How to convert mkv to AVI with mkvtoolnix

Written by jacob michael
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MKV files are file containers that can hold multiple video, audio and subtitle streams, all of which can be switched or turned off while viewing. This makes storing video files with more than one language track or video angle easier, as all relevant data is stored in a single file. However, MKV files aren't playable on every device, and some computers may lack the necessary codec to view them, so extracting the video from an MKV may be necessary for compatibility reasons. Linux users can use MKVExtract, a tool bundled with the MKVToolnix program suite, to extract videos from MKV files.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • MKVToolnix (contains both mkvmerge and mkvextract binaries)

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  1. 1

    Launch a terminal window. Depending on your Linux distribution, you can right-click on the desktop and select "New Terminal Window" or click on a Terminal icon in your toolbar.

  2. 2

    Type "mkvmerge --i VIDEO.mkv" (without quotes) in the terminal window, and replace "VIDEO.mkv" with the filename of your MKV. Press "Enter," and list of tracks contained in the MKV file will display. Note the track ID of the video file.

  3. 3

    Type "mkvextract tracks VIDEO.mkv 1:VIDEO.avi" (without quotes), and replace "VIDEO.mkv" with the MKV filename and "1:VIDEO.avi" with the track ID number and desired output filename of the new AVI file. For example, if the AVI is track 2, type "mkvextract tracks VIDEO.mkv 2:VIDEO.avi" in the terminal window. Press "Enter" to begin the extraction process.

  4. 4

    Wait until the extraction has finished, and then view your extracted video file to ensure that the right track was processed.

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