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Kino is a great program, but it only does standard definition video, and everything has to be converted to DV files (meaning you need a gigabyte for every 5 minutes of video, so editing an hour long video can easily take 12 gigabytes). Sound editing can also be a bit difficult, but one can always export the soundtrack, edit in Audacity, then dub it back in (and I’ve done this for a couple of videos I’ve made). It’s still my favorite video editing program in spite of these limitations, for now.
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.
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.
A non-linear editing system (NLE) is a video editing (NLVE) or audio editing (NLAE) system which can provide editing method for video clips or frams. You will be able to access any frame in a video clip. Non-linear editing is done for film and television post-production. However, the cost of editing system gone down and non-linear editing tools (including software) are now within the reach of most home users.
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Pitivi has been around for a few years too. This video editor for Linux is a GNOME application and is designed to fit into the GNOME desktop. (I assume it will work just fine in KDE or XFCE too.) Installing it requires the use of Flatpak, but they give rather easy-to-use instructions on the Pitivi website, and I had no problems at all. Drag-and-drop seems to be well supported, and it first transcodes videos before they can be used, which takes a few minutes or seconds, depending on the size of each. But it appears the videos can still be used during this process.
The ubiquitous Kdenlive strikes again. It has been around for years and is used by many people. I tried to use it a few months ago, but it was completely unusable. It often didn’t start, and when it did, it crashed and refused to export properly. However, for this article, I installed the latest version from the Kdenlive PPA and tried it out. Things have changed. Oh my, how things have changed.
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.
After experiencing various crashes (on Ubuntu 9.04) with Avidemux, LiVES, and Kino, I switched to Cinelerracv. I had avoided switching becasue it was a bit intimidating at first. Then I discovered the tutorials atAkirad, and with some effort, have mastered its capabilities. Combined with FFMPEG (and a neat little GUIfor it called WinFF) and Audacity for specialized audio work, I have a suite that can do whatever I want and produce it in whatever format I desire. Thanks for the reviews. They provide a great path for investigation…
The latest version of DaVinci Resolve features a dual timeline that allows users to quickly navigate the whole edit and trim without zooming and scrolling. There’s also a brand-new video editing engine that leverages machine learning to enable features such as facial recognition, speed warp, and others. All in all, DaVinci Resolve shows just how far Linux video editors have come over the years.
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Pierre, did you not see the mention of Blender??? It is GREAT for doing video. Yes, you do have to learn it but you want to do a good job right?? One thing to note. It is best in blender to turn the movie into a series of stills in the openEXR format. It is also important to go into settings and increase the buffer memory so that you get a much faster response as it loads much more movie at one time. Make sure to render the firm into its own director or you will have a LOT of picture files cluttering some other directory! Also more Ram mean better responsiveness and having a SSD drive is also a GREAT benefit. I would think this is true of any system.

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