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OpenCV + Ubuntu

Building OpenCV 2.3.1 from source on Ubuntu 12.04 x64. Here is an overview of the compilation of OpenCV with x264 and ffmpeg builtin. If you have completed my Kinect + OpenNI + PrimeSensetutorial, this will also support the OpenNI and PrimeSense drivers with OpenCV. This is largely based on the wonderful OpenCV tutorials from Sebastian Montabone and Osman Eralp. Before you start, make sure to have removed ffmpeg and x264 (if applicable):

sudo apt-get remove ffmpeg x264 libx264-dev

Now begin by installing the required dependencies:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-dev gtk2-engines-pixbuf libjpeg-dev libtiff4-dev libjasper-dev libopenexr-dev cmake cmake-qt-gui python-dev python-numpy python-sphinx libtbb-dev libeigen2-dev yasm libmp3lame-dev libfaac-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libtheora-dev libvorbis-dev libxvidcore-dev libhighgui-dev libgtkglext1-dev libdc1394-22-dev libboost-all-dev qtcreator libwxbase2.8-dev libwxgtk2.8-dev wx-common checkinstall libjack-jackd2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libva-dev libvdpau-dev libx11-dev libxfixes-dev texi2html zlib1g-dev libgstreamer0.10-0 libgstreamer0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-tools gstreamer0.10-plugins-base libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libv4l-dev

Create a directory for the sources:

mkdir ~/opencv cd ~/opencv

Next, clone, build and install x264:

git clone git://

cd x264

./configure –enable-static –enable-pic –enable-shared


sudo make install

The next step is to build and install ffmpeg:

cd ~/opencv


tar -xvjpf ffmpeg-0.8.10.tar.bz2

cd ffmpeg-0.8.10/

./configure –enable-gpl –enable-version3 –enable-nonfree –enable-postproc –enable-libfaac –enable-libopencore-amrnb –enable-libopencore-amrwb –enable-libtheora –enable-libvorbis –enable-libmp3lame –enable-libx264 –enable-libxvid –enable-x11grab –enable-swscale –enable-pic –enable-shared


sudo make install

NOTE: Do NOT clone the mainline source tree with git. This version is NOT compatible (I tried and failed several times!). I’m sure version 0.7 and 0.8 work, anything newer resulted in compilation errors later in the OpenCV build. Next, build and install OpenCV:

cd ~/opencv


tar -xvjpf OpenCV-2.3.1a.tar.bz2

cd OpenCV-2.3.1/

mkdir build

cd build

cmake-gui ..

Now click ‘configure’ and check the following boxes:






NOTE: you can also enable the CUDA extensisons if you have capable nvidia graphics card(s). Click ‘configure’ again, check the output and ensure that there are not any modules that cmake cannot find. If everything looks good, click ‘generate’ to create the makefiles, then close cmake-gui.


sudo make install

Finally, we need to make a few configurations for OpenCV. First, open the opencv.conf file with the following code:

sudo gedit /etc/

Add the following line at the end of the file(it may be an empty file, that is ok) and then save it:


Then edit the system-wide bashrc file:

sudo gedit /etc/bash.bashrc

Add the following new lines to the end of the file:

PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig export PKG_CONFIG_PATH

Now that everything is installed and configured, on to the demos!

cd ~/opencv/OpenCV-2.3.1/build/bin

Build/bin demos worth checking out that don’t require a webcam:




Build/bin demos using camera:




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