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.

  • 17
    ffmpeg is definitely one of those 'for developers, by developers' kinds of programs. – digitxp Aug 22 '11 at 22:10
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    Use -loglevel quiet -stats. – 287352 May 12 '19 at 7:08
  • 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 '19 at 16:15
  • 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. – TwentyCharMax Jul 7 at 7:19

10 Answers 10

ffmpeg -hide_banner -loglevel panic

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 seems to be better than -loglevel panic. See comment.

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  • 8
    Best answer, however the option -show-banner would be nicer than to hide it – hetepeperfan May 16 '18 at 15:23
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    Maybe add -nostats, too? – Mikko Rantalainen May 18 '18 at 8:28
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    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 at 9:51
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    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 at 15:29
  • 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 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

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  • 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 '12 at 11:42
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    pipe it to the bit bucket: >/dev/null 2>&1 – rogerdpack Aug 2 '12 at 15:05
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    @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 '12 at 14:29
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    Using -hide_banner in addition to a reduced verbosity level would be a good compromise. – Makaveli84 Aug 12 '14 at 16:14
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    In addition to everything that has been said, -nostats will disable progress output. – Ely Oct 13 '14 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   },
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  • 5
    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 '15 at 8:01

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.

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  • satisfied with this solution in ffmpeg 3.2 – Bernhard Döbler Dec 24 '16 at 15:12
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    -nostats was what I was looking for. It will suppress the progress output (e.g. useful in a non-terminal context). – jox Jul 12 '19 at 16:46
  • Sadly -nostats hides the banner as well. ffmpeg needs a -show_banner option ;) – mgutt Aug 9 '19 at 22:30
  • @mgutt but isn't that the least important information? like, if the actual content is to be hidden then why show banner? just curious – Sreenikethan I Jul 4 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.

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The following worked for me on macOS:

ffmpeg -v quiet

or to only see the progress:

ffmpeg -v quiet -stats
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  • 1
    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 '19 at 5:01
  • 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 at 19:54

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.

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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:
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  • 1
    I believe that may need to be ffmpeg … 2>&1 >/dev/null | grep …. – Scott Apr 17 '13 at 15:37

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

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  • 15
    Except that ffmpeg is one step ahead of you, and outputs both configuration information and actual errors to stderr. – blahdiblah Aug 23 '11 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
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