FFMpeg installs have plagued system administrators for a long time.  As a website developer, I've found FFMpeg an essential tool for converting audio and video files on the fly.  This is crucial for maintaining some sort of commonality among files uploaded from many users, and also allows you to keep control of your storage space.  So installing FFMpeg is critical for my personal success, as well as the success of my clients and their budget.

Unfortunately, FFMpeg is usually not a cakewalk to install, and involves using the dreaded "compiling code" to work on your system.  In a previous post on Installing FFMpeg in CentOS 6/7, I walked everyone through the process of installing using the YUM package manager.  The process was so streamlined, that there's literally a single line of code you can paste into the CLI and poof, you have FFMpeg installed.

Fortunately, FFMpeg is almost that easy to install in CentOS 8, as well.  Follow along, and I'll guide you to installing FFMpeg on CentOS 8.


  • Running CentOS 8
  • Root Access (typical on a VPS) or have a sudo user (typical on a shared hosting environment or other VPS environments)
  • Comfortable with YUM/DNF and RPM commands (Please don't blindly copy and paste code, understand it!)

Step 1: Install EPEL repository

There is two repositories which we will be relying on to install FFMpeg on CentOS 8.  The first is the EPEL repository, which contains a bunch of extra packages not shipped with the base CentOS 8 install media.

Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (or EPEL) is a Fedora Special Interest Group that creates, maintains, and manages a high quality set of additional packages for Enterprise Linux, including, but not limited to, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS and Scientific Linux (SL), Oracle Linux (OL). - EPEL wiki

In CentOS 8, the EPEL repository can be installed using YUM or DNF, whichever you're more comfortable with.  DO NOT issue both commands, one or the other.

For YUM, issue the following command:

yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm

If you're using DNF, use the following command:

dnf -y install https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm

You should have successfully installed the EPEL repository at this point.

Step 2: Install RPM Fusion repository

RPM Fusion has two repositories we will be using, a free one and a nonfree one.  They are both free to use, but the nonfree repository contains software that may not be covered under open source licensing.

Using YUM, you can install using the following command:

yum install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/el/rpmfusion-free-release-8.noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/el/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-8.noarch.rpm

If you prefer DNF, use the following command:

dnf config-manager --enable PowerTools && dnf install --nogpgcheck https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/el/rpmfusion-free-release-8.noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/el/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-8.noarch.rpm

Please remember, only use YUM or DNF, but not both.  This will cause conflicts.

Step 3: Install SDL2 Library Dependencies

FFMpeg will require the use of the SDL2 library.  You can install it with your favorite tool again.

Using YUM, issue the following command:

yum install http://rpmfind.net/linux/epel/7/x86_64/Packages/s/SDL2-2.0.10-1.el7.x86_64.rpm

With DNF, use the following command:

dnf install http://rpmfind.net/linux/epel/7/x86_64/Packages/s/SDL2-2.0.10-1.el7.x86_64.rpm

This should show a successful install of the SDL2 libraries.

Step 4: Install FFMpeg

Here's what you've been waiting for!  Let's actually install FFMpeg.

Using YUM, the following command:

yum install ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel

Using DNF, issue the following command:

dnf install ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel

This should leave you with a successful install of FFMpeg.

Step 5: Verify install of FFMpeg

This is the moment of truth.  If everything worked as expected, you should be able to see the installed version.  Try one of the two commands, and you should see similar output on successful install.  Congratulations!

rpm -qi ffmpeg
ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg version 4.2.2 Copyright (c) 2000-2019 the FFmpeg developers built with gcc 8 (GCC) configuration: --prefix=/usr --bindir=/usr/bin --datadir=/usr/share/ffmpeg --docdir=/usr/share/doc/ffmpeg --incdir=/usr/include/ffmpeg --libdir=/usr/lib64 --mandir=/usr/share/man --arch=x86_64 --optflags='-O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wp,-D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong -grecord-gcc-switches -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-cc1 -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-annobin-cc1 -m64 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -fstack-clash-protection -fcf-protection' --extra-ldflags='-Wl,-z,relro -Wl,-z,now -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-ld ' --extra-cflags=' ' --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-version3 --enable-bzlib --disable-crystalhd --enable-fontconfig --enable-frei0r --enable-gcrypt --enable-gnutls --enable-ladspa --enable-libaom --enable-libdav1d --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libcdio --enable-libdrm --enable-libjack --enable-libfreetype --enable-libfribidi --enable-libgsm --enable-libmp3lame --enable-nvenc --enable-openal --enable-opencl --enable-opengl --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse --enable-librsvg --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libssh --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-libv4l2 --enable-libvidstab --enable-libvmaf --enable-libvpx --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libzimg --enable-libzvbi --enable-avfilter --enable-avresample --enable-postproc --enable-pthreads --disable-static --enable-shared --enable-gpl --disable-debug --disable-stripping --shlibdir=/usr/lib64 --enable-libmfx --enable-runtime-cpudetect libavutil 56. 31.100 / 56. 31.100 libavcodec 58. 54.100 / 58. 54.100 libavformat 58. 29.100 / 58. 29.100 libavdevice 58. 8.100 / 58. 8.100 libavfilter 7. 57.100 / 7. 57.100 libavresample 4. 0. 0 / 4. 0. 0 libswscale 5. 5.100 / 5. 5.100 libswresample 3. 5.100 / 3. 5.100 libpostproc 55. 5.100 / 55. 5.100
rpm -qi ffmpeg
Name : ffmpeg Version : 4.2.2 Release : 1.el8 Architecture: x86_64 Install Date: Fri 20 Mar 2020 12:37:38 PM EDT Group : Unspecified Size : 1939204 License : GPLv2+ Signature : RSA/SHA1, Fri 03 Jan 2020 07:26:34 PM EST, Key ID 979f0c69158b3811 Source RPM : ffmpeg-4.2.2-1.el8.src.rpm Build Date : Wed 01 Jan 2020 04:32:02 PM EST Build Host : buildvm-03.online.rpmfusion.net Relocations : (not relocatable) Packager : RPM Fusion Vendor : RPM Fusion URL : http://ffmpeg.org/ Summary : Digital VCR and streaming server Description : FFmpeg is a complete and free Internet live audio and video broadcasting solution for Linux/Unix. It also includes a digital VCR. It can encode in real time in many formats including MPEG1 audio and video, MPEG4, h263, ac3, asf, avi, real, mjpeg, and flash.