Top 5 Linux Video Editor Software

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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?

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.

MS-Windows PC included Windows Movie Maker and Apple computer comes with iMovie. Most Linux based editing software can now be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. You also need a video capture card and a FireWire connection to capture digital video from a DV camera.


OpenShot is an open-source program that creates, modifies, and edits video files. This is the most stable and easy to use program on Linux. If you are looking for alternative to Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMoive, try OpenSHOT. Here is a sample video I created for my youtube channel using OpenSHOT video editor:

See how to install latest version of OpenSHOT on Linux for more information.


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.

Fig.01: Avidemux in Action under Ubuntu (image credit: Wikipedia)

Fig.01: Avidemux in Action under Ubuntu (image credit: Wikipedia)

How Do I Install Avidemux Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install avidemux
=> Download Avidemux


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.

Fig.02: Cinelerra Rendering in Action (credit Cinelerra project)

Fig.02: Cinelerra Rendering in Action (credit Cinelerra project)

Cinelerra Tutorial Capturing Desktop Screens

=> Download Cinelerra


Kdenlive is an intuitive and powerful multi-track video editor, including most recent video technologies. Kdenlive supports all of the formats supported by FFmpeg (such as QuickTime, AVI, WMV, MPEG, and Flash Video), and also supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for both PAL, NTSC and various HD standards, including HDV. Video can also be exported to DV devices, or written to a DVD with chapters and a simple menu. Kdenlive packages are freely available for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X under the terms of GNU General Public License version 2 or any version later.

Fig.03: Kdenlive in Action (credit: Kdenlive project)

Fig.03: Kdenlive in Action (credit: Kdenlive project)

How Do I Install Kdenlive Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install kdenlive
=> Download Kdenlive


Kino is a non-linear DV editor for GNU/Linux. It features excellent integration with IEEE-1394 for capture, VTR control, and recording back to the camera. It captures video to disk in Raw DV and AVI format, in both type-1 DV and type-2 DV (separate audio stream) encodings.

Fig.04: Kino Main Window (image credit - Kino porject)

Fig.04: Kino Main Window (image credit - Kino porject)

How Do I Install Kino Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install kino

=> Download Kino


LiVES (LiVES is a Video Editing System) is a free software video editing program and VJ tool. LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which is used by both professional VJ’s and video editors – mix and switch clips from the keyboard, use dozens of realtime effects, trim and edit your clips in the clip editor, and bring them together using the multitrack timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away.

For the more technically minded, the application is frame and sample accurate, and it can be controlled remotely or scripted for use as a video server. And it supports all of the latest free standards.

Fig.05: Lives: Linux Video Editing System (Image: Lives project)

Fig.05: Lives: Linux Video Editing System (Image: Lives project)

=> Download LiVES

Comparison Of Video Editing Software

Feature Avidemux Cinelerra Kdenlive Kino LiVES
License GPL GPL GPLv2 GPL GPLv3+
Cost Free Free Free Free Free
Paid Support N Y N N N
RAM (min) ? 256M 256M ? 128M
Hard Disk (min) ? ? 1G ? 10G
CPU ? 500Mhz 600Mhz ? 800Mhz
High Definition Video Editing ? Y Y ? Y
Non-destructive Editing ? Y Y Y Y
Full-screen Playback ? Y Y Y Y
Storyboard Mode ? N Y Y N
Video Tracks Y Y Y ? Y
Audio Tracks Y Y Y ? Y
Linear Timecode Display ? Y Y ? Y
DVD Output ? Y Y N Y
HD Output ? Y Y N Y
Smart Phone Output ? Y Y N Y
QuickTime Output ? Y Y N Y
Windows Media Output ? Y Y N Y
MPEG-4 Output ? Y Y Y Y
Web Output ? Y Y N N

Other Open Source Non-linear Video Editing Software For Linux Operating Systems

  1. 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.
  2. PiTiVi : PiTiVi is a program for video editing based on the GStreamer framework. It can – Capture and encode audio and video, with formats supported by GStreamer, split and trim video clips, split and trim audio, render projects in any format supported by the GStreamer framework etc.

Our Recommendation

  • Use Cinelerra for professional work. It is very fast, and can handle a heavy load. You can also obtain paid support for this product.
  • For video encoding and conversion purpose use Avidemux.

Who Uses…?

  1. Cinelerra – Recommended for Animator, Artist/Illustrator/Designer, video editor.
  2. Kino – Recommended of home user, video editor, and videographer.
  3. Avidemux (Non-Linear Editor) – Recommended videographer
  4. Kdenlive – Recommended for home user.
  5. LiVES – Recommend for home user and VJ.

What Software do you use for Digital Video Editing?

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164 comments… add one
  • Fahim May 16, 2014 @ 21:25


    I need to prepare screencast and I am following Kdenlive. Please let me know which is best ?


  • Pawneshwer Gupta Dec 26, 2014 @ 6:14

    is there any video editor for ubuntu similar to “Camtasia” ..???

  • George Looney Mar 5, 2015 @ 12:10

    My purpose is to edit the .m2ts files produced by my camcorder, with possibly the ability of grabbing frames to jpg.
    I am currently stuck on Pinnacle Studio on Windows. It works great but it have many bugs and sometimes let you waste huge amounts of time without producing anything.
    I would really like to switch to a good video editor under Linux, since Ubuntu is the OS I use more often and I hate to boot Windows just to use the video editor.
    Here are the results I had on a 64 bit, 4-cores PC with 4 GB of RAM and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

    1) Openshot
    It opens my files and I can see them without any freezing. So far the better, but development stopped in 2012 and it lacks the frame grabbing feature. It could have become a serious alternative to win programs, but they should come back to development.

    2) Avidemux
    It ask strange things when opening the m2ts files and ends up with a green screen with nothing visible. Not usable on my video files.

    3) Cinelerra
    It looks really professional, with all those screens around, but it complains about a small “shmmax” variable in my kernel. I fixed this, but when it loads my files, it is unable to show them. The play starts and jumps to the end of the file, without showing anything. Unusable.

    4) Kdenlive
    It does not even show the m2ts files among those loadable by the program. Unusable.

    5) Kino
    This is an editor specialized on DV files. All other kinds of video are converted to DV, using a lot of time. I tried to import an m2ts of about 130 MB and it tooks more than 5 minutes. Just imagine how much time you would need with GB files… Not to mention the doubled (or more) disk space. After that, it jups to the end of the clip, exactly like Cinelerra. Unusable for me.

    Please note that to get a new version of Pinnacle Studio you must pay about 60 euros here in Europe. So I would easily pay a similar price to someone developing a REAL video editor for Linux !

    • Douglas E Knapp Mar 5, 2015 @ 21:43

      George Looney March 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm
      What are your results with Blender 3d? PS do get the newest version from their web site 2.73a and expect the next few to be better with films. 2.74 is due out on the 10th of March 2015 or so and likely a bug fix a few weeks after.

  • siraz ahmad Feb 4, 2016 @ 10:29

    this is good

  • blend head Apr 14, 2016 @ 21:43

    Blender VSE. Works smooth, stable, fun, and all in-one compositing 3d animation suite. I never change software!

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