Automatically Update FFMPEG and x264 From Source / SVN In Ubuntu

16 04 2010

Whenever I wish to install and use the rather excellent video and audio transcode programs ffmpeg and x264 I have used FakeOutdoorsman’s excellent How To from the Ubuntu Forums. However, constantly typing out all the commands, especially when updating, is a pain in the arse.

I thus decided, with FakeOutdoorsman’s permission, to write some scripts to automate the task. They are, I hope, fairly comprehensive and allow a user to build and install the latest version of ffmpeg and x264, from source for Ubuntu Hardy, Intrepid, Jaunty, Karmic and Lucid. They allow this to be done automatically, after a few questions have been answered.

There are four scripts in total, one for the initial install, one for keeping everything up-to-date, one to reverse the changes with minimal impact and one to completely reverse all changes (this one I recommend no-one using, hence it is depreciated, but it is there in case some one wants it).

I am certainly not the best at bash, but I have done lots of Googling and I think the script is fairly robust, though I am sure there are errors.

I will be adding to the script over time, adding new features, combining things, adding better error checking etc, so for now consider them BETA releases. They have been tested on Lucid and Karmic only, but they appeared to work.

Please submit any questions here or at the project hosting page.

So, where are the files?

You can get all the scripts here:

Have fun!




6 responses

17 04 2010

For x264 i need to use ./configure –disable-asm due to my AMD Thunderbird CPU. How should I best implement this in your script?

13 11 2010

Worked perfectly on ubuntu jaunty, thank you.

26 01 2011


I use your script since a while, thank you!

Yesterday i tried to update, but the script returns:

Now updating x264.
x264 updated.

Now updating ffmpeg.
-ffmpeg: error running svn update
ffmpeg updated.

That’s it, all done.

With is everything all right:

installing dependencies

downlading, building and installing x264

downloading, building and installing ffmpeg

Any idea?

19 11 2012
Christian Kirschenlohr

I tried your script but it will not run on my installation of precise. It reports Syntax error in line 437: “(” unexpected (expecting “}”)
Because I don’t I have much experience with Sheell scripts under linux, I would be happy if you could point me in the right directio,n please.


19 11 2012

Have you tried the version hosted here: ?

I haven’t used the script in a few months but I have tried it on precise and it worked fine a few months ago.

19 11 2012
Christian Kirschenlohr

OK. Got it fixed. Problem exists between keyboard and chair. I first started the script with sudo sh This led to the error message above. I needed to start the script with “sudo bash”. Thanks for your help!

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