back to article Need a video editor, FOSS fans? OpenShot and Kdenlive both refreshed

Two of the leading open source video editing programs got new versions in the same week… and they're both cross-platform, so you don't need to be a penguin-botherer to try them. Back in 2015, The Reg offered a roundup of Linux video editing programs, and at the time, noted that a new version of OpenShot had been a long time …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    Could I give also a shout out for Olive?:

    Making lots of improvement and taking donations on Patreon.

    1. botfap

      Olive is great

      Olive 0.1.2 branch is an excellent, simple(ish) video editor with some great community created effects and very good performance. I use it frequently to create training videos and its rock solid stable. Its an ideal first time video editor for new users with a simple interface and a suprising amount of features. Only problem is there are no binary packages for it and you have to compile from source which most users are not going to do. The new olive 0.2.x branch is still a bit of a mess. Its getting there very slowly and hopefully will be ready for production use soon but its very buggy for me with frequent crashes and incomplete features

      I ended up creating my own fork of 0.1.2 with a few fixes and baked in community themes which I will keep using till the 0.2.x branch reaches stability

  2. David 132 Silver badge


    From the fine article: [Openshot] does require a 64-bit CPU, though.

    I'd have assumed that was a given in this segment and day & age.

    But you just know that somebody, somewhere, is stubbornly determined to do 4K non-linear video editing on their Pentium III based system :)

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: 64-bit

      Or my old PPC G5... Which is basically unsupportable now with the chain of grey spares deader than A-line flares with pockets in the hips

      1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

        Re: 64-bit

        You are Duane Dibbley, andi claim my £5.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: 64-bit

        Or my old PPC G5... Next stop boat anchor! I have one left kicking around. It's holds a copy of the NAS contents. Even with 8gigs of RAM it has seen its best days.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: 64-bit

          Indeed, it’s mostly a novelty space heater now. Logic is still quite nice, but I have much, much better systems to put that on…

    2. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: 64-bit

      It's not really the bitness, though, is it?

      I mean, 32-bit apps can access 4GB of RAM. Even at 4K resolution that's rather more than a megabyte per pixel. Which ought to be enough.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 64-bit

        .. per frame ..

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: 64-bit

          Per track...

          It adds up very quickly.

      2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: 64-bit

        [Author here]

        > 32-bit apps can access 4GB of RAM

        No, 32-bit *OSes* can, barring space used for mapping I/O devices high in the memory map. So, in practice, no real 32-bit OS with a graphics display can access 4GB. In the real world, it's 3¼-3¾ and probably about 3½ gig for most. And that is the total, so including virtual memory. It is not a 4GB window into a larger space.

        But that's the OS.

        The OS allocates space to apps. 32-bit Windows gives each app 2GB:

        But, Windows needs to use some of that, so in real life apps get ~1¾GB.

        This applies even if you have Windows Server, PAE support and more RAM. PAE is like fancy LIM EMS in DOS.

        There is a special switch that gives apps more:

        The 32-bit Linux kernel gives apps more:

        So, typically 3GB, but 4GB with a special config. And all versions of Linux can use PAE, because it is just for licensing reasons that Microsoft won't let Windows workstation editions use PAE -- it was reserved for servers only.

        Summary: I think you'll find it's a little bit more complicated than that.

        Summary of the summary: no.

    3. Nick Sticks

      Re: 64-bit

      I've just downloaded the Windows 64 bit version but below the big download icon there is some text pointing to the 32 bit download, or am I missing something?

  3. heyrick Silver badge


    Or be like RISC OS? Pop-up menus when you need them, that don't waste screen space otherwise.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Menus

      Or do what Mac does and put the menu as far away from the window as possible; fixed to the top of the screen !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Menus

        So it can be inconveniently outta of the way and constantly changing?

      2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Menus

        [Author here]

        And Unity, and optionally Xfce, and the Amiga, and GEM.

        There's a very good reason for this: it's called Fitt's Law.

        The basic point is that a whole edge of the screen is extremely easy to hit with a large movement of the mouse, or a trackball, or even a finger on a trackpad. All you have to do is go in the general direction of the screen edge: up, or up and left *or* right, and you *will* hit the menu bar.

        So you don't need to stop, and that means that *you don't need to aim*.

        That makes it easy and quick.

        Then you aim in 1 dimension only -- left or right -- to get the menu you want, and you click. Very hard to trigger accidentally.

        Microsoft had to avoid this because Apple had just sued DR over GEM, and *Apple won.*

        DR had to change the design of GEM's menu bar so that the menus are drop-down, not pull-down. Apple menus are pull-down: you must click on them. Post-lawsuit, GEM menus were drop-down: you mouse over them and they open.

        Commodore evaded legal action because you had to right-click on AmigaOS' menu bar.

        Microsoft had to do something different in Windows 1, so it put the menus inside the window. That means a narrow bar to hit, which is hard and takes good motor skills, which many people lack.

        So Microsoft had a workaround, inherited from DOS: menus you can access with Alt+[initial of the menu], then cursor keys to navigate.

        The OSF licensed that for Motif, and as a result, most Linux desktops do too. So Unity and most Gtk desktops inherit this, so Windows muscle memory works.

        KDE copied the implementation but with different keystrokes for key functions, like the Start menu and window menus. #Fail

        This stuff is not accidental.

        The thing is that it was 40 years ago and everyone has forgotten... but there are good reasons, and those reasons have not changed.

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Menus

          And Risc OS pwns them all.

          The menu follows the mouse, no movement required, its always there where the mouse is.

        2. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

          Re: Menus

          "The basic point is that a whole edge of the screen is extremely easy to hit with a large movement of the mouse, or a trackball, or even a finger on a trackpad".

          That was the theory, but I found that even on tiny, low resolution screens this was a ball-ache. On the massive, high resolution screens of today I find it's gone from ball-ache to massive pain in the arse.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Menus

            I agree - on the 43" LG I have it's occasionally irritating.

            That said, long ago when I was still using Microsoft I used DOS applications and they came with this wonderful feature called keyboard shortcuts. I have found that's still faster once you learn them than a mouse. That menu irritation just fueled the continuation of a long held habit that speeds things up - it doesn't address the issue but I can mostly ignore it now.

            The only bit I can no longer recall are the Epson codes to get a dot matrix to print bold and italic, but that's because they have gone the way of modem AT instructions - I don't need them anymore :).

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Menus

              wonderful feature called keyboard shortcuts

              That is actually the one area where RiscOS falls short. It was a decision made in the interests of consistency I believe (in Windows, <shift><alt>r might mean one thing in one app, but something completely different in another), but RO has very few keyboard shortcuts available - certainly for menu options. There are a few standard ones - <f3> for save, <ctrl>c for copy etc - but most menu entries don't have specific shortcuts.


          2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Menus

            [Author here]

            > even on tiny, low resolution screens this was a ball-ache

            I hear that a lot. I don't know what I can tell you, but this is *not* universal.

            My home iMac has two 27" screens on it, with a separate menu bar on each. My work laptop has a 27" central screen, a 24" portrait screen on the left, and the laptop's own 14" on the right. I use a desktop with a global menu bar, one per screen at the top.

            I do not find it a pain at all... but for often-used stuff, I memorized the keystrokes for common tasks decades ago.

            I have no super strong preference either way. I liked the RISC OS way, to be honest. But menus in windows or at the top both work fine for me. Yes, even with honking great high-res screens.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Menus

          Commodore evaded legal action because you had to right-click on AmigaOS' menu bar.

          You can also hold down the right button before you start moving the house pointer or while you're moving it, then find the menu title so the menu opens up, then find the menu option, then release the right mouse button.

          So no need to start, stop, click to find the title then start, stop, and click to find the option.

        4. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Menus

          All you have to do is go in the general direction of the screen edge: up, or up and left *or* right, and you *will* hit the menu bar

          While this is undoubtedly true, and considerably easier than a little menu bar which moves around with the window, it also creates a heck of a lot of mouse-wanging. As has already been pointed out, the RiscOS idea (which was half-heartedly taken on by other OSes some time later) of a pop-up menu which magically appears under your cursor is even easier to use and involves very little mouse movement at all. As implemented in RiscOS it also has the specific advantage that you always get the correct menu for the window you click in, meaning that there is no need for that window suddenly to pop itself to the top of the stack and become the active window.

          The latter is still something I can't get used to in Windows and KDE (I don't use MacOS much these days) - I have (say) a filer window open with some images I wish to import to (say) a document. I have the document window open partly covering the filer window, but that's ok because I can see the files I need in the bit that isn't covered. However, the instant I try to select the images in the filer, the blasted thing pops to the top and quite likely covers the document window meaning that there is nowhere to "drop" them once I've "dragged" them.

          And as for MacOS - and forgive me if this is no longer the case - but having just a single screen-top menu which "belongs" only to the currently "active" application is a royal pain in the arse, if you'll forgive my language, especially when an application freezes for some reason and won't relinquish the menu bar, particularly the "Apple" icon at the left which is where you'll find the "Force Quit" option!


          1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Menus

            [Author here]

            > having just a single screen-top menu which "belongs" only to the currently "active" application is a royal pain in the arse

            It is still current and yes that is how it works.

            *But* you can always just click the desktop to bring Finder to the front and thereby get at other menu bars.

            *And* there is a hot-key for opening Force Quit. Cmd+Alt+Esc I think.

            So in real life, given macOS' reliability these days, I don't find it a problem at all.

            Apple knew this. I mean, that's why it bought NeXT. But there was a visible hint.

            In Classic MacOS, if an app crashed, if it still could, Classic displayed an error, with wording to the effect of:

            "The application >foo< has just quit. The OS is now in an unstable condition. You should save all your work in all other apps and restart as soon as possible."

            In OS X, they reworded that. It then said:

            "The application >foo< has just quit. The OS and all your other apps are unaffected. You can continue working and restart the affected application if you wish."

            The first time I read it, I laughed a lot for a long time.

        5. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: Menus

          a whole edge of the screen is extremely easy to hit with a large movement of the mouse

          only in theory: I mostly use 2 monitors, with the external monitor on top of the laptop, so the keyboard is inline with the 2 screens. But then, if you put the menubar on top of the laptop screen, it's not on top of the desktop, and you would need to move the menubar onto the second monitor. But then, where would you put the menubar when plugging an external projector for a conference ?

          On the other hand, a menubar in the application window is easy to understand, and with keyboard shortcuts its also easier to activate.

          So this whole menubar-on-top only works well in some setups. Even Apple seems to have understood this as they go more-and-more for full-screen apps.

          1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Menus

            [Author here]

            > So this whole menubar-on-top only works well in some setups.

            I think, again, like other commenters, you are generalising from your preferences and assuming they apply to everyone.

            I have tried the setup you describe. Sometimes, for space reasons, I only had room for 2 screens stacked vertically.

            I *hated* it. It gives me neck pain and causes problems with focal distance of my eyes. Moving my head up and down is not a common movement and takes more effort than from side to side.

            I find 3 screens in a row is the optimal arrangement *for me* and as long as my keyboard is broadly in the middle I don't care.

            So, yes, a menu bar with vertically-stacked screens isn't ideal, but it works. I use a vertical taskbar or dock with horizontally-arranged screens and that's not ideal either but you get used to it and it's perfectly usable.

            I tried it way over on the edge of the leftmost screen, but it's too hard to see. I tried it horizontally on the middle screen and then it's irksome because stuff isn't in the corners where it belongs any more. I tried it horizontally on the portrait screen, out of the way and where vertical pixels are cheap, but I kept forgetting to look at it.

            So, no, I find the arrangement you dislike is what I prefer and it works well for me.

            It's all about choice. You do you, and I'll do me.

            Which is one reason I dislike GNOME: because you can't adjust this. They have chosen what they feel is best and that's what you get, like it or not. The only way to customise is with lots of extensions, which destabilises an already-not-too-stable environment.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Resolve ?

    The industry standard is free but not open source.

    Is there any reason to use these other than open ness

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Resolve ?

      I am curious, what is the standard? Because if it is made by Adobe, it isn't free.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: Resolve ?

        DaVinci Resolve -

      2. tangentialPenguin

        Re: Resolve ?

        DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design. It's been the Hollywood standard for colour grading for a long time. I wouldn't say it's quite the editing standard yet but it definitely seems to be moving in that direction.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Resolve ?

          Ok thanks. I work in hardware so for test/calibration the precise color / brightness is most important. I don't edit full length movies.

          I write plugins for it so for all practical purposes (if not philosophical ones) it's open.

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Resolve ?

          For non-linear editing, it's still (mostly) Avid though.

    2. matjaggard

      Re: Resolve ?

      I came here to post this. I edited 2 weekly videos with OpenShot for about 9 months. Then I discovered Davincii Resolve and have never looked back - it is so much better that it's a whole different league. Masses of keyboard shortcuts, works on Linux, although I use it on a Windows VM in the cloud now to save money on a beefy machine for editing. Parsec handles low latency control of that machine although the colours are off a bit, but that doesn't affect my type of editing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Menus. Get rid of the menus on button. When I click on a button, I want stuff to happen. I don't not want a giant ass menu tree.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Especially a giant ass menu tree that disappears when you move the mouse to try to click one of the submenus!

      1. bpfh Silver badge

        Disappears as soon as you move the mouse

        Most websites then. Especially those who forgot the "mobile first" mantra...

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Openshot has been perfect for me.

    The free aspect of Openshot is important for me (as opposed to my normal choice of free software because I'm a cheapskate). Because I can't justify spending a whole lot of cash for a programme I might use twice a year.

    By the same token, I need a programme with a learning curve that I can manage readily when I have to start relearning how to do stuff 6-10 months down the line.

    Openshot fills that niche perfectly. It's reasonably intuitive to use. Anything I've forgotten how to do I can rediscover. And it's blissfully short on "I can't do that Dave" components. (You know the ones. You know what you need to do. You know how to do it. But there's some invisible other background process or setting that stops you doing it, until you turn it off/on, but that you don't know about and it doesn't show you).

    1. matjaggard

      Re: Openshot has been perfect for me.

      Davincii Resolve is free as in zero money and there is nothing OpenShot does that is only in the paid version of Resolve - no annoying limits on resolution or number of clips like some free versions have.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Openshot has been perfect for me.

        AFAIK the free version of Resolve is limited to 4K60, but if you need more the paid version is pretty cheap (at least compared to the storage cost for a movie at 8K 120fps!)

        I think they make most of their money on the editing console / mixing desk hardware

  7. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Openshot 2.0 was unusably buggy, and 2.6.0 is just about usable. I hope they haven't screwed up 3.0 as badly as they did 2.0.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    64 bit? Madness

    "It does require a 64-bit CPU, though."

    I'm 53. When I were a lad, it was all eight bit. - turns out 64 bit is quite old. For me, around 2000 is when amd64 arrived.

    1. Jonathan Knight

      Re: 64 bit? Madness

      I'm 57 and when I was a lad it was all 36 bit.

      DECsystem-10, KL10 processor, BASIC version 17H(143)-1

  9. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Free but not open source VSDC has a faster renderer tham Adobe Premiere - I use it for the odd Youtube vid, because the exported file sizes can be impressively small. Bloody strange user interface though.

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