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I heard that maybe upgrading to a newer version of FFMPEG than what's included in Debian by default might solve some of my problems. But I've had bad experiences with upgrading packages like that, sometimes packages depend on explicitly an older version of another package.

I can run apt-cache rdepends ffmpeg to see which programs depend on FFMPEG in general, but that doesn't tell me which ones might break when I upgrade it.

How can I see which packages depend on this specific version of FFMPEG? Is this even saved anywhere or just a complex property of each program?

Bonus: If upgrading messes something up, can I go back?

  • Not an answer to your question, but maybe a helpful commend nontheless: I have multiple versions of ffmpeg on my system. The distribution-supplied version is installed globally via package-manager. Other versions (some built by myself) reside in /opt and I explicitly request preferring them by setting LD_LIBRARY_PATH. – Hermann Sep 28 '19 at 13:15
  • That sounds helpful indeed (and very similar to the solution I used for the Dolphin emulator). How would I install FFMPEG in such a way? – Fabian Röling Sep 28 '19 at 16:32
  • When building the ffmpeg version of your choice (I assume any version available from github), configure with --prefix=/opt/ffmpeg/$(cat RELEASE) --disable-shared --enable-static --extra-cflags=--static --extra-libs="-ldl". You can look at complete examples at my blog (the full command does not fit into a comment). Adjust as needed. – Hermann Sep 28 '19 at 23:16
  • Install your build by any method you like. I prefer checkinstall: sudo checkinstall --pkgname="ffmpeg-$(cat RELEASE)" --pkgversion="$(cat RELEASE)~git$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)" --backup=no --deldoc=yes --fstrans=no --default – Hermann Sep 28 '19 at 23:17
  • Then launch your application with a modified library search path: env LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/ffmpeg-x.y/lib yourapplication. You can also export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/ffmpeg-x.y/lib and then launch your application from the same shell session. – Hermann Sep 28 '19 at 23:19

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