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How To Use FFMpeg With A GUI On Linux Using QWinFF

FFMpeg is a powerful cross-platform, command-line encoding tool. It’s got a lot of options and with it, users can trans-code, convert and even stream video on Linux. Trouble is, for as great as the FFMpeg tool is, many users miss out on it due to the complexity of its terminal commands.

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

That’s where QWinFF comes in. It’s a stellar open source Linux application that takes the FFMpeg command-line tool wraps it in an easy-to-use GUI front-end. Making complex encoding operations a thing of the past.

Install QWinFF

Getting the QWinFF application working on Linux is quick as the developer has support for most of the major Linux distributions. Those looking to use QWinFF will need to have dependencies like FFMpeg and FFProbe installed, or the application will not work.

To install the QWinFF app, open a terminal and input the commands that correspond to your distribution.


QWinFF has Ubuntu support via a PPA. This allows the developers to distribute updates to the user, with no effort. However, the PPA appears to not get regular updates (for whatever reason), so avoid it for now. Instead, to get the app working on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, we must download a package from the PPA.

In a terminal, run the wget download tool and grab the latest release of QWinFF.

Note: the newest package of QWinFF available for download was made for Ubuntu 15.04, so use with caution.

wget https://launchpad.net/~lzh9102/+archive/ubuntu/qwinff/+files/qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_amd64.deb

or, for 32-bit:

wget https://launchpad.net/~lzh9102/+archive/ubuntu/qwinff/+files/qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_i386.deb

With the QWinFF Debian package on your Ubuntu PC, use the dpkg tool to load it into the system.

sudo dpkg -i qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_*.deb

Installing this package into Ubuntu, no matter the version will error out. Fix it by running the following command into a terminal.

sudo apt install -f

The apt install command should correct any weird dependency issues that appear. When done, QWinFF is ready to go!


There is no information for QWinFF pertaining to Debian on the official website. As of now, the developer only outlines that it supports Ubuntu/Mint and other distributions. Not to worry! Ubuntu and Debian are pretty much the same, minus little changes here and there. It is because of the similarities, Debian should have no issue installing the Ubuntu QWinFF package.

Open up a terminal and use the wget tool to download QWinFF, then install it with dpkg.

wget https://launchpad.net/~lzh9102/+archive/ubuntu/qwinff/+files/qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_amd64.deb

or, for 32-bit:

wget https://launchpad.net/~lzh9102/+archive/ubuntu/qwinff/+files/qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i qwinff_0.2.0-1~wily2_*.deb

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

Arch Linux has a version of QWinFF on the AUR. To install it, open a terminal and follow the steps below.

Note: installing programs from the AUR means dependencies sometimes break. Be sure to check the package’s AUR page for dependencies, in case you need to load them up.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/qwinff.git

cd qwinff

makepkg -si


Sadly, the software repositories set up for QWinFF are a bit outdated. Instead, follow the source code instructions if you’re looking to get the app working.

Note: be sure to enable RPM Fusion to install FFMpeg on Fedora.


OpenSUSE has a repo set up for QWinFF, but it’s for an old release. Follow the source code instructions to get QWinFF.

Generic Linux

The best way to get QWinFF for many Linux distributions is to just grab the source code. To start the source-code installation, open a terminal and use your package manager to install all of the necessary dependencies.

  • FFMpeg
  • ffprobe
  • Git
  • ffplayer or mplayer
  • sox
  • QtSDK 4.4.3 or later
  • libnotify

When all dependencies are loaded up, grab the source code, compile it and install it on your Linux PC.

git clone 'git://github.com/qwinff/qwinff.git

cd qwinff

sudo make install

Convert Videos With QWinFF

Using QWinFF to convert a media file is refreshingly easy.  To start the process, find the green “+” sign and select it. Clicking this button will bring up an “open file” dialog. Use this window to browse for a video or audio file.

Importing a media file opens an “Add Tasks” window. In this window, you must go through and select what to do with the media file.

Find the “Convert to” and click the drop-down menu next to it. In the menu, select the codec to transcode the file to. When everything looks good, click the “finish” button.

Start the QWinFF conversion process by clicking the “>>” button. When QWinFF finishes transcoding, you’ll see a completion notification on the desktop.

1 Comment

  1. As of May 2021, on Pop OS / Ubuntu 20.10, the dependencies are an issue for getting this to work; I’m not sure I’d mess around with it.

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