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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.

 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.


I’ve used video editing software in Windows, and there is *nothing* intuitive about it. All of the software programs I’ve used are so loaded with DRM that trying to burn your home movies to DVD is a an adventure, often in futility. One of the commercial “home use” software package I bought was fairly intuitive, but the DRM made it incapable of burning DVDs. My prime reason for wanting to be able to video edit is so I can put together home movie compilations for all the computer illiterates and senior citizens in my family. They watch movies on TV and can just about handle popping a DVD in. I’m tired of having some of my homemade DVDs work in Dad’s machine, but then refusing to play in my sister’s.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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 make short films, the last one was 30 minutes long, and I used Premiere Pro for it. Premiere was very buggy for me, I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, probably not. I tried (well, let’s say I’ve installed them and looked at them) a few video editors, including Cinelerra, Kdenlive. I found Cinelerra’s interface really ugly (controls, icons…) while Kdenlive seems very clean and functional. I didn’t tried them with real projects, but I’ll try to. But I just can’t imagine Cinelerra is a good software, seeing his ugliness :)
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.
If I was willing to continue using commercial ransomeware, what I would be doing right about now would be switching to Apple, because apple video editing does everything you need and it works. Every time over the last few years I’ve asked anyone who has made their own professional looking video what software they used, the answer is ALWAYS Apple. I know somebody who mailed all of his original home movies (we’re talking film here) to Europe so a relative using Apple could make them into DVDs. But Apple’s too busy turning into big brother for my liking, so if I have to start over, I’m migrating to Linux. There is no point in struggling to learn something new and even get good at it only to have control of your work wrested from you by corporate controls.
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.
What’s great about most Linux video editing software applications is that they tend to be free and open source, which means that anyone can peek under the hood and implement new features or fix bugs. The video editors featured in this article are loosely arranged according to their popularity, but we recommend you go through the entire list because even less popular video editors have a lot to offer.
Whether you’re a professional video editor looking to get some serious work done, or a regular person looking to make a quick slide show, we’ll help you find the best tool for the job. All of the video editors we cover in this list can be found in most Linux distribution’s software repositories. To install any of them, just open your package manager, search and install. Alternatively, visit the websites linked to install them.
Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.
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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.

OpenShot is a cross platform video editor that is “simple and powerful”. It’s built specifically for the YouTube generation or, anyone looking to make simple videos by cutting things together and adding a few effects here and there. By no means is it on the same level as something like Final Cut, or Premiere, or even Kdenlive. Instead, think of OpenShot like Linux’s iMovie.


Blender – 3D animation suite (cross-platform) : Blender is a 3D graphics application. It can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including games. Blender’s features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics, modifier based modeling tools, powerful character animation tools, a node based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.
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.

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.

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 problem average people have with Cinelerra is that it is truly complicated and requires time spent learning about the real underpinnings of video production technology in order to use it to its full potential. But the learning is worth it. What a person learns by digging deep into the intricacies of video production will allow a deeper understanding of what is going on with even “hand-holding” software.
I‘m looking for a free video editor similar to – Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Microsoft Movie Maker under Linux Desktop operating system. My tasks are pretty simple such as cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks etc. Can you provide me a list of FOSS software which can be used for video capture and video editing purposes under Fedora or Ubuntu Linux desktop systems?

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.
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.
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.
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.
Applying effects is as easy as drag and drop. But if you want to edit them, you'd need to right click on each clip and select Properties. You'd need to experiment with not-so-well documented parameters which take forever to preview just to see if you are on the right track. It is sort of easy to learn unless you want more than drag and drop controls. See More
Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.
The option to group multiple video and/or audio tracks is absolutely marvelous for use with multiple view angles and sound tracks. This permits you to modify all the tracks at the same time and prevents the need to constantly re-synchronize your clips. KDENlive can also edit multiple selected tracks at once without grouping them, which permits great flexibility when changing edits. See More
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.
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