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5 ways to convert video files on Linux

Need to convert a video file on your Linux PC? Can’t figure out which app to use to convert that video file from an MP4 to an AVI or another format? We can help! Follow along as we go over 5 ways to convert video files on Linux!

1. Ciano

Probably the quickest and easiest way to convert a video file on the Linux desktop is with an app known as Ciano. It’s an excellent little tool that users can use to transcode both audio and video files. In this list, we will go over how to use it to convert a video file from one format to another, but you can learn how to use it for audio here.

First, install the Ciano app. To install the program on your computer, start by launching a terminal window. When the terminal window is open and ready to go, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, Ciano must be installed via Flatpak.

Debian

If you are using Debian, install Ciano with Flatpak.

Arch Linux

Ciano is on Arch, and you can install it with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S ciano

Fedora

On Fedora, you must install Ciano via Flatpak.

OpenSUSE

Need to get Ciano on OpenSUSE? Use Zypper.

sudo zypper install ciano

Flatpak

First, ensure that the Flatpak runtime is set up on your Linux PC by following this guide here. Once the runtime is set up on your computer, enter the two commands below to get Ciano.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub com.github.robertsanseries.ciano

With the Ciano application up and running, follow the step-by-step instructions below to convert your video file.

Step 1: Launch Ciano on the Linux desktop via the app menu.

Step 2: Look to the left-hand side-bar of Ciano for “Video.” Under the “video” section, there are various file-formats. Select the format which you’d like to convert your video file to. If you wish to convert to MP4, select “MP4,” etc.

Step 3: Click on the “+” button in the bottom left-hand corner of Ciano to add the video file to the app. Then, click on the “Start conversion” button to convert the video file.

2. FFMPeg

The most powerful command-line conversion tool on all of Linux is FFMPeg. With this app, you can convert any video with just a simple command. To start the conversion process, open up a terminal window. When the terminal window is open, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below to get the FFMPeg application downloaded and installed on your Linux PC.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, install FFMpeg with Apt.

sudo apt install ffmpeg

Debian

Those using Debian can get FFMPeg with Apt-get.

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, users can install FFMPeg with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S ffmpeg

Fedora

Fedora Linux users are able to install FFMPeg with Dnf.

sudo dnf install ffmpeg

OpenSUSE

Those on OpenSUSE can grab FFMPeg with Zypper.

sudo zypper install ffmpeg

Once the FFMPeg application is installed on your computer, use the following command-line example to convert your video from one format to another. Keep in mind that this command-line example is very basic. If you want more advanced conversions, check ffmpeg –help.

ffmpeg -i /path/to/original/videofile.format /path/to/new/file.format

3. Handbrake

Handbrake is a highly advanced transcoding program for Linux, as well as other platforms. It can convert everything from Bluray disks to AVI files. To convert a video file from one format to another using Handbrake, follow our guide on the subject. It covers, in-depth how to install the Handbrake program, and how to transcode your favorite video files to various formats using it.

4. Transmageddon

Another way to convert video files from one format to another is by using Transmageddon. It’s a simple tool that can take any video file and output it in the file format you choose. It even supports video image rotation, if you need it.

To get Transmageddon up and running on your Linux PC, you must install it with the command-line. Launch a terminal window on the Linux desktop with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu (18.04 LTS only)

To install Transmageddon on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, run the following Apt command. Sadly, there is no version for newer releases.

sudo apt install transmageddon

Debian 9

Transmageddon is available for Debian 9 (old stable). To install it, use the following Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install transmageddon

Arch Linux

To install Transmageddon on Arch Linux, run the Pacman command.

sudo pacman -S transmageddon

Fedora

To use Transmageddon on Fedora Linux, execute the Dnf command.

sudo dnf install transmageddon

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE, install Transmageddon with Zypper.

sudo zypper install transmageddon

Convert files

Once the app is installed, launch it and follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Locate the “Choose Input File” menu, and click on the drop-down menu. Select “Choose file.” Then, browse for the file you wish to convert.

Step 2: Look to the “Presets” menu, and click on the drop-down menu. Select the video preset to use for your video file.

Step 3: Look under “Audio Codec” and “Video Codec” and set them to whatever format you want to convert to.

Step 4: Select the “Transcode” button to convert the video file.

5. VLC

If you’re a fan of VLC, you’ll be interested to know that it can be used to convert video files. It’s not perfect, but it works quite well in a pinch, especially on Linux operating systems that don’t have other tools available. To learn more about how to convert video files with VLC, check out this guide.

Conclusion

In this list, we went over 5 ways to convert video files on the Linux desktop. What conversion method do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments below!

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