be present. When it comes to importing subtitles into video files on Linux, there’s no better choice than Aegisub. It can work with a multitude of different video file codecs and subtitle formats. Better yet, it comes with a graphical editor that allows users to edit subtitles in movies in real time.
SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.
Note: downloading subtitle files online is illegal. Please obtain subtitles by extracting them from personal movie backups made legally, and do not share them with anyone!
Looking to install the Aegisub app on your Linux PC? You’re in luck; many Linux distributions have packages of it directly in their software sources, so the process is quite easy. To install it, open up a terminal window and follow the instructions below for your respective operating system.
Ubuntu Linux usually has Aegisub readily available in the software sources. However, for the latest version of the OS (Ubuntu 18.04,) there’s a bug that prevents it from installing. Luckily, if you’re on 18.04, there’s a third-party PPA available. To install it, open up a terminal and use the add-apt-repository command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alex-p/aegisub
Next, run the update and upgrade commands to refresh and install any updates available on Ubuntu.
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade -y
Install Aegisub with:
sudo apt install aegisub
sudo apt-get install aegisub
sudo pacman -S aegisub
It’s possible to use Aegisub on Fedora Linux, though users will not be able to install it through the traditional software sources. Instead, RPM Fusion needs setting up.
Note: replace X with the release number of Fedora Linux you’re using.
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y sudo dnf install aegisub -y
OpenSUSE users looking to get Aegisub will need to first enable a third-party software source.
sudo zypper addrepo https://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/multimedia:/apps/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ opensuse-multimedia-apps
sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/ packman
sudo zypper addrepo https://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/multimedia:/apps/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ opensuse-multimedia-apps
Install Aegisub with the Zypper package tool:
sudo zypper install aegisub
Need the Aegisub app on an obscure Linux distribution? Grab the source code and compile it yourself!
Add Subtitles To movies
Adding subtitles to video files with Aegisub is surprisingly simple. It starts out by importing the movie file. Import your movie file to the app by clicking the “Video” menu button, then selecting the “open video” option.
Browse for your video file in the “open file” window to load it up in Aegisub.
After importing the movie file into Aegisub, the app will scan the video file quickly, so that it can play it back in real-time, during the subtitle editing process. When the scanning process is complete, click the “play” button in the player and let the video file playback for a bit. Watch the video and ensure that Aegisub is handling the file correctly.
Aegisub has your movie file and can play it back without errors. This means that the subtitling process can begin. The first step in this process is to obtain a subtitle file for your movie. Head over to our MKVToolNix tutorial and learn how to extract subtitle files from the legal backup of your movie.
Once the subtitle file is extracted to your Linux PC’s hard drive, go back to Aegisub, select “File,” then “Open Subtitles”.
Browse for the subtitle file on your hard drive, and allow it to load into the Aegisub app.
When the subtitle file loads up, Aegisub will automatically set out a timeline with the text and overlay it with the video. To view the subtitles, click “play” in the video window.
Now that Aegisub has the subtitle file in sync with the video file, you’ll be able to edit subtitles in movies and make as many changes to the subtitles as possible. Best of all, since you’re working with an existing subtitle set, there’s no need to tinker with the timing of the lines or anything like that.
The on-screen subs appear in a list, chronologically. Use the scroll-bar and look for a line to edit. When you’ve found the line you’d like to change, double-click on it.
Double-clicking on a line in the list will automatically skip to it in the Aegisub video player. From here, click on the text-area next to the video player and write in whatever changes you’d like to make.
Done editing the subtitles in Aegisub? Click “file” then “Save subtitles as” to save the changes.