Linux Video Editors

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  • DevynCJohnson
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    • @devyncjohnson

    Many people use OS X for video editing. However, Linux can handle videos just as well as OS X. Plus, Linux is open-source freeware. Now, you may be wondering what kind of software is available. There are many kinds of video editing software for Linux. Each application has its advantages and disadvantages as well as tools and features that may be suitable for various purposes.

    NOTE: The images in this article are links to images from the program's main website.

    Openshot - Openshot ( is written in Python and supports a variety of video formats and types (due to ffmpeg). Users can make title screens, subtitles, credits, and such. 3D text can be added with the help of Blender (another program I will discuss). Openshot also supports various special effects like changing the colors (hue and gamma), brightness, rotoscopy, and many more. Openshot is usually a part of most repositories. If not, Linux users can get the source code, binary, or PPA on the downloads page (

    Pitivi - This is another video editor written in Python. Pitivi is a lot like Openshot, but there are some differences. Pitivi has a different kind of interface and uses Gstreamer instead of ffmpeg. Pitivi supports special effects and scene transitions. Pitivi seems to have less features than Openshot, but Pitivi seems to be more precise in what it does. For instance, Pitivi's website claims the program is precise down to the nanosecond. (

    Kdenlive – The KDE Non-Linear Video Editor (Kdenlive) is written in C++ and has the Qt and KDE look and feel. Kdenlive uses ffmpeg to support various video formats. Kdenlive also offers various special effect tools. Kdenlive is also available for *BSD and OS X. The website claims their software is suitable for "basic and semi-professional work". (

    NOTE: Image from

    Avidemux - This video editor supports GTK or Qt and is written in C++. Avidemux can run on Linux, *BSD, OS X, and Windows systems. Instead of using ffmpeg or Gstreamer, like other editors, Avidemux uses libavcodec. Avidemux may not support as many features as other editors, but it seems to be faster than others. The interface is simple, which is perfect for newbie video-editors or for someone that needs to make a quick little modification to a video. (

    Cinelerra - Cinelerra is written in C++ and uses its own type of interface. Cinelerra is a heavy-duty video editor that is supposedly of professional quality. (

    Kino - Kino is a video editor written in C/C++ and uses the GTK interface. Kino uses ffmpeg and works on many Unixoid systems. However, Kino is a discontinued software. In my personal opinion, if someone likes Kino, they may find Kdenlive to be a close substitute.

    NOTE: Unixoid = Unix and Unix-like systems

    LiVES - LiVES (LiVes Editing System) is a video editor that is written in Perl, Python, and C. LiVES has its own type of interface and uses ffmpeg and Mplayer to support many video formats. LiVES supports many addons/plugins and has numerous features, tools, and special effects. LiVES can run on IRIX, *BSD, Linux, and Solaris. It may be possible to port LiVES to OS X. (

    Blender - Many people use Blender to make detailed 3D-images, but Blender can also handle videos. Blender is a very powerful and useful tool. Of all of the mentioned software in this article, Blender is the most powerful. However, it requires the most memory and CPU resources and skill. Blender can even be used to make animations while the above mentioned software only edits already made video. (

    The main thing most of you need to look for when choosing the right video editor for you is the interface and features. If more than one of these programs offers suitable features, then try each one and figure out which one you like better.

    Better videos may be made if many of these editors are used together to utilize all of their advantages and strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

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