MakeMKV is a powerful tool for converting video files from one format to another. It is beneficial for converting files from disc formats, such as DVD and Blu-ray, to the MKV format. MKV is a flexible format storing multiple videos or audio tracks with all meta information intact, making it ideal for archiving and sharing video files. In addition, the MKV format preserves chapters, which is essential for long videos such as movies and TV shows and is a vital tool for anyone who needs to convert video files regularly.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MakeMKV on a Debian 11/10 Linux desktop using a recommended repository by the MakeMKV team to provide the most up-to-date version.
Table of Contents
The following tutorial was done with a Debian 11 Bullseye release and example images taken, but it was tested on Debian Buster. In the future, if Debian makes any changes to break the tutorial for one of the distribution versions, please place a comment for me to investigate so I can update the tutorial.
Recommended Steps Before Installation
Before proceeding with the tutorial, ensuring your system is up-to-date with all existing packages is good.
sudo apt update
Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.
sudo apt --list upgradable
Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.
sudo apt upgrade
Use the following command to install or check if the packages are installed.
sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https dirmngr ca-certificates gnupg2 -y
Import MakeMKV GPG/Repository
First, import the GPG key as follows.
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/makemkv.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 9E5738E866C5E6B2
For users who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs because the directories are not created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.
This can be skipped, but if you encounter an issue, just run the command and re-try.
sudo gpg --list-keys
Import the GPG key.
Example output if successful:
gpg: key F9B3BDE7F60856B2: public key "Heyar Jerome <email@example.com>" imported gpg: Total number processed: 1 gpg: imported: 1
Next, import the repository using the following command; ensure you import the correct repository that responds to your distribution version, i.e., Bullseye or Buster.
Import MakeMKV repository for Bullseye:
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/makemkv.gpg] https://ramses.hjramses.com/deb/makemkv bullseye main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/makemkv.list
Import MakeMKV repository for Buster:
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/makemkv.gpg] https://ramses.hjramses.com/deb/makemkv buster main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/makemkv.list
Now run an apt update.
sudo apt update
Install the software using the following command with the repository and GPG key now imported by this stage.
sudo apt install makemkv-oss makemkv-bin -y
First, for users with a terminal open, you could launch it by invoking the command.
For most desktop users, you would follow the path below to open the application.
Activities > Show Applications > MakeMKV.
Once the application has launched, you will arrive at your default landing screen.
Note automatic update checking is enabled, and you can disable this, but it’s recommended to keep it on unless you have privacy concerns.
MakeMKV, when installed, adds quite a few dependencies, so ideally, using the autoremove command is best to keep your system clean.
sudo apt autoremove makemkv-oss makemkv-bin -y
Next, remove the repository.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/makemkv.list
Lastly, remove the GPG key.
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/makemkv.gpg