The 5 Best Linux Video Editors of 2020

Easily manage your videos in your Linux environment

A video production slate.

With the advent of YouTube (and other social networking services), the need to create quality videos has grown exponentially. For users on the macOS and Windows environments, knowing what tools are available is quite easy.

However, for Linux users, those choices might not be quite so obvious. To that end, we’ve collected together our five top video editors for the Linux platform. All five of the chosen selections are free, open source, and readily available for installation.

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Rendering an animated title with OpenShot.

OpenShot is a non-linear, multi-track video editor that offers one of the most shallow learning curves of any editor you will ever use. The interface is incredibly well designed and the feature set is quite extensive. Included out of the box, you’ll find a wide range of supported video/audio/image formats (including 4K video support), curve-based keyframe animations, integrated desktop drag and drop, unlimited tracks and layers, clip resizing/scaling/trimming/snapping/rotation/cutting, easy-to-create transitions, real-time previews, compositing, image overlays, watermarks, title templates, keying, effects, and much more.

OpenShot is considered an all-purpose video editor and can serve your average editing needs. If you need more complex editing tools, OpenShot might fail you. However, thanks to the ease-of-use associated with this tool, it is perfectly suited for those with little to no experience with the task of video editing. And for anyone looking to be able to add animated transitions and titles, you’ll be surprised at the quality and ease of use of the included tools. The one caveat to adding animations is that some of the more complicated clips can take a while to render.

Because OpenShot is found in the standard repositories, installing OpenShot is as simple as opening your distribution’s app store, searching for OpenShot, and clicking install. OpenShot can also be run as an AppImage. To do so, download the AppImage file, give it executable permissions (with the command chmod u+x OpenShot-*.AppImage), and run the file with the command ./OpenShot-*.AppImage.

What We Like

  • One of the easiest to learn video editors on the market.
  • Clean and user-friendly interface.
  • Outstanding collection of transitions and titles.
  • Supports a large number of video, audio, and image formats.
  • Outstanding export feature (can export to numerous formats).
  • Can be run as an AppImage.

What We Don’t Like

  • Depends upon Blender and can be a bit finicky due to that.
  • Some animated titles can take a very long time to render.
  • Cannot handle more complex edits.
  • Random crashes can be experienced.
  • Animated titles can break if Blender isn’t updated along with OpenShot.
  • Video import can be slow.
  • Not professional grade.
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Creating a new video with Kdenlive.

Kdenlive was born from the KDE project and is one of the best open source alternatives to iMovie. So if you’re migrating from macOS, this is what you want. Like OpenShot, Kdenlive is an all-purpose, multi-track, non-linear video editor that supports a wide range of video, audio, and image formats. Unlike OpenShot, Kdenlive offers a customizable layout, so you can make the process better fit your needs. Kdenlive also features the ability to create tiles using texts and images, built-in effects and transitions, audio and video scopes for footage balance, proxy editing, autosave, keyframable effects, and much more.

Like OpenShot, Kdenlive can be installed from the standard repositories, so all you have to do is open your distribution’s app store, search for Kdenlive, and click install.

What We Like

  • Easy to use interface.
  • Wide range of file format support.
  • Customizable interface.
  • Fast video import.

What We Don’t Like

  • No animated titles included.
  • Can be slow to process video.
  • Depends upon some KDE libraries.
  • Not professional grade.
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Editing a video in the Shotcut Video Editor.

In some respects, Shotcut can be placed on the same playing field as both OpenShot and Kdenlive. However, Shotcut is a bit more advanced than the other two. Like OpenShot, Shotcut does features support for 4K video, so if you’re looking for a higher resolution project, with more advanced features, Shotcut might be your best bet. The feature set for Shotcut includes wide range of video/audio/image formats, native timeline editing, supports different resolutions and framerate clips in a single project, audio filters and effects, video transitions and filters, multitrack timeline, unlimited redo/undo, clip resizing/scaling/trimming/snapping/rotation/cutting, external monitor support, and much more. Although Shotcut cannot be found in the standard repositories, it can be run as an AppImage (download the necessary file from the Shotcut download page, give it the proper permissions, and run the executable).

The biggest caveat to Shotcut is the learning curve. You won’t find this tool to be quite as simple as either OpenShot or Kdenlive, however there are plenty of video tutorials to help you along the way.

What We Like

  • Efficient video processing.
  • Some built-in effects and transitions.
  • 4K support.
  • Built-in audio mixing.
  • Native timeline editing (no video import necessary).

What We Don’t Like

  • Steeper learning curve.
  • Audio can get a bit complex.
  • Not professional grade.
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Editing a video in the Flowblade video editor.

Flowblade is another multitrack, non-linear video editor available for Linux. The Flowblade interface is similar in layout to OpenShot, as is the feature set. One of the highlights of Flowblade is the included, extension filter set (for video, audio, and images). Like OpenShot, Flowblade focuses on ease-of-use, so you won’t find a terribly steep learning curve. Flowblade’s feature set includes the likes of drag and drop support, proxy editing, large range of supported video/audio/image formats, batch rendering, watermarks, video transitions, and more.

Flowblade was written in Python, so you might find the application responds faster than both OpenShot and Kdenlive. Flowblade is also available in the standard repositories, so installation only requires you open your distribution’s app store, searching for Flowblade, and clicking install.

What We Like

  • Simple interface.
  • Shallow learning curve.
  • Large amount of filters.
  • Bins to keep track of project files.
  • Fast video file importing.

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of animated titles.
  • Not professional grade.
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Cutting a video clip in VidCutter

If you’re looking for absolute simplicity, VidCutter is what you want. This particular tool really only does one thing: split and merge video clips. You won’t be adding transitions, effects, or anything fancy. And unlike the other tools listed here, VidCutter does not include a multitrack, non-linear timeline. In fact, you get one track and that’s it.

But when you simply need to cut a clip, you don’t want to have to bother with all the bells and whistles. Although Vidcutter does support most of the common file formats, it is a bit picky on framerate, so if you’re filming at 30 fps on a GoPro, you might find yourself out of luck with the import. VidCutter does include a handy SmartClip feature, which makes it really easy for you to select the portion of the clip you want to cut. If you’re looking for a video editor that can work with multiple tracks and do fancy transitions and animations, VidCutter is not the tool for you. If you’re looking for the means to splice a few clips together, this might be what you’re looking for.

VidCutter cannot be found in the standard repositories, so you’ll have to add it using the following commands (on Ubuntu or other Debian-based distributions):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ozmartian/apps
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install vidcutter

What We Like

  • Incredibly simple to use.
  • Great tool for splitting and merging clips.
  • Small footprint (doesn’t take up much hard-disk space).

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited in scope.
  • Not professional grade.