Compiling WebM into FFMpeg for Windows

I have updated this post with a newer version of the VP8 patches to FFMpeg and support for libvorbis instead of the built in vorbis support.

Google has released source for the VP8 codec as the WebM project. The WebM project will be an open alternative in the HTML5 video tag codec space and being backed by Google, who will use it for YouTube, will give it a fighting chance. WebM is starting to be integrated into FFMpeg but there are still some patches that need to be applied. While there are some guides to how to build FFMpeg for Linux with VP8 WebM support I wanted to get it compiled for Windows.

First off this won't be done using a Windows install but instead using Virtual Box with a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 desktop. It is just faster and easier that way. So go ahead and grab Virtual Box and get Ubuntu installed on it before you continue.

I used this cross compiling X264 using Ubuntu as a base for part of my script. The entire script follows but if you want to make sure you get a good copy you can download it:

mkdir ffmpeg
cd ffmpeg


sudo apt-get install pkg-config yasm subversion cvs git-core gcc-mingw32

cat > << EOF
export CC=i586-mingw32msvc-gcc
export CXX=i586-mingw32msvc-g++
export CPP=i586-mingw32msvc-cpp
export AR=i586-mingw32msvc-ar
export RANLIB=i586-mingw32msvc-ranlib
export ADD2LINE=i586-mingw32msvc-addr2line
export AS=i586-mingw32msvc-as
export LD=i586-mingw32msvc-ld
export NM=i586-mingw32msvc-nm
export STRIP=i586-mingw32msvc-strip
export PATH="/usr/i586-mingw32msvc/bin:$PATH"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="$MINGBASE/lib/pkgconfig/"
exec "\$@"
chmod +x


cd $MINGBASE/src

wget -qO - | tar xzf -
cd libogg-1.2.0
$BASEDIR/ ./configure --enable-static --disable-shared --host=mingw32
DESTDIR=$MINGBASE make install prefix=
cd ..

wget -qO - | tar xzf -
cd libvorbis-1.3.1
LDFLAGS="-L$MINGBASE/lib" CFLAGS="-I$MINGBASE/include" $BASEDIR/ ./configure --enable-static --disable-shared --host=mingw32
DESTDIR=$MINGBASE make install prefix=
cd ..

wget -qO - | tar xzf -
cd pthreads-w32-2-8-0-release
make GC-static CROSS=i586-mingw32msvc-
cp libpthreadGC2.a $MINGBASE/lib
cp *.h $MINGBASE/include
cd ..

wget -qO - | tar xzf -
cd zlib-1.2.5/
$BASEDIR/ ./configure 
sed -i"" -e 's/-lc//' Makefile
DESTDIR=$MINGBASE make install prefix=
cd ..

git clone git://
cd libvpx/
git checkout fd0d7ff4c155b94d3f322addc7b66234b6908cc6
cat > /tmp/libvpx.x.patch << EOP 
diff -rupN libvpx.orig/configure libvpx/configure
--- libvpx.orig/configure	2010-07-11 14:49:18.703230816 -0400
+++ libvpx/configure	2010-07-11 14:50:33.747300030 -0400
@@ -436,9 +436,9 @@ process_detect() {
     check_header stdio.h || die "Unable to invoke compiler: \${CC} \${CFLAGS}"
-    check_ld <<EOF || die "Toolchain is unable to link executables"
-int main(void) {return 0;}
+#    check_ld <<EOF || die "Toolchain is unable to link executables"
+#int main(void) {return 0;}
     # check system headers
     check_header stdint.h
     check_header pthread.h
diff -rupN libvpx.orig/vp8/common/postproc.c libvpx/vp8/common/postproc.c
--- libvpx.orig/vp8/common/postproc.c	2010-07-11 14:49:18.939266476 -0400
+++ libvpx/vp8/common/postproc.c	2010-07-11 14:51:03.855300662 -0400
@@ -481,7 +481,7 @@ int vp8_post_proc_frame(VP8_COMMON *oci,
 #if ARCH_X86||ARCH_X86_64
-    vpx_reset_mmx_state();
+//    vpx_reset_mmx_state();
     if (flags & VP8D_DEMACROBLOCK)
diff -rupN libvpx.orig/vp8/common/systemdependent.h libvpx/vp8/common/systemdependent.h
--- libvpx.orig/vp8/common/systemdependent.h	2010-07-11 14:49:18.947263304 -0400
+++ libvpx/vp8/common/systemdependent.h	2010-07-11 14:51:25.019253115 -0400
@@ -10,12 +10,12 @@
 #include "vpx_ports/config.h"
-#if ARCH_X86 || ARCH_X86_64
-void vpx_reset_mmx_state(void);
-#define vp8_clear_system_state() vpx_reset_mmx_state()
+//#if ARCH_X86 || ARCH_X86_64
+//void vpx_reset_mmx_state(void);
+//#define vp8_clear_system_state() vpx_reset_mmx_state()
 #define vp8_clear_system_state()
 struct VP8Common;
 void vp8_machine_specific_config(struct VP8Common *);
patch -p1 < /tmp/libvpx.x.patch
$BASEDIR/ ./configure --disable-examples --disable-mmx --disable-sse --disable-sse2 --disable-sse3 --disable-ssse3
$BASEDIR/ make
DESTDIR=$MINGBASE make install prefix=/
cd ../..
mv usr/local/lib/* lib
mv usr/local/include/vpx/ include/
cd src

wget -qO - | zcat - > /tmp/ffmpeg-0.6_libvpx-0.9.1.diff
wget -qO - | tar xzf -
cd ffmpeg-0.6
patch -p0 < /tmp/ffmpeg-0.6_libvpx-0.9.1.diff

LDFLAGS="-L$MINGBASE/lib" CFLAGS="-I$MINGBASE/include" ./configure --target-os=mingw32 --cross-prefix=i586-mingw32msvc- --arch=x86 --prefix=$MINGBASE --enable-memalign-hack --enable-gpl --enable-avisynth --enable-version3 --enable-postproc --enable-libvpx --enable-runtime-cpudetect --disable-network --disable-devices --disable-encoder=vorbis --enable-libvorbis

cp ffmpeg.exe $BASEDIR

Just transfer that script to the user you create when you installed Ubuntu and run it. You will need to provide your password once so that the system can install a few tools but after that everything is done automatically. At the end you will have exe files in the directory you ran the script from.

Transfer the exe files that are created to a windows machine and then transcode a video like this:

ffmpeg.exe -i Big_Buck_Bunny_1080p.avi -acodec libvorbis -ac 2 -ab 128k -ar 44100 -s 720x480 Big_Buck_Bunny_1080p.webm

Please note that you need to include the audio codec information above to correctly encode the video. If you don't include rate values you will get an error telling you the libvorbis can't be initialized.

When the transcoding is done you will have a WebM video. Grab your closest HTML5 video player like VideoJS and you are ready to go.

For a demo video encoded using FFMpeg created with the above script check out this WebM demo video. You will need to use one of the following browsers to view the demo (all of these are as of July 13 2010, support will eventually be added to the main build):

I have tested the demo video on each of the above, except for IE9 that doesn't have WebM support as of yet, and it seems to work pretty well.

12 thoughts on “Compiling WebM into FFMpeg for Windows

  1. Gabriel

    Thanks for the tutorial. Could you share the compiled ffmpeg executable? It'd be much appreciated!

  2. Ricardo

    Hi, thanks for the guide

    I don't use Ubuntu nor have a spare pc to install it, can you share a ffmpeg build with vp8?


  3. Ricardo

    Hello again.

    His ffmpeg build using the command line he gave doesnt produce proper webm videos, unlike the other samples iveseen it only plays the audio.

    Mediainfo info reports webm files as webm, the webm output produced by his ffmpeg build is recognized as mkv in mediainfo

    Can you suplly a build made by you?


  4. Matthew Scheuerman

    I've had some "wierdness" running this script.

    First run, it didn't download any of the necessary Ubuntu files.
    Then next run downloaded all the necessary files.
    Then every run after that it returns the following at the very end of the script's run

    ls: cannot access *.exe: No such file or directory

    This is probably my tenth time using linux and the linux terminal , so I might be doing something wrong.

    Do you have any idea what's going on?

    I'm going to download the binaries you linked to but I thought it might be nice to learn to do it myself.

  5. Ricardo

    Hi Carson!

    Any chance of providing a windows ffmpeg build with libvorbis instead of the normal vorbis encoder, the audio encoded with vorbis from ffmpeg sounds insanely bad, i researched and it seems that we need to use -ac libvorbis with ffmpeg to use a different vorbis encoder with better quality

    Can you help?


  6. carson Post author

    @matthew Make sure you are running the version of Ubuntu listed. I haven't tried with anything but that would be my guess.

  7. carson Post author

    @Ricardo The steps are pretty easy to follow and even on windows it would probably take an hour or so to install Virtualbox and end with an exe. I'll look at integrating in libvorbis into the example.

  8. Ricardo

    Hi Carson, altough not familiar with virtualbox i'll give it a try. lets us know when you change the script to include libvorbis


  9. Dave Brown

    @matthew, I'm getting the same error, but more importantly (I think) a few lines up I see "ERROR: libvpx_vp8 not found". That "ls -l *.exe" appears to just be a convenience to show you what was made — in our case, nothing.

    Above this, I'm seeing a couple possibly-relevant errors:

    [CC] vp8/vp8_cx_iface.c.o
    vp8/vp8_cx_iface.c:106:1: warning: "ERROR" redefined
    In file included from /usr/lib/gcc/i586-mingw32msvc/4.2.1-sjlj/../../../../i586-mingw32msvc/include/windows.h:52,
    from /home/dave/ffmpeg/win32-webm/src/libvpx/vp8/common/threading.h:22,
    from /home/dave/ffmpeg/win32-webm/src/libvpx/vp8/encoder/onyx_int.h:27,
    from vp8/vp8_cx_iface.c:15:
    /usr/lib/gcc/i586-mingw32msvc/4.2.1-sjlj/../../../../i586-mingw32msvc/include/wingdi.h:313:1: warning: this is the location of the previous definition
    cp: cannot stat `vp8/*.h': No such file or directory
    cp: cannot stat `vpx_codec/*.h': No such file or directory

    Also, note that this line in the script, export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="$HOME/ffmpeg/win32-webm/lib/pkgconfig/" references your home directory root-relative, so I believe you *must* run the script from there because various directories are created relative to where the script resides. I initially ran it from the Desktop where Firefox dropped it for me.

    I recently upgraded my VirtualBox Ubuntu install to 10.04, so Carson's response that the Ubuntu version might need to be exact could very well be the thing, but maybe the other errors I saw will give someone a clue.

    But it looks like patch-free solutions are starting to arrive anyway. Do appreciate the early effort here, even though I couldn't get it to work :-)

  10. Snaky

    hi, sorry, but the video demo page does not play at all. I tried with opera labs 10.54, newest chrome and firefox – no video play. at least opera does try to play the video, but it shows only a small stripe in the middle of the player.

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