Introduction to Liba52

liba52 is a free library for decoding ATSC A/52 (also known as AC-3) streams. The A/52 standard is used in a variety of applications, including digital television and DVD.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information



User Notes:

Installation of Liba52

Install liba52 by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --mandir=/usr/share/man \
            --enable-shared \
            --disable-static \
            CFLAGS="${CFLAGS:--g -O2} $([ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] && echo -fPIC)" &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
cp liba52/a52_internal.h /usr/include/a52dec &&
install -v -m644 -D doc/liba52.txt \

Command Explanations

CFLAGS="-g -O2 ...: This sets CFLAGS to -g -O2 (which is the default) but then on x86_64 adds -fPIC. This is needed to compile liba52 on x86_64.

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

cp liba52/a52_internal.h ...: Copying this header file into /usr/include/a52dec allows some other programs (such as xine-lib) to compile and link against a system installed liba52.


Installed Programs: a52dec and extract_a52
Installed Library:
Installed Directories: /usr/include/a52dec and /usr/share/doc/liba52-0.7.4

Short Descriptions


plays ATSC A/52 audio streams


extracts ATSC A/52 audio from an MPEG stream

provides functions for the programs dealing with ATSC A/52 streams