Version 12 (modified by cbsrobot, 6 years ago) (diff)


Compiling on Mac OS X is as easy as any other *nix machine, there are just a few caveats.


Starting with Lion 10.7, Xcode is available for free from the Mac App Store and is required to compile anything on your Mac. Make sure you install the Command Line Tools from Preferences > Downloads > Components. Older versions are still available with an AppleID and free Developer account at

The general procedure is ./configure <flags>; make && sudo make install, but some use a different configuration scheme, or none at all.

Attention Lion 10.7 Users: Due to defects in the llvm-gcc compiler, static macros defined in FFmpeg will fail to be recognized, resulting in a fatal error. You may need to use cc/clang instead of gcc when compiling on Lion, i.e. --cc=cc --cxx=c++


Some of the following dependencies can also be installed with homebrew or macports.


Mac OS X Lion comes with Freetype already installed (older versions may need 'X11' selected during installation), but in an atypical location: /usr/X11. Running freetype-config in Terminal can give the locations of the individual folders, like headers, and libraries, so be prepared to add lines like CFLAGS=`freetype-config --cflags` LDFLAGS=`freetype-config --libs` before ./configure when configuring packages that require freetype like gd and png.

Pkg-config & GLib

Pkg-config is necessary for detecting some of the libraries you can compile into FFmpeg, and it requires GLib which is not included in Mac OS X (but almost every other *nix distribution). You may either download pkg-config 0.23, or download the large tarball from and compile it. Pkg-config is available from

To compile GLib, you must also download gettext from and edit the file stpncpy.c to add "#undef stpncpy" just before "#ifndef weak_alias". Lion has its own (incompatible) version of the stpncpy function, which overlaps in gettext. Compile gettext as usual. Compile GLib with LIBFFI_CFLAGS=-I/usr/include/ffi LIBFFI_LIBS=-lffi ./configure;make && sudo make install

To compile pkg-config, run GLIB_CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include/glib-2.0 -I/usr/local/lib/glib-2.0/include" GLIB_LIBS="-lglib-2.0 -lgio-2.0" ./configure --with-pc-path="/usr/X11/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/X11/share/pkgconfig:/usr/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig"


Yasm is available from and is necessary for compiling C code that contains machine-independent Assembler code. To compile, run ./configure --enable-python; make && sudo make install

Additional libraries

These are just some axamples. Run .configure --help for all available options. Some of these libraries can also be installed with homebrew or macports.


FAAC is available at Enabling support in ffmpeg requires the --enable-libfaac --enable-nonfree configure options.

Lame (MP3)

Lame is available at, and adds MP3 encoding to FFmpeg. Enabling support in ffmpeg requires --enable-libmp3lame.


Libass is available at In order to compile with --enable-libass you need Freetype installed.


OpenJPEG is available at . Compile with --enable-libopenjpeg .


Schroedinger, which adds Dirac codec support, is available from To compile schroedinger, you need ORC, available from Compile orc with the standard procedure, making sure you delete the "testsuite" folder, which won't compile. When compiling schroedinger, make sure pkg-config and yasm are already installed.


Speex is available at Compile with --enable-libspeex .

Theora, Ogg, Vorbis, &amp; SDL

All of these libraries are available at Compile with --enable-libtheora .


VPX is available at Compile with --enable-libvpx .


x264 is available at FFmpeg depends on x264 when compiled with --enable-libx264 and x264 depends on FFmpeg when compiled with --enable-lavf-input . The best way to handle it is to install x264 first without --enable-lavf-input then compile FFmpeg with --enable-libx264 and finally compile x264 again with --enable-lavf-input .


XVid is available from Compile with --enable-libxvid .


Once you have compiled all of the codecs/libraries you want, you can now download the FFmpeg source either with git or the from release tarball links on the website. Study the output of ./configure --help and make sure you've enabled all the features you want, remembering that --enable-nonfree and --enable-gpl will be necessary for some of the dependencies above. A sample command is:

./configure --enable-nonfree --enable-libcdio --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libfaac --enable-libfreetype --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libx264 --enable-libxvid --enable-openssl --enable-zlib --enable-gpl

make install

Install qt-faststart (optional)

This is a useful tool if you're showing your H.264 MP4 videos on the web. It relocates some data in the video to allow playback to begin before the file is completely downloaded. Usage: qt-faststart input.mp4 output.mp4. Code:

make tools/qt-faststart