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Best Free Video Editing Software for Linux

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 the best photo management applications for Linux and the 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 unavailable 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. 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 EditorsMain UsageType
KdenliveGeneral purpose video editingFree and Open Source
OpenShotGeneral purpose video editingFree and Open Source
ShotcutGeneral purpose video editingFree and Open Source
FlowbladeGeneral purpose video editingFree and Open Source
LightworksProfessional grade video editingFreemium
BlenderProfessional grade 3D editingFree and Open Source
CinelerraGeneral purpose video editingFree and Open Source
DaVinci ResolveProfessional grade video editingFreemium
VidCutterSimple video split and mergeFree and Open Source

As you can see, we have some non-FOSS applications here. If you want FOSS-only, please refer to this list of open source video editors.

1. Kdenlive

Kdenlive-free video editor on ubuntu


Kdenlive is 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 from a wide range of camcorders and cameras, including: raw, avi, dv, mpeg2, mpeg4, h.264, AVCHD, HDV, 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, and adjust audio levels. Of course, it support of most formats and codecs.

You can also burn your film to DVD, upload to YouTube or Vimeo, and export in 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 repositories 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 to install OpenShot 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 more advanced, with support for 4K videos.

Support for a number of audio and video formats, transitions, and effects are some of the numerous features of Shotcut. An 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 what you learn 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 free and open source software. It comes with a stylish and modern user interface.

Written in Python, it is designed to be fast and precise. Flowblade has focused on providing the best possible experience on Linux and other free platforms, so there’s no Windows or macOS version for now. It feels good to have a Linux exclusive.

You also get 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 Ubuntu-based systems, using the command below:

sudo apt install flowblade

5. Lightworks

Lightworks running on ubuntu 16.04

If you looking for video editing software that has more features, this is the answer. Lightworks is a cross-platform professional video editor, available for Linux, macOS, and Windows.

It isaward-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
  • 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 the Spider-Man series.

Although originally designed for 3D modeling, it can also be used for video editing and has 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 after some developers abandoned the project.

The good thing is that it’s back on track and is being developed actively again.

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

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 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 and merging videos. But sometimes that’s what you need 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 are systems with standard specifications.

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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  • Hi there, first of all, thanks for the content, I know it’s often not easy to bring such contents, make so many researches.
    I made other researches before reading this articles, and I found some amazing projects of video effects from the past, like 7/8 or even 15 years ago and the creators gave up(unfortunately). Those guys today could add some awesome direct competitors against Adobe Effects today, not that Da Vinci Resolve and LightWorks are not good, I just think they would also make some good work and maybe they also could create their own paid versions. Anyways thanks guy for the content.