Finally A Decent Easy To Use Video Editor For GNU/Linux

There are a bunch of video editors for GNU/Linux but most of them are difficult to use or fragile. Here is one that is both easy and robust while being moderately powerful. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Cinellera or LightWorks but if you’re just producing a short video for YouTube, who cares?

Check out OpenShot. It’s in the Debian repositories. Do try the latest package in “unstable”. It is an improvement over the current package in “testing” and far ahead of the version in the current release, Squeeze. There is a missing dependency. You need to manually install yelp if it is not already installed to get Help to work. So far OpenShot has worked flawlessly for me and the GUI has been all I needed to get started. One of the most beautiful features is that it is “web-aware” in that it knows the setting needed for videos to upload to YouTube and other sites so you don’t have to tweak arcane settings, just a main topic. I like that. It eliminates a lot of trial and error. Even I can do titles, fades and transitions with no help at all. Copy-and-paste works well. This is another great addition to Debian GNU/Linux.

Despite being used by hundreds of thousands, donations are lagging for such a great project. Try it and donate what you can to contribute.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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10 Responses to Finally A Decent Easy To Use Video Editor For GNU/Linux

  1. BlackoutWorm wrote, “when you say no to closed source, you are also saying no to software that were meant to be stable and have features and functionality,”

    Lightworks for GNU/Linux is imminent and it is first-class stuff by all reports. Release is scheduled for April 30. LW will be open source software released in a free/$free version and an encumbered version with a larger number of codecs widely used professionally. For those of us just making videos for YouTube, OpenShot works very well but LightWorks should put an end to this FUD about editing video on GNU/Linux.

  2. BlackoutWorm says:

    This is the best we got on linux.
    Openshot and kdenlive. It’s depressing, man.
    I’ve tried various different versions of both sony vegas, pinnacle, adobe premier and magix under wine, but nothing works. Even the versions in winehq doesn’t work.
    Linux is really not the best place for video editing.
    But this is what the community have asked for, really.
    A huge part of the linux community seem to hate everything that isn’t open source.
    And when you say no to closed source, you are also saying no to software that were meant to be stable and have features and functionality,
    The fact of the matter is. If you are good at programming, coding and developing software, you will get a job at a company who build quality software. Indie developers and people who choose to go open are usually alone and need a helping hand. So at the end of the day, you will end up with something half way decent.

  3. Mike Lockmoore says:

    I’ve used OpenShot several times in Xubuntu 12.04. I’ve had it lock up on me a few times to the point that I had to kill the process and start over. Pretty frustrating to loose all your work when you’ve pieced together many cuts! Not sure why. Maybe quickly scrolling through clips made it happen more easily. (Rare race condition in the code?)

    I think it is a very good program overall – generally easy and friendly, but watch out for possible lockups!

  4. kozmcrae says:

    Robert Pogson wrote:

    “Oopsie… Look at these dependencies.”

    If you’re already using KDE it’s not that big of a deal. I used Kdenlive a few years ago (I think 4) to edit down a rather long town meeting for a friend. I had never used it before. I wasn’t too bad and I managed to get the project done without too many problems.

    If I were to find myself needing to edit a video again I certainly would give OpenShot a shot but I would also check in with Kdenlive to see how it has progressed since I use KDE as my native desktop.

  5. Agent_Smith says:

    Hummm, perhaps KDEnlive is a nice software, but its interface is too Adobe Premiere alike, so, it frightens me. OpenShot, in the other hand, is easy even to look at.

  6. Der Balrog wrote, “What’s wrong with Kdenlive?”

    “apt-cache search kdenlive -f
    Package: kdenlive
    Description-md5: ccfc983772fdf099f4b5cb10272e7066
    Description-en: non-linear video editor
    Kdenlive is a non-linear video editing suite, which supports DV, HDC and much
    more formats.
    It main features are:
    * Guides and marker for organizing timelines
    * Copy and paste support for clips, effects and transitions
    * Real time changes
    * Firewire and Video4Linux capture
    * Screen grabbing
    * Exporting to any by FFMPEG supported format”

    That sounds cool. Built-in screen-capture would be great for most of my videos about GNU/Linux etc.

    Oopsie… Look at these dependencies. I try to steer clear of KDE and GNOME as much as possible:
    “apt-get install kdenlive
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    dvdauthor genisoimage kate-data katepart kde-runtime kde-runtime-data kdelibs-bin kdelibs5-plugins kdenlive-data kdoctools libattica0 libclucene0ldbl libdbusmenu-qt2 libdlrestrictions1 libiodbc2 libkatepartinterfaces4 libkcmutils4 libkde3support4 libkdeclarative5 libkdecore5 libkdesu5 libkdeui5 libkdewebkit5 libkdnssd4 libkemoticons4 libkfile4 libkhtml5 libkidletime4 libkio5 libkjsapi4 libkjsembed4 libkmediaplayer4 libknewstuff3-4 libknotifyconfig4 libkntlm4 libkparts4 libkpty4 libkrosscore4 libkrossui4 libktexteditor4 libnepomuk4 libnepomukquery4a libnepomukutils4 libnl-route-3-200 libntrack-qt4-1 libntrack0 libplasma3 libpolkit-qt-1-1 libqca2 libqjson0 libsolid4 libsoprano4 libssh-4 libstreamanalyzer0 libstreams0 libthreadweaver4 libvirtodbc0 ntrack-module-libnl-0 oxygen-icon-theme phonon phonon-backend-vlc plasma-scriptengine-javascript recordmydesktop shared-desktop-ontologies soprano-daemon swh-plugins virtuoso-minimal virtuoso-opensource-6.1-bin virtuoso-opensource-6.1-common”

    That’s probably the reason I have not tried it.

  7. Der Balrog says:

    What’s wrong with Kdenlive? It’s much more powerful than Openshot, but still easy to use.

  8. ram says:

    What? Cinelerra is difficult to use? 😉

    Agreed, it is about time that something the ‘average Joe’ could use made its appearance on Linux. From there they might even migrate to the ‘heavy stuff’ once they get into it.

  9. Agent_Smith says:

    Yup, it’s the one I use, on PCLinuxOS.
    Great software!

  10. George Hostler says:

    Thanks Robert for pointing this out. I just checked the repository in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and it is there, am now downloading it. For those who do casual videos, looks like this may be the ideal ticket. I’ll know more once I give it a “shot”.

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