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In this tutorial we will see some useful FFMPEG commands that you can use on Ubuntu/Linux Mint to make screencasting videos, rotate videos, add logo/text watermarks to a video, insert shapes, and so on.

To install ffmpeg and some other packages on Ubuntu/Linux Mint, open the terminal and run these commands:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg x264

sudo apt-get install frei0r-plugins mjpegtools

Note: The file formats used in this tutorial are selected randomly and you can set any other extension of your choice.

1. Screecasting

To record your screen withh FFMPEG, you can use this command:

ffmpeg -f x11grab -follow_mouse 100 -r 25 -s vga -i :0.0 filename.avi

Now the command will record every spot on your screen you hover your mouse cursor over. Press Ctrl+C to stop recording. If you want to set a screen resolution for the video to be recorded, you can use this ffmpeg command:

ffmpeg -f x11grab -s 800x600 -r 25 -i :0.0 -qscale 5 filename.avi

To show the region that will be recorded while moving your mouse pointer, use this command:

ffmpeg -f x11grab -follow_mouse centered -show_region 1 -r 25 -s vga -i :0.0 filename.avi

If you want to record in fullscreen with better video quality (HD), you can use this command:

ffmpeg -f x11grab -s wxga -r 25 -i :0.0 -sameq  video.mp4

Her is a video example created with the latter command:


2. Add Audio To A Static Picture

If you want to add music to a static picture with ffmpeg, run this command from the terminal:

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -loop_input -f image2 -i file.jpg -t 188 output.mp4

3. Add Image Watermarks to A Video

To add an image to a video using ffmpeg, you can use one of these commands:

Picture Location: Top Left Corner

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vf "movie=file.png [watermark]; [in][watermark] overlay=10:10 [out]" output.flv

Here is an example:


Picture Location: Top Right Corner

ffmpeg –i input.avi -vf "movie=watermarklogo.png [watermark]; [in][watermark] overlay=main_w-overlay_w-10:10 [out]" output.flv

Picture Location: Bottom Left Corner

ffmpeg –i input.avi -vf "movie=watermarklogo.png [watermark]; [in][watermark] overlay=10:main_h-overlay_h-10 [out]" output.flv

Picture Location: Bottom Right Corner

ffmpeg –i input.avi -vf "movie=watermarklogo.png [watermark]; [in][watermark] overlay=main_w-overlay_w-10:main_h-overlay_h-10 [out]" output.flv

4. Add Text Watermarks To Videos

To add text to a video, use this command:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf drawtext="fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/truetype/freefont/FreeSans.ttf: text='YOUR TEXT HERE':fontcolor=red@1.0:fontsize=70:x=00: y=40" -y output.mp4

An example:


To use another text font, you can list them from the terminal with this command:

ls /usr/share/fonts/truetype/freefont/

4. Rotate Videos

To rotate a video 90 degrees with ffmpeg, run this command:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vf transpose=1 output.avi

Here is an example for a video rotated with ffmpeg:


Here is all parameters:

  • 0 = 90 degrees CounterCLockwise  (Vertical Flip (default))
  • 1 = 90 degrees Clockwise
  • 2 = 90 degrees CounterClockwise
  • 3 = 90 degrees Clockwise (Vertical Flip)

5. Adjust Audio/Video Volume
You can use ffmpeg to change volume of a video file with this command:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vol 100  output.avi

To change volume of an audio file, run this command:

ffmpeg -i input.mp3 -vol 100 -ab 128 output.mp3

6. Insert A Video Inside Another Video

To do this, run this command:

ffmpeg -i video1.mp4 -vf "movie=video2.mp4:seek_point=5, scale=200:-1, setpts=PTS-STARTPTS [movie]; [in] setpts=PTS-STARTPTS, [movie] overlay=270:240 [out]" output.mp4

Here is an example:


7. Add a Rectangle To A Video

To draw for example an orange rectangle in a video, you can use this command:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vf "drawbox=500:150:600:400:orange@0.9" -sameq -y output.avi

Video example:


If you have something to add or report a mistake, please use the comment form below.

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