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Kdenlive: an open-source video editor (kdenlive.org)
433 points by brudgers on Mar 11, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 189 comments

I'm a simpleton when it comes to video editing, but I was able to make a series of professional-looking videos without a whole lot of trouble in February.

I only run Linux, so I'm not sure what I would've done without Kdenlive since I don't see what else I could have possibly used.

Huge thanks to everyone who contributes to the project!

I tried it recently, but it just segfaulted. System was running Ubuntu 18.04. Just FYI.

I got Resolve set up on Ubuntu 18.04 this morning - the trick for me was switching to the nvidia drivers, before that it segfaulted on my machine too.

That mostly seemed to be my problem, the 18.04 OpenCL causes Resolve to segfault. I grabbed the AMD "pro" Linux drivers, installed them (which was tricky, their provided scripts bombed out so I manually had to resolve a bunch of dependencies).

Once I got opencl installed and rebooted the machine, I was able to start Resolve and get into the main interface. It couldn't find a GPU though ("clinfo" showed one), I'm guessing that it really,truly does need an nVidia card. I brought home a card from work to try, just to see if it would make a difference, but someone put a AMD card into the box of a nVidia card.

I tried Resolve on my wife's Win10 laptop with Intel GPU, and it seemed to install and work no problem. Since I'm basically going to be using the machine for just editing when I'm editing, I may just set it up with Windows and call it done.

From some of the introductions I've watched, it looks like Resolve is the software I want. Lightworks has worked well, but Resolve looks like a space age rocket ship. I guess we will see...

Interesting that might have been my problem. I installed the packages that it needed to stop giving library problems, and wasn't particularly concerned about the nvidia libraries because I don't have an nvidia video card. Maybe that was it.

Did you follow a particular tutorial for that? I'm an Ubuntu noob (okay, a Linux noob entirely who happens to be running Ubuntu) and I couldn't figure out what to do with a giant .sh file that complained I wasn't running RedHat.

Tried, can't even change aspect ratio.

I've found the (opensource) Shotcut to be good on Linux (its also available for Mac and Windows).

[1]: https://shotcut.org/

I havent tried it recently but it used to be very unstable (crashing all the time). Kdenlive is the only editor on Linux which is stable enough to work with.

Whats amazing is that a few years ago the biggest complaint about Kdenlive was that it was that it was terribly unstable.

They've done a fantastic job of fixing that.

Both Shotcut and Kdenlive use the MLT framework under the hood. I used both for a few weeks now and they seem equally stable for small projects.

Tried, no option to change aspect ratio of the video.

That's one of those weird quirks with Shotcut -- it takes the aspect ratio / resolution settings from the first video/clip you import into the app.

A year or two ago I tried basically all of the free video editing software available on Linux and Kdenlive was definitely the best (factoring that I couldn't be bothered to learn Blender in the time I had). Others were buggy or clunky or didn't have basic features. This may have changed recently but I was really thankful for kdenlive at the time.

I am not able to change video aspect ratio in kden live, does it even work?

> I only run Linux, so I'm not sure what I would've done without Kdenlive since I don't see what else I could have possibly used.

Lightworks should run on Linux. It was used to edit Pulp Fiction, The Wolf of Wall Street and other blockbuster movies.

I used it on Windows a while ago and my basic requirements were met, despite the free version having some limitations (like export resolution and formats).


LOVE Lightworks But I have moved on to Davinci Resolve which is also on Linux. Lightworks workflow is the best but the learning curve is more like a cliff.

Davinci Resolve seriously might be the biggest Video Editor on all three platforms int he next three years. Highly recommended.

Yeah, especially with that free tier exporting up to 4k/60fps. Then you get the node compositing and souped up mixer for audio. I had to switch to an nvidia driver to get it working on Kubuntu but it works great. For me, it only crashes only when using a specific few filter effects. But I now use the massive filter set that was bundled with Natron so I don't even need DaVinci's bundled filters.

If you can get it working, the thing's a glorious beast.

Not sure I'd call it a cliff, I've never done video editing before and over the last two weeks I've create 3 videos using it and been pretty happy with it. I really want to try Davinci Resolve, but I'll need to try installing it again, had problems last time.

Davinci Resolve is good, however rather unstable on Linux in my experience. I've tried it on a couple of distros and kept getting random crashes every so often.

I'm on OpenSUSE Leap and it has been rock solid. I had it on a rolling release on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and it was a problem with all the updates.

When I use Linux for Audio and Video I DON'T update the computer and I don't have anything else really on that image. I use a second image for non-Audio/Video production. I did the same thing with Windows for decades.

Did you have to use http://www.danieltufvesson.com/makeresolvedeb ? I found the entire installation process on Ubuntu a bit of a pain (even though it did work) - I think the instability on my system is probably as a result of the rather convoluted installation steps.

Same here, I struggled for years with basic editing and tried numerous packages with poor quality results. I had to film and edit a series of interviews last year, and Kdenlive was the first video editor I was able to produce good quality output with.

I wish I had tried it earlier but I think the KDE dependencies put me off, fortunately it's also released as an AppImage and runs perfectly on my Ubuntu desktop.

I am also looking for a video editor to change aspect ratios etc...

It seems iMovie latest removed the ability to do that.

Do you guys have any recommendations for Mac? Free is better.

I create videos of product reviews for my followers

I need it to create video ads for products, mostly Facebook ads/Instagram

I've edited two student movies in the Blender Vse, its quite a capable though not quite as initiative as the other video editors out there.

I used Blender to edit videos back around 2010. Even then it was amazingly simple once you got the basic concepts down. Like 'g' to grab/move a video clip, simple things like that.

While rendering those videos I remember just being dumbstruck at how much you could really accomplish in Blender. You didn't really need much more even to be a professional video editor.

The trade-off that never seems to go away, though, with any software, is that in order to avoid all "bugs" [in common parlance, just things the software won't let you do], you need to know a tiny bit about video and audio codecs, the basics of how compression works, frame rates, and what kind of file at which dimensions your customer / delivery target needs. This eliminates like 99% of the quality problems that people will report with their exported videos: Doesn't play in my client's video software, etc.

www.pitivi.org is a very good video editor. All videos on my YouTube channel (Two-wheel Therapy) are edited using Pitivi.

It is simple, so am I.

I use Arch Linux as my OS.

I used the version of Pitivi available in Ubuntu 18.04 yesterday and for the life of me I could not get it to render anything but potato quality video (500 MB file for 60 minutes at 1080p).

The deb from Ubuntu 18.10 had unmet dependencies, which is not a surprise given how interwoven it is with gstreamer.

Finally, I installed the most recent version via flatpak and it rendered fine.

Your comment reminded me of the "First rule of Arch Linux."

... Is you don't talk about Arch Linux?


"Always mention that you are running Arch Linux."

Blender can be used as a video editor.

I tried it once but found it way too sophisticated! It would probably work, but it would probably require hours to learn, whereas with Kdenlive I could get up and running almost instantly with a 2-minute YouTube tutorial here and there to clarify certain functions.

Try Blender v2.80 beta - it really is looking awesome, and much more usable for the average user. You will need to sit through a tutorial or two first though.

Unfortunately for screencast videos where you record your desktop and maybe overlay a webcam kdenlive is really really bad compared to alternatives available on Windows and Mac such as Camtasia / Screenflow.

It's one of the reasons why I continue to stick with Windows. Kdenlive feels like it's 10 years behind Camtasia in terms of UI polish and being able to accomplish simple tasks like put a little tooltip overlay on the screen and make it look reasonable.

I think a lot of people who say kdenlive is good haven't tried Camtasia, or have created enough videos to really figure out kdenlive's shortcomings. I'm coming at this from the POV of creating 400 videos and have spent over 1,000 hours hardcore editing these videos.

I don't want to tear it down too much because it's one of the better screencast video editing tools on Linux but if your profession involves creating screencast videos, you're going to be majorly disappointed compared to Camtasia (or Screenflow). Enough to where you'll probably abort the idea of using Linux even if you're primarily a developer.

I wish I could throw money at the kdenlive devs and wake up tomorrow with a video editor that was as good as Camtasia.

If you want to record your desktop in Linux with a live webcam overlay I strongly recommend Open Broadcaster Software, aka OBS.


OBS lets you combine multiple sources easily including adding static and dynamic graphical overlays and is basically the what all of the streamers are using on all of the three platforms Linux, macOS and Windows these days, and aside from being able to stream live to Twitch etc it is also perfect for offline recording.

However, OBS is not a video editor, so if your use-case is to first record your screen and to then record the commentary afterwards rather than commenting while you are screenrecording then OBS is probably not what you want.

Yeah I use OBS. It's the best thing ever for streaming and definitely is one of the best solutions for recording in general.

But Camtasia is both a recorder and editor and it seamlessly integrates the 2. The main pros of Camtasia is that it's super optimized for editing screencast style videos (tooltip overlays, text, zooms / pans, really REALLY nice animations on any objects by just dragging a few sliders, etc.). The editing part is where kdenlive is way behind IMO, but that's where you spend most of your time.

Best free (as in beer) thing for streaming, I'll give you. But I switched to vMix as my primary video mixing software and won't look back until OBS has significantly better audio management. vMix literally got $700 out of me because it integrated a good, ASIO-capable mixer into it.

A vMix Call equivalent that transparently wires into the audio board would also be really nice, but I don't wanna get greedy.

> But I switched to vMix as my primary video mixing software and won't look back until OBS has significantly better audio management. vMix literally got $700 out of me because it integrated a good, ASIO-capable mixer into it.

Fair enough but audio is a completely different animal that can be tamed in a number of ways:

1. You can buy a hardware USB audio interface + mixer for ~$200-400ish total which can do compression, basic EQs, noise gate, has multiple inputs, etc. and now that becomes your final source of audio so you don't need to process it with software. It's just a mic from your computer's point of view.

2. OBS has VST plugin support, so you can directly use hundreds of free VSTs to do various effects in real time without needing to mess around with audio redirection. No hardware needed except for your mic.

3. You can use REAPER (free but you should register it, sort of like Sublime Text) which is a DAW. From here you can use various VSTs and then use Jack (or comparable software) to redirect REAPER's output as input to another app (such as OBS). This takes a bit of initial set up but technically would work with any app, not just OBS and this is what I used to do before going with #1 because I didn't want to run all of these apps every time I wanted to start recording.

In the end, you can get fantastic sounding audio with any of the above approaches and with #1 and #3 you can do it with any application where as with #2 you're limited to OBS only (which isn't a bad thing if you spend your time streaming and primarily recording with it anyways).

To be clear: I am a semi-professional A/V engineer, it's not my day job but I produce pretty large shows. So it's not about getting "fantastic sounding audio". It's about getting controllable audio that scales; when you're running a nontrivial live video show; my yearly charity event is 24 hours long and typically runs 5 cameras, and between 6 and 12 audio feeds, not all of which are coming in over XLR). Which is to say that along the way I've done each of the options you outline. They're bad. (There is one moderately better one I will cover. It's not good either.)

#1: that USB mixer acts as a mixer only for inputs that you can plug into that mixer. That may sound obvious. It becomes concretely painful when you have video inputs that also have sound attached. For HDMI captures, you might have an audio takeoff or you might use an HDMI extractor, which is...fine, such as it is, but suboptimal. If you use a professional stack--my video stack is SDI-based--this is completely inadequate. If you use NDI for video transmission over your network (and my stack has a switch in it, 24 gigabit and 2 10G SFP+, in order to take between six and ten NDI streams into the video mixer), you're boned; the only option that OBS offers, and it's a bad one, is to replace your cue/monitor output (assuming you have an extra audio out in your video mixer) with the NDI output. This means you can't practically mix NDI stream output that isn't currently on-screen because you only get one cue.

2. This isn't a solution because the OBS mixer is deficient. Modifying levels on the fly is impractical because they're just local UI widgets that lack the usual affordances for mouse-driven audio control. And this could be fixed with hardware but far as I am aware (this one might have changed since I last used it, OBS is now just an NDI slave for me), you can't connect a MIDI slider controller to the OBS mixer in the first place. You definitely can't send signals back to a MIDI controller to enable the use of motorized faders, which are one of those "I can't go back, I won't go back!" things now that I have them in my stack.

3. Similar problem to #1, only in software. Redirection turns into a virtual patch bay and you end up having to figure out how to run things back and forth. And the tooling on both ends is very rarely automatable, so you'd better hope you don't lose your setup.

The best option, and it also gets you screwed over because of UI affordances, is to use obs-asio with bassasio (and yeah, this means you're using Windows, but you probably should be anyway because #3 is better with a more serious DAW option, like Ableton Live, as your audio backend). You can pull every channel off your interface and expose them in OBS and you can squint at Qt sliders to your heart's content.

Personally, I use vMix instead and have good iPad-based applications that I don't have to write myself (like I said elsewhere in this thread, I wrote this[1] to control OBS remotely, it's not nearly as good as the stuff already available for vMix!) for both audio and video switching and I can, and do, wire up MIDI surfaces for physical controls (motorized faders, etc.).

Don't get me wrong: OBS is fine if your needs are small. I got pretty far with it. When your needs are no longer small, it turns into a Jenga stack of hacks. I hang out in the OBS Discord, I think the team is very talented, but the software has trouble scaling up even to my relatively modest needs compared to commercial solutions (vMix and NewTek VT being the best options in that space, though VT is gonna cost you both arms and both legs).

Had I infinite time, I would go take a chainsaw to the entire audio stack in OBS, but...I don't, and vMix already does it capital-R Right: multiple ASIO devices, first-class mixer inputs for everything from audio interfaces to cameras to NDI feeds to WebRTC calls (seriously, vMix Call is great). And it comes with a pervasive automation suite built around multiple kinds of input devices--DirectInput joysticks/controllers, keyboard shortcuts, MIDI signals (and not just notes, but faders etc.)--with signal-returns to enable stuff like motorized fader boards (which have gotten super cheap, too). Given all that, and the lack of having to do any of it myself? $700 is cheap. ;)

[1] - https://bit.ly/buymyapp

We have very different use cases.

I'm coming at from a single person trying to record screencast videos in a controlled environment.

I understand that. But your reply seemed to minimize what I was saying in a way that read to me as dismissive. Not saying you meant to, but this stuff is stuff I take pretty seriously--and I was in a meeting so I had time to kill. ;)

And OBS is in my standard kit. It's just fine as an NDI satellite. But also, for what you describe, there's a $60 1080p vMix package...and it's got most of the bells and whistles I described, too. Automation and control are easy to overlook until you don't have them!

I think my current set up is pretty automated.

I open a recording program (either Camtasia or OBS depending on what I'm doing), hit record and talk. Then I hit stop.

That's it. At this point my audio is leveled and comes out sounding good since all of the processing happens in hardware in real time. It's also sync'd with the video.

Editing is where kdenlive falls apart which is really what my reply was about.

Well put, and accurate. VMIX FTW.

OBS is stable, packed with options, reliable, has intuitive UI, usually sets up hardware quickly and painlessly definitely try it.

OBS is technically very impressive and reliable, but I wouldn't call it "intuitive". I wrote an Android app for managing OBS mostly because of how much clunk there is to the UI.

once you use compositing in OBS instead of the direct webcam passthrough, isn't there a noticeable delay?

Camstasia is a "Screen Recording & Video Editing Software" while Kdenlive is a video editor that has an feature to record your screen. Your shortcomings with it are the lack of screenrecording featuresit seems, not a fair comparison. Although it still has some ground to cover before it becomes a great nle it is getting there with every release.

Switched from macOS to Ubuntu around a year ago. Would happily pay for another license of Camtasia for Linux. Agreed that there's no experience like that I've found yet.

I went as far as posting about it on the Camtasia forums. Basically a "hey, there's people who want to run Linux but aren't because they really like Camtasia" type of post.

Not a single person replied positively even though the post wasn't hostile in the slightest.

camtasia is not free software nor open source. so its hard to compare the two, though input from someone actively using it is always better than the comments of people judging screenshots. so thanks for that :)

I think they can be compared because they compete for the same type of user, and if that user is doing this as part of their business then dropping $ on a tool that's a 9/10 instead of a 3/10 is going to be worth it.

I want to see kdenlive overtake everything, but it's simply not there and given its progress over the years (I've been following pretty much every open source and closed source screencast oriented video editor for years) I don't see it ever getting there.

I'm a musician and Linux user, so I have to lean on open source for recording and production. I use Kdenlive to do basic video creation; background music to a picture. It works really well for my purposes, in fact, I've had much fewer problems with kdenlive than with Audacity or Inkscape. Inkscape locks up my entire machine (AMD card most likely to blame) and I can't get through a recording project without Audacity crashing (been using it for years with different machines/configs, never had good luck).

If you're working on recording projects on linux, why the heck are you using Audacity? Seriously, save yourself a lot of headaches with Ardour.

I've tried using Ardour, but I've never been able to get it to work with my USB Snowball mic. It starts with audio out, but once I configure my mic, it's input only and I have to restart the program to hear anything I've done. No other program I've used has ever behaved like this. I'm sure it has terrific features, but it'd be great if they could nail the simple out-of-the-box configuration.

That's because the device is input only. By default Ardour uses the same device for capture and monitoring. The reason is that different audio devices have their own internal clocks, and using more than one devices introduces clock drift.

You get around this be setting JACK to use the snowball device for capture only (and by doing so you are using its clock) and then attach whatever device you are using for monitoring as a JACK client using zita_j2a from the zita-ajbridge tools package.

That makes a lot of sense. Speaking for the "hobbyists" out there, it'd be great to have that as an option in Ardour itself and not have to fiddle with setting up client/server/bridges just to plug in a microphone (which seems like a really common use-case!). FWIW I don't even need live monitoring where latency matters -- I just want to record, then stop recording, then play it back and edit it.

I do know that programs like Adobe Audition on Windows offer that in a plug-and-play way.

The only way to handle JACK I've found which wasn't PITA is by using Cadence and Catarina from KXStudio which are nice GUIs to manage JACK server. However, there is "but": because I use Debian, it was a lot of tinkering with apt-pinning and getting one very old lib (can't remember which one though) which is used in Ubuntu since 12.04 to build Ardour with.

If you're a musician, I'm pretty surprised you're using a USB mic. Particularly a Snowball--it's designed mostly for spoken-word.

Ardour works fine with an Audio Technica AT2100 USB (I tried it and can verify that it uses the standard USB host drivers without complaint) for both I/O and works out-of-the-box with most of my audio interfaces and an XLR mic.

> If you're a musician, I'm pretty surprised you're using a USB mic. Particularly a Snowball--it's designed mostly for spoken-word.

My 2¢: Based on my experience with podcasters, I wouldn't recommend a Snowball for beginners doing spoken-word recordings. This is a "worse is better" scenario where a cheap dynamic will give you better out-of-the-box results than a condenser mic like the Snowball, in part because it forces speakers to get closer to the mic (increasing the ratio of signal to ambient noise), and in part because dynamics usually can't record anything over ~15 kHz (spoken word tops out around 8 kHz).

A Snowball is fine for folks savvy enough to use an EQ to roll off everything over, say, 10 kHz during production.

I wouldn't recommend one either, to be clear. ;) My recommendation for a podcaster is either the AT2005USB or ATR2100USB, which are both decent-quality cheap dynamic microphones that have a USB sound card inside of them for easier real-time monitoring (but can both be used as XLR mics later if you expand). What I meant was that Blue is positioning it as that entry level podcast microphone. Which is, in its way, weird; it's a really strange microphone to try to work with and it just looks silly.

I alternate between an sE V7 dynamic, a Blue Encore 200 "active dynamic", and an AT2035 at my desk for recordings. The Blue is something I'm just testing but the other two microphones are great for different things. (Anyone who hasn't checked out a sE V7 should; for my money it's the best thing in the "SM58 range" of dynamics, with a really clear sound for a dynamic. And the damned thing won't roll off your desk if you have it handheld...)

Reaper is also available on Linux now! It's my go to. Not free, but has an unlimited trial. If you decide to buy it, the $60 license is practically a steal.

Reaper is amazing. Take your projects with on win/Mac/nix for $60

Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try.

They didn't give enough details on their musical process. I'm an Ardour user, but sometimes audacity is the right tool for the job. Depends on what you need.


life changing when I started using that for multitrack recordings..

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

i personally highly recommend using bitwig studio or renoise if you can get your hands on either. they run wonderfully well on Linux and are extremely powerful environments for music production. renoise is a tracker more so than a traditional daw and as such requires a bit of a shift in how you approach it but otherwise it's quite lovely and not super expensive. bitwig on the other hand is a more fully featured daw and as such carries a price tag to match but it's definitely worth checking out.

if price is a problem there are several other environments on Linux for composing and producing. even something as simple as lmms can be made very powerful. you can also build drum patterns with hydrogen. you can use stuff like openmuse to score music, you can download some decent soundfonts (fatboy is good, timbres of heaven is amazing) to get more juice out of your midi, etc. then if you're into generative music there's stuff like supercollider and puredata, or dsl's like sonic pi for ruby and overtone for clojure that can drive the supercollider synth. or there's even languages like chuck, all sorts of interesting possibilities for audio.

anyway i guess my thesis point is there is always a way to get it done, as long as you keep at it (which it seems like you indeed have been doing so ^5)

Renoise is absolutely wonderful. I've bought it, use it all the time, and can heartily recommend it.

But it's not an Ardour replacement. Some of their features overlap, but you can't do things like record long clips of audio in Renoise, while that's a core feature in Ardour.

Also, the workflow for Renoise is just not something most people are used to or will want to spend the time adjusting to -- though I certainly encourage them to give it a chance, as it's great alternative to the mouse-oriented piano roll workflow in traditional DAWs.

So I think for most Linux users, Ardour is going to probably be the DAW that they're most used to and the one most appropriate for recording and manipulating audio for screencasts and videos, with Renoise unfortunately relegated just to music production by tracker fans.

Within the last month I got an action cam and have started to edit videos to post on Youtube. Mostly "HOWTO" videos, because I've learned so much by watching HOWTO videos. I'm just finishing up a major remodel of my kitchen, with youtube videos being a large contributing factor to my success.

Kdenlive I haven't tried yet, but is on my short list to try.

I've been using LightWorks under Linux and it works pretty well. I mean, I have nothing else to compare it to, but I'm doing 4K30fps video, and a friend of mine tells me that his Macbook Pro with Adobe tools isn't up to the task. I'm running on a 5 year old PC I had in the closet (870K CPU, 16GB RAM, Radeon, SSD), and it works fairly well.

The only downside of Lightworks so far has been that to export to Youtube at 4K you have to "subscribe", you can't just buy the software. You can do your editing and play with it, and export 720p video.

But to export 4K, you have to either pay $25/mo or $170/year. I wasn't sure how much I'd like editing video, so I didn't want to pay $170. so I did the $25 for a month. I'm really enjoying it, but I kind of wish I could just pay $200-$300 and be done with it. Which I realize isn't rational, because that'll buy a lot of $25 months.

Other ones I want to try: Kdenlive, Davinci Resolve (tried it and it segfaulted, $170/year), Cinelerra (looks kind of crappy), Flowblade. Pitivi looks to be abandoned. Maybe I should try Blender, but I don't want to do any 3D stuff, don't want to get sidetracked.

There's also an online NL video editor that my daughter has used for school: wevideo. She showed it to me after seeing me running LightWorks and recognizing the workflow. I'm dealing with 75-200GB though, don't think that's going to work for online. Smaller video will probably work, my daughter uses it to voice-over a series of photos turned into video.

There are a few rough edges, but Lightworks has mostly let me, as a neophyte video guy, to make great videos. Took me an hour to import an MP3 this weekend though.

What gave you the impression Pitivi is abandoned?

I'd heard a few years ago that it was pretty problematic software, and when I went around looking at alternatives it was one of the least recently updated (latest stable release 17 months ago, according to Wikipedia). So maybe "abandoned" isn't the right word, but that was the impression I left with.

The problem I had when searching was that there was a ton of choice under Linux (my short list was 10), but researching them from that point is not easy. They pretty much all show the same screenshot (media, clip monitor, timeline, timeline monitor). But how do you tell: Is it reliable? Does it have the effects I'll need? Is it serious or a toy?

Normally, I'd have heard of some things and at least know a reputation for something in the field. But video editing is so foreign to my domain, that I've maybe heard one thing about the Linux options over the last decade. Mostly you hear about Final Cut vs. Adobe Premier.

Don't forget Shotcut.

I edited a video yesterday in Shotcut and it looks pretty good. I do seem to end up with a lot of glitches that I have to go back and clean up, usually repeated frames at clip transitions, though one seems to be repeated frames within a clip. I imagine it is something I'm doing, like how I drag the clips together? But I haven't had that problem in any other editor.

I think I'm sold on Davinci Resolve though. It's pretty sweet, extremely full featured, free for most uses and reasonably priced for the full kit ($300 IIRC. That adds the ability to do multi-GPU and have multiple users collaborating, plus 6K and 8K editing).

I had to upgrade my GPU though. My old one had 2GB and Resolve was like "Oh, that's ADORABLE!" It was a 5-6 year old computer though. I also put it under Windows, it just seems to run better there. I had battled for an hour to get to the point where it stopped segfaulting under Linux and started complaining about not enough video RAM. But now that Linux install is janked, something related to the AMD GPU packages. Probably not TOO hard a fix, since it was all .debs.

Thank you, I couldn't remember if shotcut was one that made my short list of ones to look at but it looks like it was.

One of the things the Linux desktop sorely needs is a good video editor. I’ve heard of kdenlive before but never tried it. How is it (both for experienced users doing complex editing and for newbies just wanting to trim some footage)?

I’ve also seen that black magic’s editor is available for Linux, but it is an enormous package...

I've used Kdenlive pretty extensively (as a hobbyist). It has an impressive collections of features. Different releases tend to vary greatly in terms of stability. I've had it eat my project (and even corrupt save files). Back up frequently if you use it. The last time I used it, it was pretty stable, so possibly they are improving in that area. My biggest complaint is that the workflow is tedious. There are absolutely not enough keyboard short cuts. If you apply the same transformations over and over again with slight changes, you're going to be hugging that mouse pretty tightly. My next biggest gripe is that the sound editing was really flaky when I was using it. I eventually gave up and did all my sound editing in Audacity. I often liked to do transformations with sound and video at the same time and it was really hit or miss if you could preview it, or if it would bug out, or if it might crash things.

The thing is, I really want to like Kdenlive because it is really close to being able to do what I want, but I just felt that every step of the way I had to be very creative just to figure out a workflow that would work well. I eventually moved to the video editor in Blender which has a lot fewer features, but the workflow is really exceptional. I figured that what time I saved struggling with Kdenlive I could spend using other tools for features that aren't in Blender.

I don't do any video editing any more (I decided video isn't really a medium that I enjoy being expressive in), so take my comments with a grain of salt.

I used kdenlive frequently as a hobbyist 5 years ago and it crashed quite often, without leaving an autosave of my progress. I got used to saving really often. Glad to hear that it has improved in this department, I should take a look again. Stability issues aside, I think it's one of the better pieces of open source software I have ever used.

> Different releases tend to vary greatly in terms of stability.

Second that. Had great and worse times with Kdenlive.

My general feeling: KDE software tends to be more unstable (i.e. crash or freeze more frequently) then GNOME software. But they have in general more features. Just compare the KDE office suite, Calligra, against OpenOffice (which is however not related to GNOME). It is amazing at what speed KDE software moves, in general.

> > Different releases tend to vary greatly in terms of stability.

> Second that. Had great and worse times with Kdenlive.

Agree also. Two elements of hope regarding stability : - The timeline refactoring is nearly completed - A nice fuzzing system has been added, which should really help : see https://kdenlive.org/en/2019/03/inside-kdenlive-how-to-fuzz-...

What features does Calligra have that are lacking in LibreOffice? LibreOffice's word processor is actually one of the most feature-rich Linux software that I can think of.

The presentation and spreadsheet do need some work, though.

Yep. Didn't want to compare Calligra and LibreOffice in detail, just tell that the GNOME office programs are much more rudimentary then the KDEs. It's a quite unobjective, unqualified statement about a consumer's expression of the state of an OSS ecosystem.

I tried various video editors for Linux and found Kdenlive to be the best looking, but as soon as I used it I frequently lost work through crashes and corruptions. Tried again not too long ago and it's still very poor in this regard.

I can second the use of audacity for sound editing in Kdenlive. I found it pretty stable though (2018).

I tried to used Kdenlive to make some very simple videos (a couple of fade-in, fade-out, some overlays here and there). Even with the latest versions (and me being a very patient person) it suffered from stability problems: random crashes, file saving problems, file corruption, horrible preview mode.

I don't know on Linux, but for Windows I also had to search around and manually install some codecs because otherwise it wouldn't render to a given format (I believe it was mp4).

Then I've found OpenShot, that was enough for my requirements (https://www.openshot.org/). It has a Linux version. Source code here: https://github.com/OpenShot/openshot-qt

Amusingly, I had exactly the opposite experience on Windows - OpenShot crashed constantly, and Kdenlive was completely solid. I wonder whether we had different system setups, or were just using different builds?

I had the same experience running OpenShot on Windows and could barely get it to run for five minutes straight without crashing on very basic video editing. :(

I‘ve used it a few years ago to edit a video* and it was great. It uses the same UI paradigm as most non-linear video editing software, a timeline with tracks on which you can place, drag and trim clips. I used Final Cut Pro 7 before and had no problems to get up to speed. It was also stable. The only reason I don‘t use it at the moment is because I‘m on OS X for now.

* https://vimeo.com/107907361

I use it a bit for small things and more in-depth for a 30 minutes montage.

For a free (as in free beer) software, it is really good. It support a wide variety of feature that can be extended through plug-ins, has a decent UX (even though some stuff required me to look in the documentation) and has a decent documentation (although some of it is outdated).

Overall, if you are looking for a free video editor, my experience is that KDenLive is the best you will get (as of 2019). It has some obvious drawback (last time I used it, it was crashing fairly frequently, but a lot has been fixed), but if you are looking to do some amateur/semi-pro video-editing, KDenLive should do it for you.

It's the only non-commercial, non-toy video editor for Linux.

I'm actually not aware of another one that uses proxy files on Linux, and with even cell phones shooting at 4K any video editor that doesn't is unusable in most cases.

DaVinci Resolve is also extremely good (probably even better than Kdenlive), but it's a commercial software although they do have a free unlimited version.

> I'm actually not aware of another one that uses proxy files on Linux..

FYI, Blender can user proxy files, although I don't think there is an option to automatically create the proxies when you add a video clip.

probably even better than Kdenlive >>>

They aren't in the same league. Resolve is used in Hollywood productions. The license is cheap, 300$, If you wanted to buy it, the free version works great. The big hardware console for Resolve is 30k.

Linux has a GREAT video editor, though it is not open source. Davinci Resolve is fantastic and my favorite video editor over Premiere, Vegas, Kdenlive etc. by a large margin.

Linux desktop needs consistency and freedom (yes, open source desktop needs freedom).

Freedom of updating and installing newer versions of software without waiting for maintainer/distro half of year to build new package (outdated next week because it's STABLE package).

This is main problem of any linux desktop initiative - linux users get newer gimp after windows users.

Hope snaps/flatpack/appimage solve this problem in future (snap versions of apps look ugly now).

I personally solved this by switching to antergos (which is based on arch, but fully usable out of the box). Been running the same installation without any problems for about 5 years now, completely updated irregularly.

Using "stable" distros makes little sense for other than complete newbies and enterprise-like critical usage and such imo. If you don't need bleeding edge stuff they are a good choice though, but for average users modern rolling releases are definitely stable enough.

The freedom is there.

Bleeding edge is development branch of some app like canary builds of chrome.

New version of Gimp available for all windows users at day one after release is not bleeding edge - it's just normal new release.

Meaning of "bleeding edge" and "stable" became strangely twisted in linux community.

New version of browser is not bleeding edge - it just normal life cycle of modern software (year 2019).

I've been eyeing antergos. Any hardware problems along the way?

I've been using Antergos for years now. It's a great way to get Arch on a machine.

I just replaced my GPU today. I ran `sudo pacman -S nvidia`, rebooted, and I was good to go.

As an aside: Arch isn't as "bleeding edge" as some people would have you believe. They have a testing repository, so packages get vetted before making it into the main package repositories. They often wait for a point-release of some software (like Gnome Shell) to help ensure that only stable versions make it in.

Plus, the Arch wiki is the most useful Linux resource I've found. I reference it even when I'm using an Ubuntu machine.

Hardware support is pretty solid, since the kernel, like all packages, is fairly up to date. There's also an option to install proprietary GPU drivers out of the box. And when reinstalling an old ThinkPad, it was also the only distro among the few I had handy that actually came with the correct Intel wifi firmware so I could, you know, install. Two thumbs up for Antergos.

Antergos is not a standalone distro though. Its just an installer for Arch.

nope but install of antergos is always borked in some way. Its actually faster to install arch linux from the command line and fairly easy anyway.

> Freedom of updating and installing newer versions of software without waiting for maintainer/distro half of year to build new package (outdated next week because it's STABLE package).

You have this freedom. It is known as "compiling from sources". In fact GNU/Linux is the only big OS/ecosystem where you have this freedom.

But like all other freedoms, you have to work hard for it.

This same freedom as mining ore for car - virtual thing. You actually can go to another side of universe (as far as light cone allows).

On windows you just can download the same program and use it without any compiling. And you can freely downgrade it if you want to. No compiling, no messing with repos, makeinstall, and randomly corrupted system.

The flatpak on flathub is 18.12.2, which appears to be the latest version.

I don't think you realize how much freedom Linux has. You can absolutely install anything you want at any rate you want with Linux. As soon as that new version of Gimp is out just go build it from source if it is not in the repos for your version of Linux yet. Seeing other comments you have made it really just seems like you want easy over freedom.

> Freedom of updating and installing newer versions of software without waiting for maintainer

Then use Arch, or some other rolling release distro.

> Hope snaps/flatpack/appimage solve this problem in future

These are terrible solutions, not least due to the theming issue. Rolling release is the real solution.

MacOS model is real solution. Like really.

Windows + chocolatey or macos + brew (cask) is better than any repository with dependencies on linux.

Also, do not want Arch or any <distro-name> - I just want LINUX (or Desktop Linux).

One predictable system, instead of many kinds/variants of basically the same programs - one system to hate, one system to deal with. (Arch wiki is good though)

> Also, do not want Arch or any <distro-name> - I just want LINUX (or Desktop Linux).

What do you mean ? How can you have Linux without using a distro ? Are you saying there should be one official distro instead of many ?

If you don't want to worry about distros just use Ubuntu. Argue amongst yourselves about with distro is "best" but Ubuntu has become a de-facto standard by this point, especially if you don't care about "Linux" and just want something that works.

[Awaits inevitable flood of comments along the lines of "I tried x on Ubuntu and it didn't work but it worked fine on y"]

I think he means he wants Linux to be like macOS or Windows where this is ONLY one distro. Which to each their own, but that misses the point of Linux and (s)he should probably stick to macOS or Windows.

> but that misses the point of Linux

Linux is kernel - I talk about good alternative for macOS/Windows, alternative desktop system, that can do much better than other two.

Well, at this point it's very complicated.

And this is why I think snap/flatpack/etc model ("system" in system) is real solution for linux desktop.

Valve's Steam client already achieved same thing: provided one "sdk" for apps, one runtime (that developer can rely on) - because you can't have one main linux organisation like microsoft and apple.

The problem is that there is no 'base system' for the Linux kernel to attach to, the implementations vary widely. If one of the core BSDs were widely adopted, the practise of developers building binaries as they do for Windows and macOS would be more feasible.

Use Gentoo to mix versions any way you want.

easily solved by using rolling distros instead. Use Solus, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch and you are set with the latest packages.

I have a 5 years of experience in tinkering with After Effects (which doesn't mean that much but I can get around doing stuff)

I tackled various realm of creative production, namely motion graphics and electronic music. This all started when I was using Windows and pirated program of famous tools like AE, but I was able to get around in Linux with FOSS tools. I use LMMS like a pro. I even used GIMP on Windows.

This was NOT the case with video production. I was making a simple lyrics video on kdenlive, but I had to scrap the project because every time I tried to add a little bit of effect, it was half-baked or simply impossible. I cannot change size of the video without having a major headache on anchor points. I cannot "crop" a content right on kdenlive. The problem? Kdenlive is actually the most feature-rich video editor I ever tried on Linux.

If you only do light editing it may work for you, but ONLY light editing. You can't have custom stuff going on as video creation tool is basically not there. I also use it as a subtitle tool... which basically sums up what your expectation should be.

I prefer blender as an NLE (in fact I know jack shit about 3d modeling, so blender is just a video editor to me.)

So do I. You’ll need the manual or some YouTube videos, since it isn’t the traditional UI paradigm, but if you take the time to learn Blender you’ll find that it is a very capable video editor.

It doesn't even let you do frame rate conversion though.

I haven’t needed to do this (it’s an ffmpeg task IMO), but apparently it is possible: https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/14999/how-to-cha...

To my knowledge it doesn't let you go in the other direction with motion interpolation though. Maybe there is a way to get blender to run a video through ffmpeg's minterpolate filter, but I haven't looked into that.

late edit: if any Blender developers are by chance reading this, my greatest gripe with Blender is that it doesn't use ffmpeg for encoding, making it infeasible to leverage ffmpeg's many desirable features and supported output codecs and formats (at least not without the inefficiency of going through a lossless format. ick!)

Ah yes there's that weird design where there's a "movie clip editor" that is a totally different tool from the sequence editor. Why can't I import a clip into the sequence and then edit it? Very confusing.

I probably fit under the 'newbie just wanting to trim some footage' category. I had to put a presentation together using Kdenlive. Nothing special or fancy, just put together a bunch of 'day-out' clips into something nice.

Not once did I have to resort to Google or documentation for help -- it was all fairly intuitive. I want to reiterate that I wasn't doing anything fancy, just trimming bits and pieces off clips here and there.

When I had the need for a video editor a few years ago, i was quite happy with OpenShot. I have nod idea how it evolved though, but back then I found it was the best balance between being easy/efficient and not crashing with the hours and hours of raw videos I had.

Davinci Resolve is your answer

Has there ever been an attempt to build a FLOSS video editor pinned to a single distro and a single piece of hardware (or at least single GPU)?

It just seems like Linux cannot currently guarantee anything about the stability or even existence of GPU-acceleration on an arbitrary machine. So to start with that and then smear the software across multiple LTS versions of multiple distros seems like a perfect recipe for our current reality.

Could maybe even build a funding model off of that. Compare a fundraiser trying to gain general stability for a buggy video editor to a fundraiser for getting "Paradise Video Editor" to extend its rock solid UX to a 2nd piece of hardware. I bet the maker of that hardware would find value in such support. :)

General purpose GPU acceleration is accessible through standard APIs like Vulkan.

If you mean specialized GPU video encoding / decoding, there is VAAPI, which is also pretty much supported on all GPUs and distros. But selection of particular codecs depends on the hardware.

No, I mean limiting support to X distro on Y arch with Z GPU. Any usage outside of those constraints is completely unsupported and isn't allowed to be added to an official bug report.

For example, let's say Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on x86_64 with GPU... (dunno, choose a decent one that has a respectable open source driver).

Here's my question-- how much more stable would such a video editor be than the extant ones that ship with general Linux support?

I'm asking because I see lots of reports that so-and-so crashes because the user installed from the ancient Debian package, or the Nvidia driver is garbage, or some library doesn't play well on some distro/arch/distro-arch-combo. I'm just curious how much of the eternal bugginess of Linux video editors can be ascribed to those problems vs. the more narrow problem of designing fast-and-stable video editing software.

I see no reason to support ancient drivers and ancient distros. Supporting recent enough ones is expected. But there is no point to limit architectures as long as given setup has GPU with enough functionality to provide hardware acceleration and drivers that expose that.

Shotcut and openshot crash less for me in general under linux, maybe I should give kdenlive a chance again after reading about the GUI fuzzing progress. My experience has been that kdenlive is prone to crashing and saving your project often is a must

Also for any user thinking of switching to or starting with Kdenlive, they should know that in addition to crashing often (as reported by many users) it also does not support a relatively common video editing feature as multiple timelines. In Kdenlive, in one project/file, you are only given a single timeline to do all your editing in. You cannot nest them, combine them, there are no timelines to combine, there is only one of them.

Since this will be a dealbreaker for many users, they should know this upfront.

All respect to open source software, but for many projects using Kdenlive is just not an option as of yet.

Very true and another advantage for shotcut. Layering and multiple timelines is the defining feature between "oh look it's Windows Movie Maker, except worse" and a quality non linear editor.

I've definitely grown cynical but I will try out kdenlive and see if it has matured. Shotcut has been my Linux go-to for several years now.

Make sure to try the refactoring version. It will be out for the 19.04 release schedule.

As much as I appreciate Shotcut, it is still missing many NLE features, like multiselect

For now in the refactoring version you are able to copy-paste clips between open instances. Multiple timelines and nesting are on the roadmap but only after finishing the refactoring and then adding advanced trimming tools.

>it also does not support a relatively common video editing feature as multiple timelines.

Multiple timelines, not multiple tracks?

Although Kdenlive has had its fair share of crashes, maybe of them happen due to bad packaging, mostly by using wrong MLT version. Using the AppImage is a good solution.

What is it with kdenlive crashing?

There's are so many other large, complex applications on Linux, but I've never in my life experienced or seen as many reports of crashes as I have with kdenlive.

Is stability just not a priority for its developers?

It became much better for me after throwing tons of RAM at it.

A really interesting thing is that unlike on other tasks (programming?) open source is not that visible in the graphics/animation space.

Blender is widely used for 3D I believe.

You are right but Blender is the exception rather then the rule.

Krita ? OpenColor.io ? Blender ? MyPaint ?

Krita is awesome and getting traction, but most people are still on Photoshop.

How does that have anything to do with viability? If you are an artist and there is an amazing tool with a fairly big user base but not as big as photoshop how does that stop you using krita in any way?

Its not viable if you ignore all the ways it is viable.

The discussion is about visibility, not viability. The opening post says:

>open source is not that visible in the graphics/animation space

It's visible, but only really in terms of libraries and frameworks, not as user-facing tools.

OpenEXR, Alembic, USD, OpenImageIO, OCIO, Open Shader Language, OpenSubDiv, etc, etc.

GIMP is an open source graphics program and Blender is an open source 3D graphics program. Both incredibly high quality products that are open source

Pixar would like a word.

What OSS are they using? :o

I believe they use Linux only for rendering.

Kdenlive saved us, it was the best libre/open source editor we could find, and were able to produce several professional interviews with it. You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-UMfJVuezk-YgNUNSgpv...

Thanks again for such great software!

So I maintain a list of good gpl software, and I would also like to remind people about shotcut. I see constant activity on its github. In the Foss world usually it one give you problems the other will do. (not trying to steal any limelight from kdenlive, which is also doing great, I just like to show people Foss options)

Is this list public? My biggest battle using linux is keeping a list of great software! :)

Let me get back to you on that... I have an abandoned version on github that is so sloppy it's embarrassing.

As an old bored guy, I wonder if they need some help? This is a thing I know a little about.

I wonder if they deal with closed captioning, titling, synching with a VTR, multicamera, drivers for video I/O cards, proper file parsing (depending on things like FFMPEG is not such a great idea), etc.

There is a big code refactoring going on and after that multicam is on the roadmap. There is also a project to rewrite the titler. I am sure any kind of input is most welcome. You can use the irc/telegram channels as well as mailing list to contact the team.

I would definitely get in touch. I'm not following the project closely, but they have lots of things going on. The refactored timeline got merged just today which might have regressions that weren't caught. Sometimes they hold IRC meetups for people to chime in: https://kdenlive.org/en/category/cafe/

I have created several screencasts and used https://www.openshot.org/. I haven't used anything else yet to compare it to. But i will definitely try kdenlive!

I've done a bit of editing in kdenlive, and it's by far the best open source video editor I've come across.

Hands down the best libre video editor I've used, good enough to make some fairly dank memes

Maybe this is a dumb question, but how is "Kdenlive" supposed to be pronounced?

I've only used it a few times, but I pronounce it along the lines of "kayden-live"

what about cinerella? when i researched what video editor to learn next after kdenlive it was cinerella. it seems to work fine, and i am surprised not to see any comments regarding it. seems like it is completely out of the running?

Why this project is not on for ex. GitHub?

Because KDE as a major and old open-source community doesn't like to use proprietary hosting services when they have their own infrastructure (and probably had their own infrastructure before Github even existed?)

You mean why they are using git as intended instead of introducing a single point of failure? ;-)

Many in the free software movement shun commercial software. To make things worse, GitHub recently got aquired by one of free softwares old enemies.

Personally I've used and even recommended GitHub before Gitlab became available and I don't shun them or even Microsoft, but I also see where they might be coming from.

Don't use "commercial" when you mean "proprietary". The free/libre software community isn't opposed to commerce, only to restrictions on liberty.

> You mean why they are using git as intended instead of introducing a single point of failure?

If you could introduce a single point of failure merely by using git with a proprietary remote service, then you are using git wrong.

There is currently a test for the adoption of a KDE instance of Gitlab CE (like Debian and Gnome) : and that should really help onboarding new contributors


Sadly they aren't planning to mitigate their issue tracking into gitlab which will severely hamper that on boarding. That being said a lot of KDE devs prefer seperate user facing issues to their development space because of how many bugs are submitted daily.

Do you have a problem with the KDE workflow, or do you just want it to use tools you're more familier with?

Not all open source projects are on Github. In fact Github doesn't even host the majority of it.

Why would KDE host their git repos on Microsoft's propriety on-top-of-git service?

It's on their own git server: https://cgit.kde.org/kdenlive.git/

Why is KDE software almost always available only as compile only for macOS ?

Maybe software for specifically Linux is kinda KDE's whole thing. I'm just happy they go out of their way to package and test their code against other OSs in the first place.

Anyone is free to package it for macOS. I guess no one cares enough.

kdenlive is horrible. Really. If you ever worked with professional video editing you know that for a fact.

That said: Kdenlive is, by far, the best option OSS available on Linux. openshot is trying, but is pretty unstable and not reliable for big videos.

Wow, pears are horrible for making apple pie!

kdenlive is replacement for windows movie maker, not professional video editing.

However, the homepage claims "Our software was designed to answer most needs, from basic video editing to professional work."

"Professional" just means someone paid you for the work.

Well I work with professional video editing and it is my go to tool. I can relate and agree that yes it needs to improve in many aspects but all in all it attends my needs. After the refactoring version is released some cool pro features will be added like advanced trimming tools and nesting.

I like openshot a lot for quick edits and stuff but yeah it would be rough to do anything production level

My disappointment with openshot started when trying some very-basic use cases. I tried the version shipt with my distro, I tried the version downloaded from the site (which is suppose to contain specific version of the most delicate dependencies) and both failed at different moments. I even tried in different computers.

KDEnlive, as I said in another post, feels like 1995's software. But it works for what it's suppose to do.

I tried openshot just now, it can't even change aspect ratio wtf.

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