Video editors available for GNU/Linux Trisquel

9 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/29/2009

Hello, everybody.

I am an amateur video creator since the last century. With the arrival of the XXIst century, I start to use video editors which are free (no cost). All video editors have a timeline showing the length of the video, a preview panel with the play & pause buttons that allows you to preview the current state of the video, and a 'Export' or 'Render' button that outputs the result to a file.

I begin by using Adobe Premiere, which allows a test period for free. Then I change to OpenShot in 2013. In the 'bad old days', OpenShot crashes so much frequently that I have to resort to save the project after every little change so it wouldn't be lost when (not if) a crash happened. Over the years, it becomes more stable. But at present, when I try to use it for the first time on Aramo, I find that I cannot do the simplest thing: to add a transition. You are just supposed to select a transition from the transitions panel and then drag and drop it in the proper place of the timeline. Nope, drag just doesn't work. Is there a way to insert a transition from the application menu? Nope. Is there a way to insert a transition from the context menu? Nope. After eleven years, transitions become unusable just because the interface forgets to allow you to drag their icon. So, it's time to either give up using transitions or to change the video editor. I am exploring the alternatives and writing this post at the same time, so this is kind of a live transmission.

So, anyway, these are the video editors that the Trisquel distribution provides for free, all Libre of course, in alphabetic order: Kdenlive, Kino, LiVES, Olive, Pitivi and Shotcut.

Single-track video editors

Single-track is the simplest way to edit video. You make a list of segments by loading the video files into the editor and putting them in the right order, and then you use the editor to export the video that shows all segments together. The only single-track video editor provided by Trisquel is Kino.

Kino 1.3.4

Kino is the simplest video editor, and of course is single-track. It is so much simple that, in fact, it barely can be said to allow video edition. You make a 'Storyboard' by loading the list of segments to be used and ordering them. You cannot introduce images, you cannot add titles, you cannot add effects, you cannot combine videos of different sizes. Kino cannot work directly with MOV video files and so when you load one into it, it converts it to DV format first. The output size is very limited. There is no help - pressing F1 will produce no result. The only edit tool is the cut tool - it allows you to pick the part you want to use from every segment so, thank goodness, at least Kino saves you the need to cut the source video segments into smaller files in order to pick the part you want to use from every one.

Multi-track video editors

Multi-track is the obvious way to edit a video. Aside from the timeline and the preview panel, you are provided with:
* a panel that shows the resources you add to the project, such as pictures, audio and video files.
* a timeline with a variable number of layers, for you to place video, audio and pictures on that layers.

When the video is exported and more than one layer have images, the images that are rendered are the ones in the superior layer. You can mute a layer, so you can combine the images of a layer with the sound of another. You can show a person speaking about an object, and then place in a superior layer a muted video or a still of the object to show up at the right moment to illustrate the speech. And you can make transitions between layers, with one video segment vanishing at the same time that another one comes up. The multi-track video editors provided by Trisquel are Kdenlive, LiVES, Olive, Pitivi and Shotcut.

Kdenlive 23.08.5

The first contact with Kdenlive is overwhelming, so many things are shown in the screen, and so many new different concepts are introduced (key frames?). It has five different layouts, located in the top right of the window: Register, Edit, Sound, Effects and Colour, with the timeline present in the last four... but in a different position for each one. You can edit these layouts and create more. It accepts videos from 1920 x 1080, accepts pictures and audio. It cannot accept MP4 videos right away, but it needs to transcodify first and save them. It allows to use transitions and effects, though you'll need to read the online manual to learn exactly in which corner of the timeline layer you need to click to add them.

Kdenlive protests that pip3 is not available, though I notice not consequences for its absence. It also fails to update the content of the folders it reads, so you'll frequently need to click on the 'Refresh' icon of the load file dialog box.

Kdenlive has an online manual at the address .

LiVES 3.0.2

LiVES has a 3.0.2 version number, yet it seems to still be a Beta version. It requires the user to define the video and audio details for the project right at the start, even if all you want is to open an already created project. The interface is unpolished. There is a text output panel reporting the details of every action performed, useful information for the application developer but unuseful for an user. There is a panel showing a list of effects and transitions, but clicking on them produces no effect at all - no, that list is there merely to inform you, if you want to apply that effects and transitions you actually have to go to the Effects menu and click on "Apply Effect to Region...". LiVES frequently becomes unstable: after editing a clip, the borders of the LiVES' window starts flickering and the window keeps placing itself over the rest of windows in Trisquel's MATE desktop, preventing the user to see the content of other windows. LiVES is strongly conceived to be used through keyboard - there are situations where using the mouse won't produce the desired selection, not even with the help of the Shift and Control keys. To select a portion of the timelime you need not to hold the left button, move and release, but hold right button, move and release. Wow. Hold right button. You need section 4.11.1 from the manual to learn that. When you need the manual to perform a simple operation that should be intuitive, you know the program is far from polished.

LiVES allows to export the video only in the size you specify when you create the project. It allows to create 1920 x 1080 videos and accepts videos from different sizes. It accepts audio files but not pictures.

LiVES has an online manual at the address

Olive 0.2.0

Olive crashes frequently. Olive has two Preview panels rather than a single one. It accepts audio, accepts pictures, accepts videos of 1920 x 1080, but if you try to render any video of so much size, even if it is only a few seconds long, Olive will inevitably begin to take more and more gigabytes of memory until crashing - so, you can only use it for videos of small size. Olive has no manual but an 'Action Search' instead.

OpenShot 2.5.1

Openshot allows to create projects for a wide variety of video sizes, and it also allows to export the output in different sizes (as long as they are smaller than the project size, I suppose). OpenShot can combine videos from different sizes, just resizing them to fit the size of the project. OpenShot allows to use audio and picture files but... there is currently no way to use transitions.

Pitivi 2021.05

Pitivi represents the minimalist take on multi-track video edition, with the simplest interface. It seems easy to handle, seems to accept pictures and audio, seems to accept videos of 1920 x 1080, seems to be able to render into different sizes, but then, when the moment of truth comes, you press the "Render" button... and nothing happens. No error is shown, just the button not responding at all. Pitivi displays frequently false alarms about running out of memory. Pitivi has an 'Interactive Intro'. It also has an 'User Manual'... empty.

Shotcut 22.01.30

Shortcut has its resource panel named 'Playlist', however when you load a media file it isn't added to it immediately - it just appears in the preview windows, you still have to click on the + button in order to have the file added. It seems easy to handle, it accepts audio, accepts pictures but adding a picture to the timeline might cause a crash, accepts videos of 1920 x 1080, seems to render a video into different sizes. It doesn't have effects or transitions at present.

Shotcut has an online manual at the address . If you search for transitions in it, you will have a full section... still empty.


At least, I found what I wanted - a video editor that allows transitions. Bye OpenShot, I am working with Kdenlive from now on.

Kind regards,
Ignacio Agulló Sousa.

Sunny Day
Joined: 01/05/2023

That was brilliant Ignacio, very helpful, THANK YOU! I'll try Kdenlive the next time I have a video project in mind.

I don't know if you came across SimpleScreenRecorder, I tried it a while ago and loved it, so I'll mention it here. It's not exactly a video editor per se, but it's great for recording anything going on your screen.

SimpleScreenRecorder can record the whole screen or part of it, can pause and resume at any time, can record content from any of your applications, including sound from a microphone or music, it is intuitive, fully featured and the results are impressive - "It uses libavformat to encode the recorded material into a variety of video formats. Scaling the recorded video is possible as well as configuring the encoding quality for the codec chosen directly from the user interface."

More info here:

What I'd like to find next is an editor that can trim videos and save the clips without re-rendering them.

Joined: 10/08/2023

ffmpeg -ss 00:01:00 -to 00:02:00 -i input.mp4 -c copy output.mp4
no re-rendering fast

vokoscreen-ng for video recording

Sunny Day
Joined: 01/05/2023

Great info and link! Based on the upvotes (1406, as of today), there seems to be a whole lot of people after 'no re-rendering', nice!

I'll check vokoscreen-ng too!

Thank you!!

Joined: 04/23/2015

I have used Avidemux to clip, crop, resize and change speed. It's simple to get the hang of and I think fairly fast. I like simplescreenrecorder also.

Sunny Day
Joined: 01/05/2023

So glad you mentioned Avidemux, I did a little search and it seems to be exactly what I am after - thank you!!!

I found good documentation and info, as well as a video by a guy editing his gaming recordings (cutting, joining, saving).

Here is a link, in case it can be of help to new users:

How to Trim & Combine Videos WITHOUT LOSING QUALITY | Easy and Quick Guide | Append & Trim

Just tried to install Avidemux, but it doesn't seem to be in the Trisquel repository... I wonder if there are freedom issues, or if it could be added!


I am a member!

Joined: 01/02/2019

avidemux is listed in the Free Software Directory: So it should be free software.

You can use the appImage at

Download it and run (in your Download directory):
chmod +x avidemux_2.8.1.appImage
Then run avidemux with:


Sunny Day
Joined: 01/05/2023

avidemux is listed in the Free Software Directory


Thank you very much for adding the commands, as well as the link.

I added a +1 to my own message instead of yours :)... How can I correct that?


I am a member!

Joined: 01/02/2019

>I added a +1 to my own message instead of yours :)... How can I correct that?

you can click "-" to correct this. :)


Sunny Day
Joined: 01/05/2023

I tried that, but it just changes to -1... ?!?