The other day someone was asking me what software I recommend for successfully editing videos in Linux. My response is that there isn’t really a single answer, as there is a selection of great and lousy apps available. For obvious reasons however, I will be sharing a list of decent apps that I have found to be usable and worth exploring. To be ultimately clear, these are apps I have used often, found stable and workable for most people. This is not a list of the ones that come with any given distro or happen to be the most advanced. Want to be clear on this right off the bat.

1) OpenShot – Despite its label of being an app for GNOME users, using OpenShot has been the single best move in Linux video editing I’ve ever made. Nothing else even touches the development pace, fact that the developers are actually listening and the end result being a really stable video editor. Did I mention the pace of development? They have so many features coming out I can barely keep up with them all. Animated titles with Blender, drag and drop from within the GNOME desktop, every kind of transition and effect you would ever hope for (with more coming soon), OpenShot is hands down the best video editor on the Linux desktop.

2) Kdenlive – Since OpenShot has been capturing so much of the limelight lately, I have been really impressed with the moves made by Kdenlive devs (my opinion). Some of the effects on Kdenlive to be fair, outshine OpenShot. Who says competition isn’t good? I am also happy to report that Kdenlive has become much more stable throughout 2010 and into 2011. I tottally give the developers credit for implementing some amazing new frei0r effects, that do set this application apart from others. To this day, I use both OpenShot and Kdelive both. Each has its place on my desktop.

Best Linux Video Editors
Photo by growdigital

What about Cinelerra, Blender, KINO and Pitivi? Well Pitivi is as advanced as using safety scissors to create masterful works of art. To say it’s useless, is an understatement. Cinelerra CV (community version) is fine, but incredibly advanced/powerful and to date, no one really has been able to create a good book on using it effectively. Same with Blender’s own video editing abilities, too difficult for most people. And then there is KINO…poor KINO.

There was at one time, the de facto video editor for the GNOME desktop. But thanks to its unwillingness to realize people don’t edit videos in their weird way they lay things out, no one seriously uses them anymore. At least, not to my knowledge. KINO’s only saving grace is that it provides a GUI to DV Grab for with Firewire capture cards.