MKV File

What are .MKV files?


MKV or Matroska Multimedia Container is a type of file format designed to store video, audio and subtitle content into a single file or container. Matroska is named after the Russian doll (matryoshka) as shown above and uses high levels of compression to effectively package together content into a file and has been in use since it’s inception in 2003.

The format specifications and standards are opensource and hence has been adopted by many popular software tools and Operating Systems due to it’s compression functionality and it’s ability to hold everything in a single file.

Other file formats that are related to MKV include the following:

  • .mk3d
  • .mka
  • .mks

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How do I play .MKV files


While many modern operating systems like Windows 10 and many Linux distributions support MKV files out of the box not all media players are capable of opening the files especially older versions of Windows. The simplest way of opening these files is with the free and opensource VLC media which can be downloaded from here.

Once installed you will be able to open .mkv (including variants) along with hundreds of other video and audio files across Windows, macOS and Linux machines easily.


I hope you found this page to be useful and were able to play MKV files if you weren’t able to previously. For more be sure to check out our agrtech glossary and free software utilities.

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Audio Codecs

*Image credits:

No machine-readable author provided. Fanghong assumed (based on copyright claims). / CC BY-SA (

The GNOME ProjectVLC media playerBlender Foundation / CC BY (