How to Convert MOV to MP4 With FFmpeg on Linux

By Fatima Farakh

FFmpeg is a free open-source utility that lets you record, convert and play audio and video files on multiple platforms. You can convert videos in the Apple QuickTime Movie format, or MOV, to the MPEG-4, or MP4, format in Linux by accessing FFmpeg in Terminal. The FFmpeg command requires that you specify the file name for the source MOV file and the destination path for the MP4 file. FFmpeg's video conversion speed varies based on the size of the video file.

Step 1

Open Terminal.

Step 2

Type "ffmpeg -i" without the quotes.

Step 3

Type the MOV file name with its file path, such as "/home/user/Desktop/sample.mov."

Step 4

Type the MP4 output file name with its destination file path, such as "/home/user/Desktop/sample.mp4." The entire command from the example is "ffmpeg -i /home/user/Desktop/sample.mov /home/user/Desktop/sample.mp4" without the quotes.

Step 5

Press the "Enter" key to start the video encoding. The new MP4 file will appear in the folder used in the destination file path once encoding is complete.

Step 6

Type "exit" and press "Enter" to close Terminal after the video conversion is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Press the "Q" key during video encoding to stop the process.
  • Type "ffmpeg -h" to view the FFmpeg help options.