Regardless of whether you’re looking for a simple video editor to help you edit footage recorded on your last vacation or a professional solution fit for an aspiring filmmaker, there’s no reason to switch to a different operating system because the number of fantastic Linux video editors has never been greater. Best of all, most Linux video editors are available for free, so you can realize all your video-editing aspirations even if you’re on a tight budget.
The easiest answer is perhaps the lack of commercial applications for desktop Linux, even for a popular distribution like Ubuntu. There is no shortage of quality desktop apps like LibreOffice, Firefox, GIMP and VLC – even Minecraft runs perfectly well with OpenJDK Java – but when it comes to multimedia creation, Linux desktop distributions still left behind. With no Photoshop, After Effects, Ableton Live, or Premiere Pro for Linux, we have to turn to alternatives. For image editing, GIMP and Inkscape have Linux pretty well covered, while Bitwig and Ardour meet most Linux audio editing needs. Thus, here follows my review of a few readily available Linux video editing software (I tested them on an up-to-date Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 64-bit system.) This list is not in order from best to worse or vice-verca. As I completed the test for one Linux video editing software, I wrote it down and ranked it based on my experiences.
Crash, crash, crash... when it didn't crash I found it to be in that middle zone of more than a basic editor, but not a professional one... features are not very intuitive. It took me more than 30 minutes of randomly clicking to figure out how to adjust the effects applied to a clip and then I was underwhelmed with the options. To be fair... I was looking for something specific when I tried this out. I've used Adobe and other video editors in the past and this just missed my current needs and my expectations based on past experiences. See More
Pitivi could be described as the Linux alternative to Windows Movie Maker. Both video editors have a clear user interface that doesn’t present its users with a steep learning curve, and both are intended to help regular people express themselves through videomaking. Of course, Windows Movie Maker is no longer in development, whereas Pitivi is developed by a fantastic community of people who believe in open source software.
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.
Like you, I’ve never been able to keep Cinelerra open for more than 10 minutes but in my case, the reason wasn’t the ugly UI. The problem is rather that it is a total crashfest! I do not know a single piece of software under Linux that exhibits that many lockups, race conditions, segfaults etc etc. Heck, on my system, it can’t even load a project that it saved 2 minutes earlier without crashing and that sadly ruins the featurewise winner of the competition completely.
That was the first video editing software package I bought for making home movies. It was easy to use, intuitive even, although some bits were a bit clunky. After making 20 or so coasters, it turned out to be near impossible to burn DVDs. Going online I discovered that burning DVDs was a common problem that upgrading wouldn’t help so I bought Vegas. Since my goal is primarily making home movies for distribution to a far flung computer illiterate family (and that isn’t even just the octegenarians) this is important.
Paul, this is the biggest problem with getting linux accepted. “If you can’t figure it out, theres always fisher price.” that attitude makes people who are having difficulty turn back to other operating systems. Not everyone out there is a computer geek, many have no clue about terminal or how to find and install software. Windows has wizards, with Linux, sometimes you need to be a wizard. So lighten-up and remember that people will judge linux by the people they meet. Be an ambassador for the movement, not an ass.
Just like VidCutter, it allows you to do basic editing tasks such as to trim, cut, snap, split, and mix your videos. For people who aren’t that well-versed in English, the software provides support for several other languages. Before using it, you should probably read its documentation, which comes with a lot of useful information on how to use this software.
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