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Top 3 Linux Video Editors

 Linux gets my pick as the best multi-media production platform because it is flexible, efficient, and secure. Your system resources are going to your work, rather than in supporting a bloaty operating system further bogged down by marginally-effective anti-malware software. In our previous installment we covered a range of excellent drawing and painting, photography, 3D rendering, and desktop publishing applications for Linux. And my favorite Linux distros for serious multi-media production.

Today we're going to enjoy a tasty sampling of the high-quality video creation and editing software for Linux. You oldtimers are probably familiar with these, but there are more Linux newcomers than ever, so let's start with...

OpenShot

I really really really like OpenShot. It probably won't impress professional videographers who like having a million bells and whistles (or maybe it will), but it impresses me for its useful feature set and excellent user interface. This is my #1 choice for beginning video editors because of its ease-of-use, and its well-chosen feature set.

The Power of Love, Gabrielle Aplin, created with OpenShot and Ardour

It supports high-definition video, Blu-Ray, 3D, tethered shooting, integration of video, audio, and still images, all the usual effects such as scrolling titles, pans, and fades, animations, speed changes, audio mixing, export to multiple formats and quality levels including YouTube and Vimeo, and tons more. It is under active development and has great community support. This may be the only video program you'll ever need.

Blender

Blender is a fabulously sophisticated 3D computer graphics and animation creator. Check out the Blender gallery for a sampling of movies created with Blender. It supports a large range of high-end abilities such as ray-tracing, key-frame animation tools, object tracking, super nice character modeling, realistic physics for great liquid and smoke/mist/gas effects, and realistic movements of objects and characters, and excellent realistic light effects.

blender-gallery

The main learning curve with Blender is developing a grasp of all of these concepts; once you get that part down it's like a light goes on and everything makes sense. It also has a nice game-creation module, and superior compositing.

Cinelarra

Cinelarra is for video producers who need more than OpenShot, and who want a native Linux professional-quality video editor that supports high-resolution audio and video, and advanced features such as hue and saturation, overlays, denoising, compression, normalization, time stretching, realtime effects, nested sequences, color balance, image flipping, text-to-movie, batch render and batch capture, compositing, and much more. Cinelarra has nice integration between audio and video, and makes it easy to control synchronization. Blender and Cinelarra work well together; create your splendid animations in Blender and then integrate them into a movie in Cinelarra.cinelarra

Cinelarra has two versions: the unsupported community version and a commercial edition. Every six months the nice Cinelarra developers release the latest source code. It's not widely available in the usual distro repositories, but the good Cinelerra-CV folks bundle it up into Arch, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, and other distro packages. There is a Cinelarra PPA-- Personal Package Archive-- for Ubuntu users. PPAs are user-supported repositories for specific applications, like Cinelarra. They're not official repos, but they allow you to use your normal Ubuntu package manager to install and remove third-party software.

Of course there are many more good video editors for Linux such as Kdenlive, PiTiVi, Avidemux, and Lightworks for Linux keeps getting a lot of attention even though it's still vapor. It is a feast of riches, so enjoy!

 

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  • Michael Brown Said:

    Kdenlive on the KDE desktop is very good, deseves a mention.

  • Erinn Said:

    Why does Kdenlive deserve a mention? Some details would be nice.

  • David Said:

    Hi Erinn, Kdenlive is the closest you will find to Adobe Premier. While it's not flawless is has made impressive progress in the last couple of years and can be considered stable. The feature set is one most extensive in open-source nonlinear video editors. Plus, Kdenlive can use the frei0r plug-ins making it one of the most versatile video editors on Linux. It's not as easy to use than Openshot and Pitivi, but so muh better than the dreadful Cinelerra. BTW, there's a repeating typo in the article: It's Cinelerra not Cinelarra

  • Erinn Said:

    Thank you, I appreciate the information.

  • Steffinger Said:

    I absolutely share your love for kdenlive. I did lots of small video projects over the past 3 years using kdenlive and i really appreciate how they developed this software. While it was really very buggy some years ago und crashed a lot, it works like a charm nowadays. And even if a lot people will call me fanboy, i prefer kdenlive over adobe premiere, because in my eyes it is easier to use and delivers very good results. The good results are of course in line with the great development in ffmpeg and mlt, but stll.... ok. i'm a kdenlive fanboy

  • Chris WEre Said:

    I love Kdenlive too. It's got all the features I need for my professional video editing. The only problem I have with it is the bugginess. If Kdenlive stopped working on new features and focused all their efforts on bug fixnig, it would be up to professional class in no time. Unfortunately the nature with projects like this is that no-one wants to be the guy who fixes bugs. Hence why so many open-sources bugs hang around for so long.

  • Roberto Innocenti Said:

    I have make some short video with OpenShot and it's good, but when I have done a 2 hours video with 2 video-camera and was needed to sync the audio with the two video channel and mix camera 1 with camera 2 it's a must to user Kdenlive becouse I could see the audio waves needed to sync video of a camera with audio of another camera.

  • Fateh Slavitskaya Said:

    Libre Graphics World considers Bassam Kurdali (dir. Elephants Dream + Tube Open Movie) one of the best "evangelists" of Blender’s video sequencer, for his occasional talks about Blender’s somewhat stealth role as a general purpose video editor. His 2009 talk from Libre Graphics Meeting, 'Video Editing with Blender for Non-3D Artists, Using Examples from Real Projects' still works as a good introduction, despite the many evolutions of Blender since. http://urchn.org/post/video-editing-in-blender

  • William Said:

    Kdenlive, Blender and Cinelerra are my 3 Options. Kdenlive is so good as Sony Vegas pro.

  • Piotr Said:

    I am using Kdenlive and OpenShot and I need nothing more...

  • Mike Said:

    Piotr - As you use both can you tell me what the advantages of one over the other are? I do mostly event/news and some mini documentary stuff. I have found Cinelerra promising, but persnikity on what types of files i accepts, So for me it will be either Kdenlive or Openshot. Which would you recommend? Thanks!

  • Don Said:

    They are both developed by the same basic group of people and are based on MLT. OpenShot is more for formatting a DVD. Kdenlive is more for getting the footage ready for OpenShot.

  • bluetak Said:

    The author should have worked a little, and should have mentionned kdenlive, which is better and better.

  • syncdram Said:

    I stopped using openshot because with every ubuntu update it brakes openshot, never able to open it again. Kdenlive hasn't failed once. If the developer of openshot would stay in touch with ubuntus updates then i could use it again.

  • Joseph Said:

    It sounds like Ubuntu is the problem, not Openshot. Maybe you should ditch a poorly maintained distro that breaks things or doesn't package Openshot properly. Canonical should be testing every package in their main repository before release.

  • marijen Said:

    Absolutely agree, got desperate trying! BIGBIG bugs in open shot. It used to work fine now it won't export into anything other than .ogg and after that it stopeed saving the projects altogether.

  • Chris Said:

    OpenShot is great, though I agree with the commenter who said kdenlive deserves a mention. IMHO, those are the two best Linux video editors. I've never tried Cinelerra and I've never tried Blender's video editing functions. (I've done modeling with it, but not video editing)

  • joker Said:

    it's not ready for prime time yet, but NOVACUT, deserve to be mentioned, it has a very interresting cutting workflow, I think the best that we can have, it's always in active devellopment .

  • Michael Glasser Said:

    What I would like to see is a good screencasting solution... a tool that combines the features of, say, Cinelarra but also allows not just for video capture of the screen but post production showing / hiding of the cursor, changing the size or even image of the cursor, focusing on the foremost window, etc. There are solutions like this for other OSs... would be great to see something like this come to Linux.

  • Vital Said:

    I thought when I saw the headline on Linux Today - "I need to see who is that idiot"... And sure enough, it is Carla - a disgrace and disservice to Open Source in a form of zealotry, misinformation and hate. Nothing new to see here...

  • Beatnink Said:

    It takes one to recognise one? Just about any article written on the web can be flamed depending on one's personal views and feelings. That's why the value in an article is in the constructive feedback / discussion that it invokes. There's some very useful comments here by various people. Sorry @Vital, but yours is the one that stands out as unconstructive.

  • Beatnink Said:

    So far I've only used Openshot and its ok. Exporting a project seems to take too long. What is other's peoples experience with that? Which of the video editors discussed here would beat Openshot for video conversion processing performance?

  • Cinelerra user Said:

    Minor correction: you've misspelled cinelerra

  • videoman Said:

    I come from the world of pro video editing, and i tried all above discused software ... Yes, my vote goes to Kdenlive. It's very usable as video cutting application, and that's how all video editing work traditionaly starts. Please develop it more, simply because good ideas deserve that.

  • Kit Kimes Said:

    I just need a video editor that I can use to edit out commercials from TV programs that I record. Under Windows I use VideoReDo. Can either Openshot or Kdenlive do this under Linux? I'm not looking for an editor with a lot of fancy features.

  • Don Said:

    Not sure if you're looking for software to automatically seek, find, and cut commercials and re-render to new video. But certainly you can use the cursor to do it.

  • DigitalFreedom Said:

    Sorry but you can't say you talk about the best video editor if you don't mention Kdenlive. I've tried almost all of these mentioned here and Kdenlive is simply the best editor that is available. i have a feeling that Linux.com is kind of biased against KDE and so they rarely talk about KDE software and desktop. Please do take more care and do follow what goes on in KDE community. It is a lot more interesting then most of things that are being talked about here.

  • Ohmygod Why Said:

    This is a poor review, by almost any standard. Blender isn't even a video editor. Why have a list of 2 things, and a list of 1 thing that doesn't really go with it? Why no comparisons between Adobe products, or Final Cut? I would have loved to have seen any knowledge that the author has used these programs, and her opinions on how they *work* versus other programs. I don't want you to do an apt tree search and see which has the most features - I want to know how those features work! I don't want a list of those features in the guise of a "review," I want you to tell me about them. Such a terrible review, I had to post this even though it's very negative. I hope you can see how you could improve your reviews in future. Start by doing the work involved. And to the other commenters: thank you for your more helpful reviews.

  • mike Said:

    Are there any articles on Video Editing software for Linux written from an editor's perspective? This seems to be focused on how videographers and animators will use the software, and I care about their opinions of post workflow about as much as they care what I think about lenses, maya, etc.

  • John Said:

    I'm so holding out for OpenShot 2.0. It should be absolutely amazing if they include everything they were funded for in the kickstarter. Could we be looking at a genuine FCPX replacement in Linux? I hope so!!!

  • alexandero11 Said:

    Really? I can't believe that you even thought about putting Openshot on this list. I thought this was a list of the BEST video editors for Linux, not the WORST.

  • SYSMS Said:

    Also "Shotcut" and "Avidemux" reserve to be mentioned IMHO.

  • theaphro Said:

    I'm a video editing newb and found this article a great starting point. Thank you Carla for posting.

  • Spiros Said:

    Good evening to all. I am new to linux after years on windows. Any suggestions about video editing for weddings? I have read all above and my conclusion is that Kdenlive is best. So if anybody here is editing weddings please advice. Thank you.

  • blahblahblah Said:

    I applaud their effort but they all suck but Blender. I don't know about you but I have better things to do with my time than hope someday they can produce a video editor that doesn't have serious problems. 14 years I have kept an eye out. Crashing in the middle of your work is not OK. Neither are audio sync problems. Software shouldn't fight you or turn your attention away to hunt the internet for fixes with outdated workarounds that end up making your system unstable.

  • Carterpants Said:

    I echo the Kdenlive mention. By far one of the best FOSS editing programs I've used. They've come a long ways over the last few years and I've constantly recommended it to others.

  • Samir Piccolotto Said:

    Kdenlive and Lightworks... ...you missed those!

  • Espen KM Said:

    Since when was Blender a video editor... *sigh*

  • Christofer Said:

    The link to Blender gallery is broken.

  • Stefan Said:

    KDE is a very minor DE - so honestly very few KDE solutions are considered "worth mentioning". It's just like that KDE Office Suite, Calligra and digiKam. It may be high quality and good performance, but hey - it's just KDE!

  • izack Said:

    Nope, As a very long time gnome user, I never had any problem to run any KDE* package. "sudo yum install" will resolve all dep. issues and it does work great. So the popularity of KDE as a "DE" is not relevant at all.

  • Brian Said:

    For all those who have an issue with this article, I understand your feelings. It does seem that there wasn't a lot of actual use / testing done in this review. I would suggest, however, that beyond dissing the writer / author, go out and make a better, more informed article and submit it. Many of you sound like you came to the article with pre-conceived notions of which is the best. Odd thing to do. If you believe you know which is best, then use it, and prove it. Provide the newbs out there looking for solid starting points some valuable information.

  • mikkel grum bovin Said:

    What would be the closest i can get to a "Resolve"Grading AND Editor for Ubuntu ?


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