By default ffmpeg sends a whole lot of messages to stderr: when built, how it was built, codecs, etc, etc, etc.

How can I make it quieter?

I've tried -v 0 (and -v 10 since the documentation just coyly says Set the logging verbosity level. with no indication of what the range of inputs is) -- still not quiet.

I've tried -loglevel quiet -- still not quiet.

I should mention, I'm looking for "quieter," not "no output ever". If there's an error I want to see it, but I don't need to hear about ffmpeg's configuration every. single. time.

  • 27
    ffmpeg is definitely one of those 'for developers, by developers' kinds of programs.
    – digitxp
    Aug 22, 2011 at 22:10
  • 9
    Use -loglevel quiet -stats.
    – user287352
    May 12, 2019 at 7:08
  • 11
    Alternatively -loglevel error -stats will show errors "including ones which can be recovered from" and using -stats ensures the printing of the encoding progress and statistics line. Changing -loglevel from error to warning is slightly more verbose but comfortably fits on one terminal page.
    – mattst
    Oct 9, 2019 at 16:15
  • 8
    If you're looking to decrease the verbosity mid-process, you could press - and hit enter, and to increase it you could do shift and = (or +) and hit enter to increase it. Jul 7, 2020 at 7:19

11 Answers 11

ffmpeg -hide_banner -loglevel error

This is alluded to in a comment below the current answer.

The option -hide_banner was introduced in late 2013 -- https://lists.ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-devel/2013-December/152349.html )

-loglevel warning leads to more output than the error level (but less than the default info level) as it shows all warning messages.

-loglevel panic is the least verbose output (omitting even error messages) but is undocumented.

The official -loglevel documentation can be found in the ffmpeg Documentation under Generic options, subsection -loglevel [flags+]loglevel | -v [flags+]loglevel.

  • 13
    Best answer, however the option -show-banner would be nicer than to hide it May 16, 2018 at 15:23
  • 13
    Maybe add -nostats, too? May 18, 2018 at 8:28
  • 11
    Don't use '-loglevel panic'. The ffmpeg documentation says "This is not currently used for anything". Instead, "-loglevel warning" is recommended: "Any message related to possibly incorrect or unexpected events will be shown."
    – Small Boy
    Mar 5, 2020 at 9:51
  • 3
    I suggest -loglevel fatal instead of -loglevel panic, which should print any error that causes ffmpeg to exit. Panic is even more extreme and may not really be supported in a meaningful way (assertions only) which warning prints various kind of information that may be more than desired in some cases (i.e. what you just want to get it done and don't care if the media is glitchy somehow).
    – GregD
    Aug 19, 2020 at 15:29
  • 4
    I would like to have an effect opposite to -loglevel info -nostats. I would like that it displays encoding progress, but does not display file's internal metadata.
    – Paul
    Sep 10, 2020 at 21:04

I haven't tested it out, but I see an option in the man page to do:

ffmpeg -loglevel panic [rest of your ffmpeg stuff]

Should make it so only serious errors are logged, in theory

  • 6
    Even with -loglevel panic, for me it's only reducing output a little - it still prints version information, stream mapping, configuration options, (and even progress information!).... any ideas? I might have to mention that it's a self-compiled version from latest svn trunk.
    – codeling
    Apr 30, 2012 at 11:42
  • 8
    pipe it to the bit bucket: >/dev/null 2>&1
    – rogerdpack
    Aug 2, 2012 at 15:05
  • 4
    @rogerdpack that would work for most programs, but ffmpeg puts all of its text output to stderr, rather than stdout (it does this so that you can pipe the encoder output to other programs), so redirecting stdout to /dev/null wouldn't do anything useful.
    – evilsoup
    Dec 21, 2012 at 14:29
  • 30
    Using -hide_banner in addition to a reduced verbosity level would be a good compromise.
    – Makaveli84
    Aug 12, 2014 at 16:14
  • 6
    In addition to everything that has been said, -nostats will disable progress output.
    – Ely
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:23

Here you have loglevels from the source code (FFmpeg version 0.10.2.git)

const struct { const char *name; int level; } log_levels[] = {
        { "quiet"  , AV_LOG_QUIET   },
        { "panic"  , AV_LOG_PANIC   },
        { "fatal"  , AV_LOG_FATAL   },
        { "error"  , AV_LOG_ERROR   },
        { "warning", AV_LOG_WARNING },
        { "info"   , AV_LOG_INFO    },
        { "verbose", AV_LOG_VERBOSE },
        { "debug"  , AV_LOG_DEBUG   },
  • 11
    Although the URLs tend to change over time, it's good to include them also as source of your answer. For example, at present this is documented at ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg.html#toc-Generic-options and reader will know where to look in docs even if this URL changes.
    – Fr0zenFyr
    Dec 15, 2015 at 8:01
  • As of 7/21/23, there is an extra option under the "debug" line: { "trace" , AV_LOG_TRACE },.
    – programmar
    Jul 21, 2023 at 7:35

I have used with success the following (newest FFMPEG Version at time of writing):

-nostats -loglevel 0

Then it is absolutely quiet in my usage scenario.

  • satisfied with this solution in ffmpeg 3.2 Dec 24, 2016 at 15:12
  • 3
    -nostats was what I was looking for. It will suppress the progress output (e.g. useful in a non-terminal context).
    – jox
    Jul 12, 2019 at 16:46
  • Sadly -nostats hides the banner as well. ffmpeg needs a -show_banner option ;)
    – mgutt
    Aug 9, 2019 at 22:30
  • 1
    @mgutt but isn't that the least important information? like, if the actual content is to be hidden then why show banner? just curious Jul 4, 2020 at 4:51
ffmpeg -loglevel error [other commands]

This hides the banner and only displays errors. Use -loglevel warning if you would like to see warnings.

Tested in Ffmpeg 3.0.2.

From the documentation:

-loglevel [repeat+]loglevel | -v [repeat+]loglevel

Set the logging level used by the library. Adding "repeat+" indicates that repeated log output should not be compressed to the first line and the "Last message repeated n times" line will be omitted. "repeat" can also be used alone. If "repeat" is used alone, and with no prior loglevel set, the default loglevel will be used. If multiple loglevel parameters are given, using ’repeat’ will not change the loglevel. loglevel is a string or a number containing one of the following values:

‘quiet, -8’

Show nothing at all; be silent.

‘panic, 0’

Only show fatal errors which could lead the process to crash, such as and assert failure. This is not currently used for anything.

‘fatal, 8’

Only show fatal errors. These are errors after which the process absolutely cannot continue after.

‘error, 16’

Show all errors, including ones which can be recovered from.

‘warning, 24’

Show all warnings and errors. Any message related to possibly incorrect or unexpected events will be shown.

‘info, 32’

Show informative messages during processing. This is in addition to warnings and errors. This is the default value.

‘verbose, 40’

Same as info, except more verbose.

‘debug, 48’

Show everything, including debugging information.

‘trace, 56’

By default the program logs to stderr, if coloring is supported by the terminal, colors are used to mark errors and warnings. Log coloring can be disabled setting the environment variable AV_LOG_FORCE_NOCOLOR or NO_COLOR, or can be forced setting the environment variable AV_LOG_FORCE_COLOR. The use of the environment variable NO_COLOR is deprecated and will be dropped in a following FFmpeg version.

  • 1
    -loglevel error -v error -stats did the trick. Only errors or worse are shown and you can still see progress.
    – Jan
    May 4, 2023 at 10:17

The following worked for me on macOS:

ffmpeg -v quiet

or to only see the progress:

ffmpeg -v quiet -stats
  • 4
    That's exactly what I was looking for. I'm using ffmpeg in a script and need to see that it's working, but don't need all the info about input and output streams etc.
    – stib
    Feb 26, 2019 at 5:01
  • 1
    Wow, thank you. Finally a command that hides the many leading lines of cruft (unless you don't know what you're dealing with, which you usually do...) but still shows the progress! Until now it looked like an either/or case...
    – Jonas
    May 20, 2020 at 19:54
  • If you want to see warnings and errors, if any, otherwise want it to be quiet, use ffmpeg -v 24 -stats. 24 stands for loglevel warning. Jun 30, 2021 at 5:13
  • I wanted a solution which will show the progress, but hide everything else. This is the only solution that worked. And, this also work on Linux systems.
    – Puspam
    Jul 28, 2022 at 12:14

ffmpeg -loglevel error -hide_banner -nostats

Just the errors, nothing else.

I personally like this best;

ffmpeg -loglevel warning -hide_banner -stats

It gives only warnings and errors, but also shows the progress of work.


You can pipe stderr through grep. For example, if you wanted to remove the configuration info, you could do it like this:

% ffmpeg -i infile.avi -s 640x480 outfile.avi >/dev/null 2>&1 | grep -v configuration:

This is a little cheap to go about it, but appending >/dev/null 2>&1 is a sure way to keep ffmpeg silent in the shell.


ffmpeg -f x11grab -y -r 24 -s 800x600 -i :0.0+1366,100 -f oss -i /dev/dsp3 -sameq ./out.avi >/dev/null 2>&1

More info about bash output

  • 16
    Except that ffmpeg is one step ahead of you, and outputs both configuration information and actual errors to stderr.
    – blahdiblah
    Aug 23, 2011 at 19:19

These measures don't hide the Codec banner (even with "-loglevel 0"). For hiding the H.265-banner it would look like this:

-vcodec libx265 -x265-params log-level=error

All the answers are a bit old at my time of writing, so for new version in 2021, -loglevel warning dumps a lot of hex codes, and you cannot see the warnings. -loglevel error also dumps lots of hex, you cannot see the 'errors'. -loglevel fatal runs fine but slowly. Perhaps it expects some output. -loglevel panic runs fast, but you miss out on fatal errors. The best you could use, is:
Windows (cmd/dos) & Python3:

from os import system
for file in list:
    system('ffmpeg -hide_banner -loglevel fatal -nostats (your options)>file.txt')

Unix & Python3:

from os import system
for file in list:
    system('ffmpeg -hide_banner -loglevel fatal -nostats (your options)&>file.txt')

Now, search which files are not blank.

from os import stat
for file in list:
    if stat('file').st_size == 0:

Check those files which have some output.

  • I hope it's not too long
    – Fat Frog
    Feb 2, 2021 at 4:16
  • This is untested, and if there is any error, please comment(I cannot comment:( )
    – Fat Frog
    Feb 2, 2021 at 4:18

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