9 Best Free Video Editing Software for Linux In 2017

Brief: Here are best video editors for Linux, their feature, pros and cons and how to install them on your Linux distributions.

Best Video editors for Linux

We have discussed best photo management applications for Linux, best code editors for Linux in similar articles in the past. Today we shall see the best video editing software for Linux.

When asked about free video editing software, Windows Movie Maker and iMovie is what most people often suggest.

Unfortunately, both of them are not available for GNU/Linux. But you don’t need to worry about it, we have pooled together a list of best free video editors for you.

Best Video Editors for Linux

Let’s have a look at the best free video editing software for Linux below. Here’s a quick summary if you think the article is too long to read. You can click on the links to jump to the relevant section of the article:

Video Editors Main Usage Type
Kdenlive General purpose video editing Free and Open Source
OpenShot General purpose video editing Free and Open Source
Shotcut General purpose video editing Free and Open Source
Flowblade General purpose video editing Free and Open Source
Lightworks Professional grade video editing Freemium
Blender Professional grade 3D editing Free and Open Source
Cinelerra General purpose video editing Free and Open Source
DaVinci Resolve Professional grade video editing Freemium
VidCutter Simple video split and merge Free and Open Source

1. Kdenlive

Kdenlive-free video editor on ubuntu
Kdenlive is a free and open source video editing software from KDE that provides support for dual video monitors, a multi-track timeline, clip list, customizable layout support, basic effects, and basic transitions.

It supports a wide variety of file formats and a wide range of camcorders and cameras including Low resolution camcorder (Raw and AVI DV editing), Mpeg2, mpeg4 and h264 AVCHD (small cameras and camcorders), High resolution camcorder files, including HDV and AVCHD camcorders, Professional camcorders, including XDCAM-HD™ streams, IMX™ (D10) streams, DVCAM (D10) , DVCAM, DVCPRO™, DVCPRO50™ streams and DNxHD™ streams.

If you are looking for an iMovie alternative for Linux, Kdenlive would be your best bet.

Kdenlive features

  • Multi-track video editing
  • A wide range of audio and video formats
  • Configurable interface and shortcuts
  • Easily create tiles using text or images
  • Plenty of effects and transitions
  • Audio and video scopes make sure the footage is correctly balanced
  • Proxy editing
  • Automatic save
  • Wide hardware support
  • Keyframeable effects

Pros

  • All-purpose video editor
  • Not too complicated for those who are familiar with video editing

Cons

  • It may still be confusing if you are looking for something extremely simple
  • KDE applications are infamous for being bloated

Installing Kdenlive

Kdenlive is available for all major Linux distributions. You can simply search for it in your software center. Various packages are available in the download section of Kdenlive website.

Command line enthusiasts can install it from the terminal by running the following command in Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions:

sudo apt install kdenlive

2. OpenShot

Openshot-free-video-editor-on-ubuntu

OpenShot is another multi-purpose video editor for Linux. OpenShot can help you create videos with transitions and effects. You can also adjust audio levels. Of course, it support of most formats and codecs.

You can also export your film to DVD, upload to YouTube, Vimeo, Xbox 360, and many common video formats. OpenShot is a tad bit simpler than Kdenlive. So if you need a video editor with a simple UI OpenShot is a good choice.

There is also a neat documentation to get you started with OpenShot.

OpenShot features

  • Cross-platform, available on  Linux, macOS, and Windows
  • Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image formats
  • Powerful curve-based Keyframe animations
  • Desktop integration with drag and drop support
  • Unlimited tracks or layers
  • Clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation, and cutting
  • Video transitions with real-time previews
  • Compositing, image overlays and watermarks
  • Title templates, title creation, sub-titles
  • Support for 2D animation via image sequences
  • 3D animated titles and effects
  • SVG friendly for creating and including vector titles and credits
  • Scrolling motion picture credits
  • Frame accuracy (step through each frame of video)
  • Time-mapping and speed changes on clips
  • Audio mixing and editing
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key etc

Pros

  • All-purpose video editor for average video editing needs
  • Available on Windows and macOS along with Linux

Cons

  • It may be simple but if you are extremely new to video editing, there is definitely a learning curve involved here
  • You may still not find up to the mark of a professional-grade, movie making editing software

Installing OpenShot

OpenShot is also available in the repository of all major Linux distributions. You can simply search for it in your software center. You can also get it from its official website.

My favorite way is to use the following command in Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions:

sudo apt install openshot

3. Shotcut

Shotcut Linux video editor

Shotcut is another video editor for Linux that can be put in the same league as Kdenlive and OpenShot. While it does provide similar features as the other two discussed above, Shotcut is a bit advanced with support for 4K videos.

Support for a number of audio, video format, transitions and effects are some of the numerous features of Shotcut. External monitor is also supported here.

There is a collection of video tutorials to get you started with Shotcut. It is also available for Windows and macOS so you can use your learning on other operating systems as well.

Shotcut features

  • Cross-platform, available on  Linux, macOS, and Windows
  • Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image formats
  • Native timeline editing
  • Mix and match resolutions and frame rates within a project
  • Audio filters, mixing and effects
  • Video transitions and filters
  • Multitrack timeline with thumbnails and waveforms
  • Unlimited undo and redo for playlist edits including a history view
  • Clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation, and cutting
  • Trimming on source clip player or timeline with ripple option
  • External monitoring on an extra system display/monitor
  • Hardware support

You can read about more features here.

Pros

  • All-purpose video editor for common video editing needs
  • Support for 4K videos
  • Available on Windows and macOS along with Linux

Cons

  • Too many features reduce the simplicity of the software

Installing Shotcut

Shotcut is available in Snap format. You can find it in Ubuntu Software Center. For other distributions, you can get the executable file from its download page.

4. Flowblade

Flowblade movie editor on ubuntu

Flowblade is a multitrack non-linear video editor for Linux. Like the above-discussed ones, this too is a free and open source software. It comes with a stylish and modern user interface.

Written in Python, it is designed to provide a fast, and precise. Flowblade has focused on providing the best possible experience on Linux and other free platforms. So there’s no Windows and OS X version for now. Feels good to be a Linux exclusive.

You also get a decent documentation to help you use all of its features.

Flowblade features

  • Lightweight application
  • Provide simple interface for simple tasks like split, merge, overwrite etc
  • Plenty of audio and video effects and filters
  • Supports proxy editing
  • Drag and drop support
  • Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image formats
  • Batch rendering
  • Watermarks
  • Video transitions and filters
  • Multitrack timeline with thumbnails and waveforms

You can read about more Flowblade features here.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good for general purpose video editing

Cons

  • Not available on other platforms

Installing Flowblade

Flowblade should be available in the repositories of all major Linux distributions. You can install it from the software center. More information is available on its download page.

Alternatively, you can install Flowblade in Ubuntu and other Ubuntu based systems, using the command below:

sudo apt install flowblade

5. Lightworks

Lightworks running on ubuntu 16.04

If you looking for a video editor software that has more feature, this is the answer. Lightworks is a cross-platform professional video editor, available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

It is an award-winning professional non-linear editing (NLE) software that supports resolutions up to 4K as well as video in SD and HD formats.

Lightworks is available for Linux, however, it is not open source.

This application has two versions: Lightworks Free and Lightworks Pro. While free version doesn’t support Vimeo (H.264 / MPEG-4) and YouTube (H.264 / MPEG-4)- Up to 2160p (4K UHD), Blu-ray, and H.264/MP4 export option with configurable bitrate setting, then pro version is.

  • Lightworks Free
  • Lightworks Pro

Pro version has more features such as higher resolution support, 4K and Blue Ray support etc.

Extensive documentation is available on its website. You can also refer to videos at Lightworks video tutorials page

Lightworks features

  • Cross-platform
  • Simple & intuitive User Interface
  • Easy timeline editing & trimming
  • Real-time ready to use audio & video FX
  • Access amazing royalty-free audio & video content
  • Lo-Res Proxy workflows for 4K
  • Export video for YouTube/Vimeo, SD/HD, up to 4K
  • Drag and drop support
  • Wide variety of audio and video effects and filters

Pros

  • Professional, feature-rich video editor

Cons

  • Limited free version

Installing Lightworks

Lightworks provides DEB packages for Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions and RPM packages for Fedora-based Linux distributions. You can find the packages on its download page.

6. Blender

Blender running on Ubuntu 16.04

Blender is a professional, industry-grade open source, cross-platform video editor. It is popular for 3D works. Blender has been used in several Hollywood movies including Spider Man series.

Although originally designed for produce 3D modeling, but it can also be used for video editing and input capabilities with a variety of formats.

Blender features

  • Live preview, luma waveform, chroma vectorscope and histogram displays
  • Audio mixing, syncing, scrubbing and waveform visualization
  • Up to 32 slots for adding video, images, audio, scenes, masks and effects
  • Speed control, adjustment layers, transitions, keyframes, filters and more

You can read about more features here.

Pros

  • Cross-platform
  • Professional grade editing

Cons

  • Complicated
  • Mainly for 3D animation, not focused on regular video editing

Installing Blender

The latest version of Blender can be downloaded from its download page.

7. Cinelerra

Cinelerra video editor for Linux

Cinelerra has been available since 1998 and has been downloaded over 5 million times. It was the first video editor to provide non-linear editing on 64-bit systems back in 2003. It was a go-to video editor for Linux users at that time but it lost its sheen afterward as some developers abandoned the project.

Good thing is that its back on track and is being developed actively again.

There is some interesting backdrop story about how and why Cinelerra was started if you care to read.

Cinelerra features

  • Non-linear editing
  • Support for HD videos
  • Built-in frame renderer
  • Various video effects
  • Unlimited layers
  • Split pane editing

Pros

  • All-purpose video editor

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • No packages available

Installing Cinelerra

You can download the source code from SourceForge. More information on its download page.

8. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve video editor

If you want Hollywood level video editing, use the tool the professionals use in Hollywood. DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic is what professionals are using for editing movies and tv shows.

DaVinci Resolve is not your regular video editor. It’s a full-fledged editing tool that provides editing, color correction and professional audio post-production in a single application.

DaVinci Resolve is not open source. Like LightWorks, it too provides a free version for Linux. The pro version costs $300.

DaVinci Resolve features

  • High-performance playback engine
  • All kind of edit types such as overwrite, insert, ripple overwrite, replace, fit to fill, append at end
  • Advanced Trimming
  • Audio Overlays
  • Multicam Editing allows editing footage from multiple cameras in real-time
  • Transition and filter-effects
  • Speed effects
  • Timeline curve editor
  • Non-linear editing for VFX

Pros

  • Cross-platform
  • Professional grade video editor

Cons

  • Not suitable for average editing
  • Not open source
  • Some features are not available in the free version

Installing DaVinci Resolve

You can download DaVinci Resolve for Linux from its website. You’ll have to register, even for the free version.

9. VidCutter

VidCutter video editor for Linux

Unlike all the other video editors discussed here, VidCutter is utterly simple. It doesn’t do much except splitting videos and merging. But at times you just need this and VidCutter gives you just that.

VidCutter features

  • Cross-platform app available for Linux, Windows and MacOS
  • Supports most of the common video formats such as: AVI, MP4, MPEG 1/2, WMV, MP3, MOV, 3GP, FLV etc
  • Simple interface
  • Trims and merges the videos, nothing more than that

Pros

  • Cross-platform
  • Good for simple split and merge

Cons

  • Not suitable for regular video editing
  • Crashes often

Installing VidCutter

If you are using Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, you can use the official PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ozmartian/apps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vidcutter

It is available in AUR so Arch Linux users can also install it easily. For other Linux distributions, you can find the installation files on its GitHub page.

Which is the best video editing software for Linux?

A number of video editors mentioned here use FFmpeg. You can use FFmpeg on your own as well. It’s a command line only tool so I didn’t include it in the main list but it would have been unfair to not mention it at all.

If you need an editor for simply cutting and joining videos, go with VidCutter.

If you need something more than that, OpenShot or Kdenlive is a good choice. These are suitable for beginners and a system with standard specification.

If you have a high-end computer and need advanced features you can go out with Lightworks or DaVinci Resolve. If you are looking for more advanced features for 3D works, Blender has got your back.

So that’s all I can write about the best video editing software for Linux such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary, and other Linux distributions. Share with us which video editor you like the most.

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one of best choices for Linux missing: Shotcut

Great posts. I tried to send comment recently, apparently didn't go through. So please excuse me if it shows up after I submit this comment. I'm planning on moving my Mac Mini videos (and photos) to either a TrueOS (because of the ZFS file system) or Ubuntu desktop with much more disk space that I have now. I also have several video tapes and several digital cards with plenty of home movies that will be transferred to the new desktop. What I need is more of a cataloging app than video manipulation app. I want to catalog, tag, all of these videos. Any suggestions about what to use? Ease of use and stability are high on the list of need. Thanks.

Nice article. Full of info. Congrats

Lightworks is the worst video editing tool it crashes many time.

Don't use this

you will waste your time and effort

same for me, i tested stable version 14.0.0 and the latest beta version, same thing, it crash when i would like to open files, when i reduce it, when i click play button, everytime , pfff i lost bandwidth and time

I've already tried Openshot, however I haven't been able to add captions on the movies as I have always done using Windows. Is there any solution to this problem?

Which one of the 5 will give me the best text options of the bunch? I have used Lightworks on Ubuntu but its text abilities are limited compared to say After Effects. Let's say I want to have text of a specific font and I want a rectangle to be progressively drawn around the text, I can't do that easily with Lightworks.

I fall in love with you

It's not FOSS, but it is free and available for Linux - Davinci Resolve. Unlike Lightworks it's not crippled as a free version - there is a paid version that adds more profession oriented options, but the free version is very, very good. For a video editor and colour correction suite it also blows away any FOSS offerings. Sad but true.

5 Best Free Video Editing Software for Linux In 2017

sudo apt-get install openshot

5 Best Free Video Editing Software for Ubuntu In 2017

What about pacman -S openshot or yum openshot?

Ubuntu is not the only flavour of Linux, your title or body is misleading

Weyland Coldiron

Or even: root[tmp]# installpkg openshot-2.4.0-x86_64-1_slonly.txz !!!

Nothing against Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch (FatDog64, GNewSense, LFS ... Gentoo ...) of course.

I like Kdenlive, I do indeed.

as for me Blender (I use Arch)
Have a nice day))

How do you know if someone is an arch user?
They will tell you.

Which template of Ubuntu on screens? (KDE, Unity). It looks so cool!

Abhishek Prakash

It's Numix icon theme

I have several video tapes and digital video cards that still need to be transferred to my Mac Mini desktop computer. I'm in the process of moving from the Mac Mini to either TrueOS (because of the ZFS file system) or to ubuntu. My desire is to transfer all of my movies/photos from my Mac Mini, tapes, and digital video/photo to my new desktop. I will need minimal video manipulation, if any at all. I just want to catalog all of these digital files and at some point just put together a bit of a video for family to watch. Any recommendations as to which app to use to do this? Ease of ease and transfer are high on the list of Thanks.

Linux video editing programs are such a BULLSHIT !!!

Jouni "rautamiekka" Järvinen

Explain.

For now, lightworks maybe the best one in this list.

Lightworks is NOT open source. It is NOT free. Its a mere limited demo. I dont know if there is also a number of day limit or a file size limit or if you can or can not save your work. I did not try that becouse the first limit was that i can NOT capture from a tape machine or camera. So i can NOT load footage and for that i can NOT try this any further. You need to rent or buy this expansive software.

If they allready lie before they get started, what do they more lie about?

Lightworks and the company behinf it can not be trusted. It is NOT opensource as they claim. Nor is it free.

Have you done a list of top 5 video converters? I currently use Curlew which is very good except its very slow. More than twice the duration of the video itself! Although that might be a function of my old PC! :)

I use handbrake for converting my videos. I've had no complaints at all so far.

I like to use FFmpeg.

To install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:djcj/hybrid

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

http://sourcedigit.com/19349-how-to-install-ffmpeg-3-0-1-on-ubuntu-via-ppa/

I do all my audio and video editing with ffmpeg. Actually it is probably working on the backend for most of these apps. I prefer using the command line once I figure out the exact syntax that I need which if I am honest can be a bear. If you are truncating videos, syncing audio clips, making animated gifs, cutting out time splices, etc.... ffmpeg is the only way to go

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