Hello Serverfault friends,

I am about two days into attempting to install FFMPEG with dependencies on an AWS EC2 instance running the Amazon Linux AMI. I've installed FFMPEG on Ubuntu and Fedora systems with no problems in the past, and have read reportedly successful instructions on installing on Red Hat/Fedora. I have followed a number of tutorials and forum articles to do so, but have had no luck yet. As far as I can tell, the main problems are as followed:

  1. The amazon linux (Most similar to red-hat/centos) yum repositories don't have ffmpeg available. I have found instructions to update the repositories to include the required packages, but adding these repositories cause yum to fail in updating packages. (Also, I've read some cautionary tales about adding redhat/centos repositories to amazon linux that lead me to believe it may be a bad idea)


  1. I have tried a more complicated method of downloading the source tarball, compiling, and installing, but this always fails due to missing dependencies and other errors.

On to my question: Has anyone successfully installed FFMPEG on Amazon Linux? Is there a fundamental incompatibility? If anyone could share specific instructions on installing ffmpeg on amazon linux I would be greatly appreciative. Any other insights/experiences would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Oliver


Well, the direct answer is no, but the correct answer is I can.

When you have missing dependencies during compile, you just need to hunt those down and compile them, then try again. If you're feeling really fancy, you can make your own package out of all those dependencies.

There is no fundamental incompatibility about it, just a bit of hard experience.

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  • Thanks Jeff. I will continue my efforts and report back. – Oliver Holmberg Mar 29 '12 at 17:22
  • @OliverHolmberg Way back in the day, I used to do this: linuxfromscratch.org – Jeff Ferland Mar 29 '12 at 17:29
  • So in the end, you were entirely correct, it was really just a matter of patiently tracking down and installing those dependencies, most of which were available in the yum repo for amazon linux. Thanks again. – Oliver Holmberg Mar 30 '12 at 0:38

On Fedora or RHEL I use ATRPMS to install ffmpeg. I'm not sure how well that'll work for Amazon Linux. Worst case is you'd pull down all the RPMs manually and then rebuild them locally which should be simpler than trying to build all the ffmpeg deps yourself. And you'd have RPMs you can put in your local repo or whatever.

In regards to the yum package update problem you will want to only include ffmpeg and the packages it depends on in the .repo file. This will keep yum from pulling in other packages from that repo. You can also set yum priorities as well.

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  • Thanks! (Especially for the insights regarding management of repositories, my understanding in that area is a little weak) None the less, it seems as though with Amazon Linux screwing with repos is more trouble than building from source. – Oliver Holmberg Mar 29 '12 at 18:03

easiest for me was to install a static build from http://johnvansickle.com/ffmpeg/

Just unpack and run ./ffmpeg

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