Sep 252013

Article By Oussama Krifa

You are a Linux user and you are searching for a free open source alternative to the most known video editing software which are available only for Windows in paid versions.
Today I want to show you three of the best Video Editors for Linux from the simplest to the most professional.

PiTiVi, LiVES and KDEnLive


PiTiVi is a free video editing software for beginners. It is simple and fast handling. It covers all the basic operations and features that can be applied to make a good video. I can be used also to make video slideshow by mounting small films (very common on current cameras), photos and music.
It is based on GStreamer and it accepts a variety of media formats.


PiTiVi has a beautiful, intuitive and ergonomically designed user interface. It is made to be simple to use and to start with. You can begin by adding little video sequences, add a background music, add some effects and render your project.



PiTiVi offers many features such as:

  • Welcome dialog that helps you start a project or load recent projects in two clicks.
  • Ability to create presets for project settings and rendering.
  • Ability to preview video, audio and image files directly in the file chooser before importing: this is useful when you don’t remember the name of a file you wanted to import, or when you’re just “looking around” for media to use in your project en development).
  • General clip manipulation such as Trimming, Snapping, Splitting/cutting and Ripple edits/roll edits.
  • Video clips manipulation such as Video effects, Opacity keyframe curves and Video thumbnails.
  • Audio clips manipulation such as Sound mixing of multiple concurrent audio layers, Trimming, splitting/cutting, Volume keyframe curves, Audio effects and Audio waveforms.
  • Unlimited video/audio track layers
  • Full undo/redo history
  • Ability to specify custom aspect ratios and framerates
  • Frame stepping, keyboard controls and shortcuts


On most Linux distributions, PiTiVi may be present in the repositories by default, thus on deb based Linux distribution (such as Debian, Ubuntu and Mint) you can simply install it by opening a terminal and typing:
sudo apt-get install

If you want to maintain an updated release and get an optimal experience using PiTiVi, you can add th Ubuntu PPA and install by typing these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gstreamer-developers/ppa && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install

If you are using another distribution or operating system, you can visit where you can get further information, and have the ability to download the source code package and compile it yourself.


LiVES is a Free, Open Source video editor. It is a more advanced Video Editing System. LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It is designed to be simple to use, yet powerful. It is small in size, yet it has many advanced features.




LiVES offers many features such as:

  • Frame and sample accurate editing
  • Editing video in realtime or non-realtime
  • The Ability to work with almost any type of video
  • Full extendability through plugins
  • Can be controlled via keyboard, joystick, MIDI or remote network
  • Integration with pulse audio and jack audio
  • Dozens of video effects, both rendered and realtime
  • Compatibility with LADSPA audio effects
  • Instant previews
  • Unlimited video and audio tracks in multitrack mode
  • Encoding to over 50 different video types
  • Ultra fast save/restore for projects in progress
  • Full crash recovery


For debian based Linux distributions, you can install LiVES by opening a terminal and typing:
sudo apt-get install lives

Further information concerning installation for other distributions can be found here:
If you want to compile the source code of LiVES yourself, instructions can be found here


Kdenlive is a free and open-source video editor for Linux. It is an intuitive and powerful multi-track video editor, including most recent video technologies. Kdenlive is an intermediate video editing software. It is capable of non-linear video editing and uses the MLT video framework as a basis.


KDEnLive has a very ergonomic and simple user interface. It supports many audio tracks / video, allows the use of transitions, video and audio effects with a clear and intuitive interface.



  • A wide range of effects and transitions and the ability to add custom effects and transitions.
  • Configurable keyboard shortcuts and interface layouts.
  • Mix different media without prior import: any Video, audio or image files supported by Kdenlive and custom profiles including resolutions, frame rates, PAR and DAR.
  • Multitrack edition with a timeline and unlimited number of video and audio tracks.
  • Support for a wide range of codecs and formats.
  • Support for a wide range of camcorders and cameras.
  • Video and audio tracks organized in layers.
  • Tools to create, move, crop and delete video clips, audio clips, text clips and image clips.
  • Non-blocking rendering using a rendering separate application. Stop, pause and restart rendering. Continue to work on your project without any possible loss of data.
  • Export to standard formats.


For Ubuntu users, you can install KDEnLive by opening a terminal and typing the following command which will add the repository and perform the installation.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sunab/kdenlive-release && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Further information concerning installation for other distributions can be found here:
If you want to compile the source code of KDEnLive yourself, instructions can be found here


As you have read, many powerful alternatives in video edition software exist, so you no longer need to use a window OS in order to mount your videos and create films.

Now you can install these software and begin producing high quality videos.

Feel free to give me suggestions if you know a better video editor for Linux. Personally I use PiTiVi and KDEnLive for my daily use, one for simple tasks, and the other for more professional use.

Popular Posts:

Flattr this!

  6 Responses to “Best 3 Video Editors for Linux”

  1. I used Kdenlive to make some videos recently. Quite good.

    Here are samples if you’re interested:

  2. How come OpenShot is not on the list?

  3. The only video editor I’ve used on linux that didn’t crash constantly was Openshot. It only crashes sometimes.

    If the application can’t be used without crashing it’s useless. From what I understand this has a lot to do with video cards though, so it may very well be a device by device problem.

  4. Does linux have something simple like this?
    Free Video Converter

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>