Backporting FFmpeg, Was: Packages Vlc 0.9

Reinhard Tartler siretart at
Tue Apr 21 07:25:56 UTC 2009

The following message is a courtesy copy of an article
that has been posted to gmane.linux.debian.backports.general as well.

Aurélien LPR <aurelien at> writes:

> Hi,
> I've looked through and didn't find any packages for vlc 
> 0.9. Are they planed?

The problem with that is that vlc 0.9 requires a newer ffmpeg in
lenny. It will not compile against the ffmpeg in lenny, and I don't
think you'll find anyone investing time in that. Unfortunately
backporting ffmpeg is not straight forward due to #512946.

I strongly believe that we can work around that issue by re-introducing
the old function calling the new function. This was in fact even
suggested by upstream. I've spoken to nobse at "Chemnitzer Linux Tag",
and he indicated that this might be acceptable for This
would bring additional codecs and many bugfixes to all existing package
in lenny using ffmpeg, like xine, mplayer, gstreamer, etc. But beware,
this combination (old packages and newer ffmpeg) has not been tested by

Another, much safer approach would be to create new binary library
packages with an other SONAME, like libavcodec-bpo-52, containing
/usr/lib/libavcodec-bpo.52. This is technically not in line with the package policy, but would ensure that only packages that
have been explicitly compiled against the new ffmpeg would actually use
them. We would add a proper upgrade path in squeeze's ffmpeg packages.

What do ppl think?

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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