How to install and test FFMPEG/FFMPEG-PHP in Debian Squeeze

Today we will explain how you can install ‘ffmpeg‘ and ‘ffmpeg-php‘ on a Debian 6 (Squeeze) VPS. The installation instructions apply to any other Debian 6 based box too.

What is FFMPEG?

It is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video files. FFMPEG ships ‘libavcodec‘ which is one of the leading audio/video codec libraries.

Ok, but then what is FFMPEG-PHP?

It is an extension for PHP that adds an easy to use, object-oriented application programming interface for accessing and retrieving information from video and audio files.

1. First, make sure your Debian VPS is fully up-to-date by executing the following:

# apt-get update && apt-get -y upgrade --show-upgraded

2. Next, we need to include the DotDeb repository to your sources so we can easily install PHP ffmpeg extension from it:

# echo -e "deb squeeze all" >> /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Now as we have added the repo to the sources, we need to import its GPG key. To do that execute the following statement:

# gpg --keyserver --recv-key 89DF5277 && gpg -a --export 89DF5277 | apt-key add -

– You should get something like the output below:
gpg: requesting key 89DF5277 from hkp server
gpg: key 89DF5277: public key “Guillaume Plessis ” imported
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)

4. Now, the DotDeb repo is fully setup so we need to refresh the sources by running:

# apt-get update

5. With all that in place we’re ready to actually install the FFMPEG and FFMPEG-PHP packages, so do it by executing the following command:

# apt-get install ffmpeg php5-ffmpeg -y

Once the installation is completed, test if ffmpeg is installed and loaded appropriately by running:

# ffmpeg -version
# php -m | grep ffmpeg

If everything is OK as a final test you can use the following PHP script to test whether FFMPEG is available in your PHP:

$command = 'ffmpeg -version';
$path = '/tmp';

exec($command, $path, $returncode);
if ($returncode == 127)
	echo 'ffmpeg is NOT available';
	echo 'ffmpeg is available';
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  • JrrMaster


    Author Reply

    I have installed this successfully, but have and error “ffmpeg is NOT available” :(
    What should I do to fix this?
    Anyway, Thank you.

    • admin


      Author Reply

      Did you restart your web server for the changes to take effect?

  • Qosim


    Author Reply

    where i create php file ?

    • admin


      Author Reply

      Hi Qosim,

      you can create the test PHP script anywhere within your document root, so you can access it via your favorite browser.

      Let us know how it goes.