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The developers of the Pitivi editor believe that a video editor should be flexible, and efficient. Users can choose from simple views, to a complex mode that allows experienced users to make finer edits to their project. Users get access to “hundreds of animated effects, transitions and filters”, great looking audio waveforms in the project timeline, and a timeline that supports lots of different video and audio codecs.
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.
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!)
The developers have also added some high-quality video and audio filters and effects aimed at professionals. Unfortunately, this software is not entirely free as it comes in two versions: Lightworks Free and Lightworks Pro. The difference between them is that the latter supports different video formats, while the former does not. Lightworks is available for Windows and Mac OSX as well.
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.
Far from the “it just works” dream, this program just does not work. I have a relatively fast i7 laptop with plenty of RAM, but OpenShot slowed my entire system to a crawl as soon as I started to edit some video. Firefox became unresponsive and OpenShot crashed or at least appeared to do so since a crash report window opened but OpenShot did not close.

Lightworks is a feature-packed video editor with a truly impressive resume. It was used on movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, LA Confidential, and Pulp Fiction, and there’s nothing stopping you from seeing first-hand why so many professionals like it because you can download it for free and use for 7 days without paying. If you decide that Lightworks is worth your money, you can upgrade to Lightworks Pro and unlock additional features.
Avidemux is a free, open source video editing software designed mainly for simple cutting, splitting, merging, filtering and encoding, etc. It is a cross-platform free video editing software and support various file formats with different codecs such as AVI, MPEG, MP4, ASF, etc. With it, you can easily edit your videos and output the edited videos for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, PSP, etc.
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.
Nevertheless, when you find the elusive, easy to use video editing software that has the features I mention, that doesn't crash, or at least when it does crash recovers files the user was working on, that doesn't need constant tweaking using the shell, that has reasonable, non obfuscated documentation in understandable english, please let me know. I will buy you a beer and the software without hesitation.
Blender 2.8 makes video editing a LOT easier (start UI, easy to drag file, left click select...). It's still a bit harder to learn than other tools but for power users each shortcut you'll learn can be applied almost everywhere (e.g. pressing "i" on a numeric field to keyframe the value, or "g" to grab and move and element...). It's very powerful especially if you want to also include 3D in your videos. However many standard tasks will take more time in Blender: The preview is slow, to do a high quality zoom in animation you may need to use a Compositor or instead crop, rendering in 10 bits requires a lot of temporary disk storage, video stabilization is also a pain... Overall I'd suggest it more for someone interested in 3D doing also video editing. See More

Whether you’re cutting a feature or just editing a short or two or even a youtube video, having an NLE that you don’t have to wonder about (whether it’s going to just slowly fall apart) is preferable. What is the basic stuff most people use? I’m a rather accomplished editor and I find that even for the simplest projects I tend to use advanced techniques. However, that doesn’t stop me hoping that someday someone is going to create an NLE for Linux (commercial or not) so that I can make the switch full time. Because I love the command line and I love the free part, and I like being part of the friendly community…the more time I can spend hacking wifi the better.
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.
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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

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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.
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
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.
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!)
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