Creating a fifo-based ffmpeg service

- Posted in Linux by

I needed an encoder-service waiting to handle ffmpeg-workloads, and decided to use systemctl and a fifo pipe, so jobs could be queued without the need of RabbitMQ/other.

I'm aware of DLQ and fancy scaling, however this does the trick and hasn't failed for years.

1) Create script for initiating the fifo pipe, save it at /opt/

# pipe location

trap "rm -f $pipe" EXIT

# Initiate pipe
[[ -p $pipe ]] || mkfifo $pipe

while true; do
    exec 3<> $pipe
    read line < $pipe
    bash <<< "/opt/ $line"

2) Create your ffmpeg-worker, with your ffmpeg args, at /opt/

# Do ffmpeg stuff
/usr/bin/ffmpeg -y input.avi [yourargs] output.mp4

3) Create service file at /etc/systemd/system/ffmpeg-encoder.service:

Description=ffmpeg encoder service



3) Reload systemctl daemon: systemctl daemon-reload

4) Enable service: systemctl enable ffmpeg-encoder.service

Verify the service state with: systemctl status ffmpeg-encoder.service

Verifying service status programatially can be done by running:

systemctl is-active --quiet ffmpeg-encoder.service

where exitcode 0 is the active state of the service.

I also wrote a simple ffmpeg-log-parser for polling state via PHP, but that's for another post.


For scaling a video with ffmpeg with a target of 1280px width or height, I use the following filters:

enter image description here

If the source width or height is less than 1280px, the original dimensions will be kept.

If the source width or height is larger than 1280px, the output is scaled to 1280px

Since scaling requires division by 2, the dimensions are calculated and ensured to add up

Change (both) '1280' to fit your output needs.

Escaping ruins the formatting, click here to get the source in plain text


ffmpeg, crop video

- Posted in ffmpeg by

Crop 8 seconds of a video, starting from 3 seconds, using the copy method (no reencode)

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -ss 00:00:03 -t 00:00:08 -c copy output-crop.mp4

ffmpeg, rip audio from video

- Posted in ffmpeg by

Rip 3 seconds of audio from a video, starting from the 7 second mark:

ffmpeg -ss 7 -t 3.0 -i source.mp4 output.mp3