OpenShot is a free and open source video editor designed to create videos on Linux. This app act as an alternative to iMoive or Windows Movie Maker. I am using Debian Linux 6.x. This version ships with an older version of OpenSHOT software. How can I install the latest version of OpenSHOT under Debian GNU/Linux?

Tutorial details
Difficulty level Intermediate
Root privileges Yes
Requirements OpenSHOT + Python, and
Python multimedia framework (mlt)
Est. reading time N/A
You can easily combine multiple video clips, audio clips, and images into a single project, and then export the video into many common video formats. You can create a DVD or HD videos for web. From the man page:

OpenShot is a non-linear video editor, which means any frame of video can be accessed at any time, and thus the video clips can be layered, mixed, and arranged in very creative ways. All video clip edits (trimming, cutting, etc…) are non-destructive, meaning that the original video clips are never modified.

You can use OpenShot to create photo slide shows, edit home videos, create television commercials and on-line films, or anything else you can dream up.

OpenSHOT Software features

  1. Multiple tracks (layers)
  2. Compositing, image overlays, and watermarks
  3. Support for image sequences (rotoscoping)
  4. Key-frame animation
  5. Video and audio effects (chroma-key)
  6. Transitions (lumas and masks)
  7. 3D animation (titles and physics simulations)
  8. Chroma key (green screen & blue screen)
  9. Transcode (convert video encodings)
  10. Upload videos in HD/SD formats to YouTube and/o Vimeo.

Debian installation

You can use apt-get command to install the stable release. This method is recommended for all new users:
$ sudo apt-get install openshot
This command will install version 1.1.3-1 under Debian Linux v.6.x. If you are using Debian testing you will get v1.4.2-1. You may get the latest version with Ubuntu Linux v12.10. I also recommend that you install inkscape an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) editing program. OpenSHOT will use inkscape to edit titles:
$ sudo apt-get install inkscape

Ubuntu PPA installation

Ubuntu Linux version 9.10 (Karmic) and above user can simply type the following command to install the latest version:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

Install latest stable .deb files directly from

Visit this page to grab the latest version in .deb format. Or type the following wget command to grab the same. This method is recommended for advanced users who wish to use latest features.
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ wget

First, you must install python-mlt2 and mlt packages:
$ sudo apt-get install python-mlt2 mlt inkscape
Type the following command to install dpkg
$ sudo dpkg -i openshot_1.4.3-1_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i openshot-doc_1.4.3-1_all.deb

Install latest version of blender

You need to install the latest version of blender the open source, cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation. OpenSHOT program uses blender to create animated title effects. Visit this page to grab the latest version of blender program:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget

To install blender, enter:
$ sudo tar xvf blender-2.64a-linux-glibc27-x86_64.tar.bz2 -C /usr/local
$ cd /usr/local
$ sudo ln -s blender-2.64a-linux-glibc27-x86_64/ blender
### Test installation ##
$ /usr/local/blender/blender

Sample outputs:

Blender in action

How do I launch OpenShot video editor?

Visit Applications menu and click on:

Choose Sound & Video > OpenShot Video Editor

To start OpenShot from a command line, launch a Terminal and type the following command, then press [Enter] key:

openshot  &
openshot [filename]

Sample outputs:

This video was created using OpenSHOT software.

LiveCD options

You can try and install OpenSHOT using LiveCD on any computer. I recommend:

  1. Ubuntu studio – A version of Ubuntu that is aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional. It provides a collection of open-source software including OpenSHOT.
  2. AV Linux Live DVD -AV Linux is a custom shop modded and rodded 32bit Linux based Operating System built from a hand-picked selection of available tools including Debian/GNU Linux, the LXDE Desktop Environment and Remastersys.
See also
  1. Top 5 Linux Video Editors
  2. OpenSHOT project home page.
  3. Inkscape project home page.
  4. Blender project home page.

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for the tutorial on how to create and edit videos using OpenSHOT (rss).

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