How to Install HandBrake Video Converter on Ubuntu

The Handbrake trans-coder is a free, open source and cross-platform solution for you to convert common media files from one format to another. The software was originally developed by Eric Petit aka ‘titer’ in 2003 for the sole purpose of ripping media from a DVD to some data storage devices. It has gone through a lot of changes since then and is now a complete solution for multimedia format conversion. HandBrake uses third-party libraries like libvpx, FFmpeg and x265 and allows trans-coding functionality on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Here are some of the powerful features of HandBrake that gives it an edge over the competitors:

  • The software can convert almost all video formats to MP4 and MKV formats
  • Enables you to resize and crop videos to match your requirements
  • Helps you in restoring low-quality videos for better graphics
  • Helps in removing combing artifacts that are usually caused by telcine and interlacing
  • Supports down-mixing of surround sound into matrixed stereo
  • Supports adjusting of volume levels and dynamic range for some selective audio formats
  • Retains subtitles and also lets adding/removing of subtitles stored as text
  • Skips unrequired audio conversion for certain audio formats
  • Helps you in making smaller videos instead of the original ones, so that they take less space on your storage

In this article, we will show two ways to install the Handbrake trans-coder on a Ubuntu system; one is through the graphical user interface and the other is through the Ubuntu command line, the Terminal.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Install HandBrake Through the Ubuntu Software Manager (UI)

For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing a software present in the Ubuntu repository through the UI is very simple. On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Ubuntu Software Icon

In the following view, click on the search icon and enter Handbrake in the search bar. The search results will list the Handbrake entry as follows:

Search for HandBrake in the software package list

Click the Handbrake package that best suits your requirements, from the search results. The following dialog will appear:

Select handbrake-jz

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate yourself as admin user

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.

HandBrake is being installed

HandBrake will then be installed to your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

launch HandBrake

Through the above dialog, you can choose to directly launch HandBrake and even Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

You can launch HandBrake through the UI any time you want by entering HandBrake in Ubuntu Dash or access it from the Applications list.

HandBrake Icon

This is how the HandBrake UI would look like:

HandBrake Video Transcoder

Install HandBrake Through the Command Line

Open your Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, either through the Dash or by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the following command in order to refresh the list of available packages:

$ sudo apt-get update

This command will update your system’s software repository index with that of the Internet so that you can install the latest release of a software.

Update the package list

The system will ask you for your password as only an authorized user can add, update, remove and configure software on Ubuntu.

Now enter the following apt-get command in order to install the latest HandBrake:

$ sudo apt-get install handbrake

Install handbrake package

The system will prompt you with a Y/n to confirm the beginning of the installation procedure. Enter Y and then hit the  Enter key. The installation process will begin and might take some time depending on your Internet speed.

You can then launch HandBrake by entering the following command in your Terminal:

$ handbrake

Start HandBrake

This will launch the HandBrake UI on your system.

Uninstall HandBrake through the UI

You can uninstall HandBrake through the Ubuntu Software manager by first searching for it through the Search button and then clicking the Remove button from the following view:

Using software installer to uninstall handBrake

A dialog will ask you if you are sure about removing the software from your system. Please enter the Remove button to uninstall HandBrake. An authentication dialog will display for you to provide the authentication details for a sudo user as only an authorized user can install a software on Ubuntu. Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the uninstall process will begin, removing HandBrake from your system.

Uninstall HandBrake Through the Command Line

In order to uninstall HandBrake from your system, enter the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get remove handbrake

Uninstalling with apt command

The system will prompt you with a Y/n option in order to begin the uninstall procedure. Please enter Y and hit Enter to begin. HandBrake will then be removed from your system.

Through this article, you can install the feature-rich transcoder, the Handbrake, both through the graphical user interface and the Ubuntu command line. After reading this article, you are also capable of removing the software when you no longer need it. Now you have a cross-platform media conversion software that you can add to your list of most usable media tools.