Lightworks For GNU/Linux

“After being in beta for almost a year, Lightworks, a professional video editing and mastering software, has reached version 11.5 stable, this being the first Lightworks release for” GNU/Linux.

That’s the good news, a professional video editor now works for some. The bad news:

  • It won’t install in Debian Wheezy, which I use on my production system.
  • It will install in Debian Jessie in my virtual machine where I test things, but it won’t run because it wants to know the hardware better for licensing.

Sigh. That just doesn’t sound like a FLOSS project to me. If I had a spare machine laying around I could probably test it but I certainly won’t change the OS on a production system to give it a try. Ubuntu and Debian Jessie are beta systems. Why would I try to test supposedly a good release on a beta system?

This seems to be a fundamental error by the folks who bring us Lightworks. Because they use the latest release of Ubuntu GNU/Linux, they insist that users of their application do as well. I resent that. Some of us want reliable software stacks from top to bottom. Debian Jessie and Ubuntu do work but they still have a lot of bugs. I don’t want a lot of bugs in a production system. Is that too much to ask? I suppose folks who only do video-editing might be OK with that but my system runs 200 processes. I need them all to work. They do with Debian Wheezy.

See Professional Video Editor `Lightworks` 11.5 Goes Stable For Linux.

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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5 Responses to Lightworks For GNU/Linux

  1. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr funny part is lightworks major revenue is not the software its the hardware designed for it. The 99 dollars for pro is mostly consumed by licensing of codecs and management of that. Please note 99 subscription also is support access.

    $2,800.00 is the price of the control console for lightworks then you have the editshare accelerator hardware.

    Lightworks is a tip of a very big profit making iceberg.

  2. kurkosdr says:

    The “take people at their word until proven wrong/incorrect/deceitful” strategy fails when someone has promised something for “sometime in the future” (aka has not commited to a specific day/month/year), because as long as the sun hasn’t died yet, they are technically not violating their word.

    In such a case, you judge someone by the progress he presents and the upgrades they share. Lightworks is more than a year late than the original announcement and they haven’t shared a single update about how their open-sourcing effort goes, and you won’t even find a single reference about open-sourcing lightworks in their site, besides those old announcements. Sorry, the cake is a lie.

  3. kukosdr wrote, of Lightworks, “it’s not a FLOSS project”.

    I take people at their word until proven incorrect/wrong/deceitful. It is troubling to me that the biggest problem I have with the project is some aspect of its licensing but they did promise to release the code. I don’t know why they bothered to put that nonsense in FLOSS unless they were just using it to debug/beta-test their non-Free version. Whatever. We shall see. There’s nothing wrong with delaying release of the source code a bit if it’s still in flux but a release should end that sooner or later. I’ve worked on several projects which were usable long before they were properly documented… Think of the source code as the documentation…

    “The source code is not available yet. If you look at the Home Page you will see some background to the project and an approximate roadmap. The current beta release is to help people to get aquainted with Lightworks, and to shake out any remaining bugs in this version. The source code will be released later in 2011, and we look forward to your participation in the Open Source development proogram. “


    When I looked 392 users were logged into the forum. This thing should be at critical mass as a FLOSS project. I don’t know why the company seems so sluggish to release the hounds. Their concept to have a fully FLOSS $free version and a modestly priced “pro” version seems workable as long as they have enough users. Delaying release delays increasing users, IMHO.

    kukosdr also wrote, ” watch the blog of openshot which is a beatiful truly FOSS video editor due in 1-2 months. You can also keep an eye on novacut”

    All the more reason for Lightworks to release their code sooner rather than later. The target for this business is professional editors. Those folks cannot use unlicensed codecs because they would be sued into oblivion. The business turns on who can license the codecs for the lowest prices. Lightworks seems to be on the right track that way, undercutting many good packages in price. Using FLOSS is just another way Lightworks can compete in the market for software. They also sell services as well as licences.

  4. kurkosdr says:

    ” That just doesn’t sound like a FLOSS project to me.”

    Because it’s not a FLOSS project. The source was supposed to come by the time of the Linux release, still not here. The FLOSS promise was just a publicity stunt.
    See, the Lightworks project makes money by giving away a “basic” version that doesn’t save in the formats and resolutions you want, and then they sell a “pro” version that does.
    If they release source, anyone could just take the source, bundle it with x264, xvid and ffmpeg, and provide support for all the output formats the “pro” version does, ruining a significant revenue source for Lightworks.

    If you are interested in open-source video editors watch the blog of openshot which is a beatiful truly FOSS video editor due in 1-2 months. You can also keep an eye on novacut, although novacut cares more about experimenting with new ways to edit video than ship a product right now (like openshot does).

  5. dougman says:

    This article made me remember something I previously read . Here are two entries regarding software, upgrades and touchscreen monitors.

    “I recently purchased a new computer, and have spent about a week re-installing all the software I use in my product development business. While doing this, I had to choose whether to go with the older versions I already had, or upgrade to newly released versions. In the case of two programs, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Sony Movie Studio, I chose to upgrade to the latest versions – and already regret that decision. See, in both cases, the companies behind these program decided to ‘dumb them down’, removing features that were previously available. And both decided to change their user interface to favor ‘touch screen’ monitors. This means those of us who use mouse based computers and rely on now missing features found in the older programs, paid for upgrades that resulted in less capable software. For this reason, I’m re-installing the old versions and will be very reluctant to purchase new software upgrades from these and other companies.”

    “Touchscreen programs are going to create problems for those of us who do not like touchscreens.

    I was forced to go to Windows 8 over a year ago, and it didn’t work. I hated it. Fortunately, the program locked up the computer I bought. I took it back. I got a replacement. Windows 8 locked up that one, too. So, I will never go to Windows 8. That means never.

    Of course, I said that with respect to DOS. I kept writing on my 1995 Dell computer until 2009. But it finally died, and I lost my DOS version of WordPerfect. I miss it, but I have made the transition successfully.

    So, maybe someday I will be forced to go to a touchscreen program. But I will resist as long as I can. I bought a new computer last year, but I bought it only on this basis: it had Windows 7. You can still buy PC computers this way.

    My recommendation: do not buy the latest version of any program unless you know it is not touch-screen based.

    For a time, being willing to use an older version of a program will be an advantage. You will be able to buy the older version on Amazon at a discount. But, at some point, that will not be possible.

    Usually, the benefits of an upgrade are marginal. Nobody uses more than about 5% of any computer program, which is a Pareto distribution: 20% of 20% (almost). So, about 95% of a program really doesn’t matter, even to power users. So, it doesn’t matter to you if you don’t upgrade your programs.”

    See, that is the point I make when I push Libreoffice / Google Docs or ChromeOS, its simply good enough for the majority (95%) of the things that people do with computers.

    “I recommend that you find out from reviews whether or not the upgrade works with a touchscreen. If it does, you should assume that it will not be an effective program if you don’t use a touchscreen.

    The move is to tablets, and tablet users use touchscreen programs. I don’t like this transition, because I don’t use a tablet for my work. In fact, I don’t use a tablet for anything. I don’t like tablets. I bought an iPad early, I used it for 10 minutes, and I never used again. But, I’m a dinosaur. I have not part of Apple’s target market.

    I dread the day when Microsoft ceases to support Windows 7.”

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