How To Install OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is an open-source, highly optimized computer library mainly used in applications for image processing. It has a variety of inbuilt image processing functions helping you to get started easily. It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of OpenCV on a Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. Before proceeding, it’s a good idea to update and upgrade your system to ensure you have the latest packages and security updates. You can do this by running the following command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing Dependencies.

OpenCV requires several dependencies, including CMake, Python, and GCC. You can install these by running the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install build-essential cmake git libgtk2.0-dev pkg-config libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libswscale-dev libv4l-dev libatlas-base-dev gfortran python3-dev python3-numpy libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libfreetype6-dev

Step 3. Installing OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04.

    • Method 1: Installing OpenCV from Ubuntu Repositories

The easiest way to install OpenCV on your Ubuntu 20.04 system is by using the apt package manager. This method is straightforward and requires minimal effort, but it’s important to note that the version of OpenCV available in the Ubuntu repositories may not be the latest.

Run the following command to install it:

sudo apt install libopencv-dev python3-opencv

To verify the installation Python cv2 run:

python3 -c "import cv2; print(cv2.__version__)"

If you get results printed out without any errors, it means you have successfully installed OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Method 2: Building OpenCV from Source

If you require a specific version of OpenCV or want more control over the installation process, you can build OpenCV from the source code. This method allows you to customize the build options and include or exclude certain modules, but it requires more time and effort.

First, clone the OpenCV repository:

git clone
cd opencv

Create a build directory and navigate to it:

mkdir build
cd build

Configure the build using CMake:

cmake -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local ..

This command sets the build type to “Release” and specifies the installation prefix to /usr/local. You can customize the build options according to your needs.

Build and install OpenCV:

make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install

Verify the installation:

python3 -c "import cv2; print(cv2.__version__)"

Congratulations! You have successfully installed OpenCV. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing OpenCV on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa systems. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official OpenCV website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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