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Feature wise, Cinelerra looks to be the best fit if you want to do anything serious, and that’s a problem, because it falls apart when doing anything serious thanks to a seriously bug ridden code base. I mean it! This thing is such a race-condition fest, it can’t even open its own project files on my system without crashing! (Start project, add clip, save it, try to load it … freeze!)
LiVES is supposed to be mature, feature-rich and ready for more professional use-cases and even video jockeying. Both the website and the Wikipedia pages seem promising. However, although I was able to install and open it just fine, it refused to resize properly and did not import a single video. (If there is a “proper” way to import video’s, apart from the way the program makes it possible for users, then I was unable to find it.)

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This video editor has the ability to move things in the visual space straight in the viewer panel compared to the others where you need to change some value of x or y to scale or move things in your composition. This might not matter much in many cases but if you have a lot of elements moving or scaling throughout your scene, this is the fastest and a much more intuitive method than having to adjust the scale/position values of individual axes separately. This again is a big reason why I prefer an alpha (a damn good alpha) version of this software than a stable release of Kdenlive. See More
When working a film convert it from movie format to a bunch of stills (you can render it so. I think andrew has a video on this). Make sure to do this in a unique directory because you get about 24 pics per second. The format for these pics should be png or if you want to do a lot of composting then OpenExr is the way to go but the files are bigger and might slow down and older machine. Think of it this way. PNG has 0-255 for each color of each pixel, whole numbers only. Try multiplying that by .1 and then by 1000 a few times and see what you get. The other system uses floating point math for each dot and that keeps it high quality. PNG works but don’t expect much in the way of high quality compositing.
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I wanted to use a Linux first, open source editor but I rely on stability for work and sadly I couldn't get a workflow that didn't include a significant number of crashes and glitches. DaVinci Resolve on the other hand is absolutely stable, never crashes, never glitches, has excellent tools, a smooth workflow and incredibly fast rendering. IMO better than Premiere. See More
Cinelerra *had* the most promise and it’s probably good if you want to run a TV station. However, it’s not creative at all. Simple edits are easy. However, anything else can become a stunt. IMO, Kdenlive has seen the quickest growth. Lives is also doing well. In the next few years we may see those apps grow into the free alternative of Finalcut – but not Cinelerra. It does what it does, and there is no need to change.

Using Linux does not mean that you can’t have high-quality software on your system. Apart from the video mentioned above editors, there are tons of other software available in the market for Linux. Some of them are aimed at professionals (just like Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve, and Blender), while others cater to the requirements of beginners (similar to Shotcut and VidCutter). Moreover, you will also be able to easily download and install video editors on your Linux system, as most of them are already available on the app store.


Trey has a good point, I don’t want to do much more than combine my video with a few transitions and a soundtrack. Kdenlive works fine for that. My biggest issue with Linux video editing is the lack of good transitions and simple drag and drop functionality. Also DVD menu creation is still really poor on Linux. But over the last four years it has gotten much better.

I’ve had good luck with Lives. I’ve been able to accomplish things with it that I couldn’t figure out how to do with the others. My main use of video is for web sites. I’ve even created a video sequence from a JPEG still which I then manipulated with Lives tools and output as an animated GIF. I further tune the size of the animation in GIMP which allowed me adjust the the frame rate on a per frame basis.
That said, I am also long time ‘nix user (from before we had the GUI) and other OS. Linux has its place but fast video editing isn’t one of them. My office needs to edit about 3 hours of video every day, splicing together the scenes from two fixed cameras. There is some Linux software that might do it, but it is just too slow, awkward and buggy to use. We use Womble’s DVD Wizard software on Windows on that. It’s not expensive, good support and very fast to use even on lower spec hardware.
Hi! I'm Zohaib Ahsan, contributor to FOSS Linux. I'm studying computer science, I’ve learned a thing or two about operating systems that are based on Linux. This has made me join FOSS Linux where I can share what I have learned with the rest of the world. Not to mention — some major tea is going to be spilled as well — as I share with you the latest developments in the world of Linux.
Shotcut is another free, open-source, and cross-platform video editor. Unlike Kdenlive, novice video editors will be able to get a full-fledged experience with Shotcut as it is rather easy to use. It comes with a wide range of features, including native timeline editing, video transitions and filters, and a multitrack timeline. It supports keyframes for filter parameters and 3-point editing. If you quickly need to delete the audio from a video clip, Shotcut gets it done.
Looking to quickly edit a video on Linux? Consider using Shotcut. It’s a non-linear, cross-platform, multi-track video editing tool that is great and easy to use. The video editor has support for adding titles, cutting and splicing clips together, as well as keyframe options, and more. It’s certainly not as complex as something like Lightworks, or as user-friendly as OpenShot, but it’s a solid editor that can get the job done. If you’re looking for a competent video editing tool, Shotcut might be a great choice.
Even though Olive is in the early stages of development (version 0.1.0 Alpha at the time of writing this article), some users are already using it to produce content on a regular basis, and its developers are making rapid progress, which is evident from their activity on GitHub. Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep up the current pace and give all Linux users the video editor they deserve.
LiVES is supposed to be mature, feature-rich and ready for more professional use-cases and even video jockeying. Both the website and the Wikipedia pages seem promising. However, although I was able to install and open it just fine, it refused to resize properly and did not import a single video. (If there is a “proper” way to import video’s, apart from the way the program makes it possible for users, then I was unable to find it.)
By far, this is the most professional video editor for Linux available in the market. DaVinci Resolve is a powerful video editor and is commonly used by cinema production houses all over Hollywood. It comes with amazing features such as editing, professional audio post-production, and color correction, enabling professionals to create TV-shows and even movies.

Cinelerra is the most advanced non-linear video editor and compositor for Linux. Cinelerra also includes a video compositing engine, allowing the user to perform common compositing operations such as keying and mattes. Cinelerra includes support for very high-fidelity audio and video: it processes audio using 64 bits of precision, and can work in both RGBA and YUVA color spaces, using floating-point and 16-bit integer representations, respectively. It is resolution and frame rate-independent, meaning that it can support video of any speed and size.

Looking to quickly edit a video on Linux? Consider using Shotcut. It’s a non-linear, cross-platform, multi-track video editing tool that is great and easy to use. The video editor has support for adding titles, cutting and splicing clips together, as well as keyframe options, and more. It’s certainly not as complex as something like Lightworks, or as user-friendly as OpenShot, but it’s a solid editor that can get the job done. If you’re looking for a competent video editing tool, Shotcut might be a great choice.


I’ve had good luck with Lives. I’ve been able to accomplish things with it that I couldn’t figure out how to do with the others. My main use of video is for web sites. I’ve even created a video sequence from a JPEG still which I then manipulated with Lives tools and output as an animated GIF. I further tune the size of the animation in GIMP which allowed me adjust the the frame rate on a per frame basis.

That said, I am also long time ‘nix user (from before we had the GUI) and other OS. Linux has its place but fast video editing isn’t one of them. My office needs to edit about 3 hours of video every day, splicing together the scenes from two fixed cameras. There is some Linux software that might do it, but it is just too slow, awkward and buggy to use. We use Womble’s DVD Wizard software on Windows on that. It’s not expensive, good support and very fast to use even on lower spec hardware.
Cinelerra *had* the most promise and it’s probably good if you want to run a TV station. However, it’s not creative at all. Simple edits are easy. However, anything else can become a stunt. IMO, Kdenlive has seen the quickest growth. Lives is also doing well. In the next few years we may see those apps grow into the free alternative of Finalcut – but not Cinelerra. It does what it does, and there is no need to change.
The only criticism I might have for Kdenlive is that it looks like an open source program. It isn’t the most user-friendly application to work with and appears to have been programmed by someone who knows what they are doing but expects you to also know what they are doing. It isn’t the most polished experience, and some things seem to be a bit obtuse to do.
Also, one of the thing I love from Linux is the variety in the distros. What’s the problem with that? Canonical is doing a great effort to come to home users, more than RedHat or Novell… use then a Debian-based distro like ubuntu, but let us the rest of the people with our distros, with our beloved desktop or window manager… anyway, it doesn’t affect to aplications since we all can compile from source (at least in my case, because I use gentoo and I must always compile from sources), and you can find binaries for debian-based or rpm-based distros.
This Linux video editing software is an interesting one. Kino is not your typical iMovie-style non-linear video editor. It appears to have been created in order to primarily cut a single video, or maybe a couple of videos to make a home video. It works pretty well but it requires one to use only standard NTSC or PAL formats with their respective framerates and video sizes. All in all, the video editor is stable and easy to use, but very limited.
Fanboi nonsense. There are many reasonably priced software packages out there that will do all and more than most folks want and need. We need to edit videos from two 1080p fixed point camera sources on a daily basis. The package we use costs less than $100 and puts many of the so called “professional” systems to absolute shame. Regrettably it’s WIndows only, but if it works, use it.
So, there you have it. After using these many video editing software on Linux, no doubt things are improving fastly. Now which video editing software you want to use depends on your specific type of videos you edit. If you just want to throw a small home video of your cat together, I suggest you use Pitivi, and if you really want to go at it, try Kdenlive. Either way, you should be just fine. But, to answer the real question, which is, “Which is the best video editing software for Linux?”, I would probably have to say Kdenlive, overall. Pitivi is great Linux video editor – really great – but Kdenlive is a little better. It has great features, and its stability is increasing with every release.
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