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Extract Info from MKV Files on Linux

There are tons of media tools and software on the Linux platform that completely changes the feel of enjoying multimedia. Speaking of multimedia, MKV is one of the most popular file types used it tons of conditions. There are numerous benefits of this file format that’s pushing creators to make their contents available in MKV format. Today, we’ll see on how to extract information from an MKV file on Linux.

MKV file format

MKV stands for Matroska Multimedia Container. This file format is open-source and free container format that can hold unlimited numbers of audio and video, subtitle tracks in just one file. In addition, the final media file size is also reduced dramatically. The contents of an MKV file are also easy to manipulate and modify.

That’s why you’ll find out many high definition media files into MKV format.

Extracting information from MKV

For extracting information of an MKV file, we’ll be using a collection of tools named “MKVToolNix”. This is a great software package that’s available in both GUI and CLI interface. GUI is easier to use for most of the Linux users that provide easy-to-use working toolkits.

Installing MKVToolNix

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MKVToolNix is available in different Linux distros. Here are the ways you can install them on your Linux.

  • Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu user, you need to add the software repositories of MKVToolNix in the “/etc/apt/sources.list” file.

Run this command:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Now, scroll down to the last of the file and add the following lines:

# For Ubuntu 16.04

# MKVToolNix repo
deb https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ xenial main
deb-src https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ xenial main

# For Ubuntu 17.10

# MKVToolNix repo
deb https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ artful main
deb-src https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ artful main

[# For Ubuntu 18.04]

# MKVToolNix repo
deb https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ bionic main
deb-src https://mkvtoolnix.download/ubuntu/ bionic main

Then, save the file and exit the editor. Don’t forget the comment section, as you may forget about the importance of the source.

Time to finally install MKVToolNix. Run these commands:

wget -q -O - https://mkvtoolnix.download/gpg-pub-moritzbunkus.txt | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y

sudo apt install apt-transport-https
sudo apt install mkvtoolnix mkvtoolnix-gui
  • Debian

Installing MKVToolNix on Debian is pretty same as installing on Ubuntu.

Open the file “/etc/apt/sources.list” and add these lines at the end of the file:

# For Debian 8

# MKVToolNix repo
deb https://mkvtoolnix.download/debian/ jessie main
deb-src https://mkvtoolnix.download/debian/ jessie main

# For Debian 9

# MKVToolNix repo
deb https://mkvtoolnix.download/debian/ stretch main
deb-src https://mkvtoolnix.download/debian/ stretch main

Save the file and exit the editor.

Now, run these commands for completing the installation of MKVToolNix.

wget -q -O - https://mkvtoolnix.download/gpg-pub-moritzbunkus.txt | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

sudo apt-get install mkvtoolnix mkvtoolnix-gui
  • OpenSUSE

Run these commands for enabling the 3rd-part repository for MKVToolNix.

wget https://mkvtoolnix.download/gpg-pub-bunkusorg-rpm-signing.txt
sudo rpmkeys --import gpg-pub-bunkusorg-rpm-signing.txt
sudo zypper addrepo --refresh https://mkvtoolnix.download/opensuse/42.3/ MKVToolNix

After the repo is enabled, run this command for installing the software.

sudo zypper install mkvtoolnix
  • Fedora

Run these commands for installing the software on Fedora.

sudo dnf install https://mkvtoolnix.download/fedora/bunkus-org-repo-2-3.noarch.rpm -y

sudo dnf install mkvtoolnix

MKVToolNix usage

After installation is complete, run the program.

The interface is pretty self-explanatory. Here, as an example, I’m adding an MKV file in the list.

From the bottom box, you can check what data you want to keep and what not. You can extract the video, audio, subtitle track etc. into individual files.

You can use the best media players for enjoying the individual files you’ve just extracted.


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