Nine video editing programs for Linux compared


Despite very similar control concepts and user interfaces, these video editing candidates target specific user groups with different levels of previous knowledge and different ambitions.

Newcomers and occasional moviemakers should take a look at OpenShot and Shotcut. The latter reduces the user interface to the bare essentials and only displays tools if requested by the user. OpenShot also appeals to newcomers with a clear-cut interface and a manageable feature scope. However, if your ambitions go beyond simply concatenating clips, you are forced to fight with what can be extremely complex controls.

If you reach OpenShot's limits but find the huge feature scope in Kdenlive too frightening, you should take a look at Pitivi and Flowblade. The latter has an astounding feature scope hiding behind a manageable user interface.

Cinelerra, Kdenlive, and Lightworks are without a doubt designed for professionals and advanced users. Cinelerra feels a bit outdated, but once you have come to terms with the complex controls, you can expect a useful feature scope that even supports compositing. Kdenlive has also grown into a feature monster over the years, but it still can't compete with Adobe Premiere Pro. Despite the somewhat fiddly controls, keyboard shortcuts will typically take you where you need to go quickly.

Lightworks Free is only a test version of the full-blown commercial program: Without the additional export options in the Pro variant, you can only create Internet movies. Even experienced movie editors will need some time to learn the ropes. On the other hand, professional moviemakers will discover that Lightworks Pro is a tailor-made and solid tool.

Kino is primarily targeted at newcomers to video editing who want to post-edit old movies in a DV format. Even though the tool is no longer under active development, the small program still runs without any trouble. LiVES is more likely to be interesting for video artists – assuming they are not fazed by the extremely confusing user interface.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Shotcut Video Editor

    With Shotcut, you can edit videos, add effects, and point and click material together to create a new movie in next to no time.

  • Big Shot: OpenShot Video Editor Version 1.0 Released

    Video clip editors have been in short supply under Linux. Jonathan Thomas is now trying to fill that gap with the first stable version of the OpenShot Video Editor.

  • Slideshows with Kdenlive

    Kdenlive plays to its strengths when editing larger video projects and also helps users create appealing slideshows with impressive effects.

  • Lightworks

    The free editing program Lightworks Free makes small video editing projects easy. If you need more, use the Pro version.

  • Video Editing with LiVES

    Linux users who edit videos on their computers have so far been restricted to the fairly simplistic Kino program and the functional monster Cinelerra. LiVES steps up to fill the gap.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More