Table of contents
- Optional components
- Building libEBML and libMatroska
- Building MKVtoolNix
- Notes for compilation on (Open)Solaris
- Unit tests
- Reporting bugs
With these tools one can get information about (mkvinfo) Matroska files, extract tracks/data from (mkvextract) Matroska files and create (mkvmerge) Matroska files from other media files. Matroska is a new multimedia file format aiming to become THE new container format for the future. You can find more information about it and its underlying technology, the Extensible Binary Meta Language (EBML), at
The full documentation for each command is now maintained in its
man page only. Type
mkvmerge -h to get you started.
This code comes under the GPL v2 (see www.gnu.org or the file COPYING). Modify as needed.
The icons are based on the work of Alexandr Grigorcea and modified by Eduard Geier. They're licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
The newest version can always be found at https://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/
Moritz Bunkus email@example.com
If you want to compile the tools yourself then you must first decide if you want to use a 'proper' release version or the current development version. As both Matroska and MKVToolNix are under heavy development there might be features available in the git repository that are not available in the releases. On the other hand the git repository version might not even compile.
In order to compile MKVToolNix you need a couple of libraries. Most of them should be available pre-compiled for your distribution. The programs and libraries you absolutely need are:
A C++ compiler that supports several features of the C++11 standard: initializer lists, range-based »for« loops, right angle brackets, the 'auto' keyword, lambda functions, the »nullptr« key word, tuples and alias declarations. For GCC this means at least v4.7.0; for clang v3.3 or later.
zlib -- a compression library
Boost -- Several of Boost's libraries are used: "format", "RegEx", "filesystem", "system", "math", "Range", "rational", "variant". At least v1.46.0 is required.
You also need the
drake build program or at least the
programming language Ruby and the "rubygems" package. MKVToolNix comes
bundled with its own copy of "drake" in case you cannot install it
yourself. If you want to install it yourself I suggest you use the
"drake" version because it will be able to use all available CPU cores
for parallel builds.
Installing "drake" is simple. As root run the following command:
gem install drake
2.2. Optional components
Other libraries are optional and only limit the features that are built. These include:
Qt v5.2 or newer -- a cross-platform GUI toolkit. You need this if you want to use the MKVToolNix GUI or mkvinfo's GUI.
libFLAC for FLAC support (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
lzo and bzip2 are compression libraries. These are the least important libraries as almost no application supports Matroska content that is compressed with either of these libs. The aforementioned zlib is what every program supports.
libMagic from the "file" package for automatic content type detection
libcurl for online update checks
2.3. Building libEBML and libMatroska
This is optional as MKVToolNix comes with its own set of the libraries. It will use them if no version is found on the system.
git clone https://github.com/Matroska-Org/libebml.git git clone https://github.com/Matroska-Org/libmatroska.git
First change to libEBML's directory and run
./configure followed by
make. Now install libEBML by running
make install as root
sudo). Change to libMatroska's directory and go through
the same steps: first
./configure followed by
make as a normal
user and lastly
make install as root.
2.4. Building MKVtoolNix
Either download the current release from the MKVToolNix home page and unpack it or get a development snapshot from my Git repository.
2.4.1. Getting and building a development snapshot
You can ignore this subsection if you want to build from a release tarball.
All you need for Git repository access is to download a Git client from the Git homepage at http://git-scm.com/. There are clients for both Unix/Linux and Windows.
First clone my Git repository with this command:
git clone https://github.com/mbunkus/mkvtoolnix.git
Now change to the MKVtoolNix directory with
cd mkvtoolnix and run
./autogen.sh which will generate the "configure" script. You need
the GNU "autoconf" utility for this step.
2.4.2. Configuration and compilation
If you have run
make install for both libraries then
should automatically find the libraries' position. Otherwise you need
configure where the libEBML and libMatroska include and
library files are:
./configure \ --with-extra-includes=/where/i/put/libebml\;/where/i/put/libmatroska \ --with-extra-libs=/where/i/put/libebml/make/linux\;/where/i/put/libmatroska/make/linux
rake and, as "root",
rake install. If you don't have
"rake" installed yourself then use the version bundled with
If you want to use all available CPU cores for building then you have
drake instead of
drake knows the parameter
make does. You can also set the environment variable
DRAKETHREADS to a number and the build process will automatically use
that number of threads for a parallel build:
export DRAKETHREADS=4 ./drake
2.5. Notes for compilation on (Open)Solaris
You can compile mkvtoolnix with Sun's sunstudio compiler, but you need
additional options for
./configure --prefix=/usr \ CXX="/opt/sunstudio12.1/bin/CC -library=stlport4" \ CXXFLAGS="-D_POSIX_PTHREAD_SEMANTICS" \ --with-extra-includes=/where/i/put/libebml\;/where/i/put/libmatroska \ --with-extra-libs=/where/i/put/libebml/make/linux\;/where/i/put/libmatroska/make/linux
2.6. Unit tests
Building and running unit tests is completely optional. If you want to do this then you have to follow these steps:
Download the "googletest" framework from http://code.google.com/p/googletest/ (at the time of writing the file to download was "gtest-1.6.0.zip")
Either extract the framework inside the "lib" sub-folder and rename the resulting folder "gtest-1.6.0" to "gtest"
Extract the archive somewhere and create a symbolic link to it inside the "lib" folder called or create a symbolic link called "gtest".
Configure MKVToolNix normally.
Build the unit test executable and run it with
3. Reporting bugs
If you're sure you've found a bug -- e.g. if one of my programs crashes with an obscur error message, or if the resulting file is missing part of the original data, then by all means submit a bug report.
I use GitHub's issue system as my bug database. You can submit your bug reports there. Please be as verbose as possible – e.g. include the command line, if you use Windows or Linux etc.pp.
If at all possible please include sample files as well so that I can reproduce the issue. If they are larger than 1M then please upload them somewhere and post a link in the issue. You can also upload them to my FTP server. Details on how to connect can be found in the MKVToolNix FAQ.