Video editing with free software: Kdenlive 0.7.3

Kdenlive with UbuntuLong time GNU/Linux users may know there are two types of applications where we are not there yet compared to other operating systems: games and video editing. Well, the video editing part has started to change with the recent release of Kdenlive 0.7.3.

Kdenlive is a free software video editor that works with both GNU/Linux and FreeBSD, running either KDE or Gnome. It can edit footage from DV, HDV and AVCHD sources and uses other projects, like FFmpeg and the MLT video framework, to get its job done.

Kdenlive has a very simple and easy to understand user interface that will take you from capturing footage to editing and rendering in just a few steps. I've used Kdenlive to produce some short and silly clips and a few one hour long episodes of my videocast In Silico.

I know my video editing needs are basic, they couldn't be considered professional at all, but I'm sure there are many of you with similar needs out there. I usually capture some video from my Panasonic PV-GS80 MiniDV camcorder, add some music, a few titles and render to a format that can be uploaded to one of the many video services online.

Kdenlive with Ubuntu

Let's see how to install Kdenlive.

How to install Kdenlive on Ubuntu

I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 with Kdenlive 0.7.3 and my camcorder connects via Firewire so the first thing to do was to make sure I had the needed modules running. Edit /etc/modules and add the following lines:


Then load the modules with:

sudo modprobe dv1394
sudo modprobe video1394
sudo modprobe raw1394
sudo modprobe ohci1394

And allow read and write access to your device:

sudo chmod a+rw /dev/*1394

I have to run this command everytime I need to enable my camcorder, for some reasons my permissions are resetting, but once done it works for the whole session. If anybody knows how to fix this problem let me know.

Now let's install Kdenlive:

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

You will find Kdenlive under the Applications > Sound & Video menu.

The first time you run Kdenlive you will see a configuration wizard and a few codecs will be enabled. If you're running Ubuntu 9.04 you may be lacking a few important ones, such as mpeg-2, mpeg-4 and h264. This problem is related to an outdated version of the MLT video framework (the relevant discussion here) and other libraries.

You have two options to install a newer MLT on Ubuntu 9.04, adding repositories to your apt setup or getting a .deb file. Let's see the first one:

Edit your apt /etc/apt/sources.list file and add these two entries:

# for kdenlive
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Then update and install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libmlt++1 libmlt++-dev

The second option is easier, just grab and install the .deb with the updated MLT.

That's all with MLT, now for the extra codecs install libavcodec-unstripped-52 and its dependencies:

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-unstripped-52

Now start Kdenlive and run the configuration again to enable your new codecs: Settings > Run Config Wizard. That's it! You're ready to start editing and having fun, don't forget to consult the documentation for Kdenlive to know what's possible.

Mplayer: a nice video player

I'll talk about publishing to online video services in a future article, for now I suggest you to get a nice video player to watch your creations. I like Mplayer, to install just use:

sudo apt-get install mplayer

Kdenlive with Ubuntu

Show us your clips

And there you are. Go get your camera rolling and start playing with Kdenlive. Oh, and don't forget to share the links to the clips you've created with it in the comments.

Join the conversation

video display quality in

video display quality in linux is still low. :) for graphics user , we need to use other OS. linux is NOT a OS for designers and gamers

Would it be possible to add

Would it be possible to add an option (File, AVCHD DVD Wizard) to create AVCHD DVDs 4.7GB (20 minutes at 1080 24P) or 8.3GB (40 minutes at 1080 24P) to play on compatible BluRay HD Players? Simply creating an ISO File would be OK with me. Thanks.

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