HandBrake is a commandline and GUI DVD ripper that will read DVDs and blu-ray and convert them to some other format, like Ogg Theora, webm, xvid, x264, and others. It is one of the many invaluable tools for the video editor, who can typically expect to receive video from every imaginable source.

HandBrake can be used as a simple format converter, transcoding one file into another format.

Strengths [Weaknesses]


HandBrake is a one-stop, quick, and effective ripping solution. If you need footage off of a DVD but you don't want to spend all day figuring out how to best get it, just get HandBrake. It's that easy.

Weaknesses [Stregths]


HandBrake can almost be overwhelming, with lots of options and features, many aimed less at multimedia creators but at home theater enthusiasts who want to put their disc libraries onto a hard drive, or travellers wanting movies on their media players.


Depending on what it is that you are ripping and where you live, using HandBrake could be technically illegal. Even if you believe your usage falls under fair-use clauses, there may be a law forbidding you to break the encryption, exclusive of copyright concerns.


HandBrake is available as a binary install from http://slackware.org.uk/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/handbrake.

While you can, as always, compile your own copy from http://slackbuilds.org, the way that the HandBrake build system works does not make it at all valuable to compile it from source. Slackermedia recommends using the binary install (in spite of the fact that the maintainer for the SlackBuild is also the maintainer of Slackermedia).


HandBrake requires very specific codec versions in order to build correctly, so the SlackBuild downloads all of the HandBrake-sanctioned codec versions even though you may already have all of those codecs installed. The SlackBuild is not installing or re-installing these codecs onto your system, but using them to compile HandBrake. Those versions of the codecs are discarded after HandBrake is finished building. Install the binary package instead! it's much simpler.

Once installed, invoke HandBrake in a terminal as HandBrakeCLI, or with a GUI as ghb.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use, although the art of transcoding video is not. For more information on how video encoding works, read the section on ffmpeg.