OpenShot: An Easy-to-use Video Editor For the Average Linux User

Video editing in Linux is never an easy stuff. While there are several top-notch video editing software available for Linux users, most of them are not meant for the faint-hearted. With the release of OpenShot, the averagae users (like you and me) now have an easy to use video editor that they can fire up, drag their photos into the time frame and quickly produce a slideshow movie.

OpenShot is a non-linear video editor for Linux. It can easily combine multiple video clips, audio clips, and images into a single project, and then export the video into many common video formats. Things that you can do with OpenShot include creating photo slide shows, edit home videos, create television commercials and on-line films, or anything else you can dream up.


There are several ways to install OpenShot in your Linux machine. If you are using Ubuntu Karmic, you can add the repository and install from the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-docs

There is also deb/rpm installer and also a LiveDVD. You can even compile from source if you want to.


Open OpenShot from Applications -> Sound and Video -> OpenShot Video Editor


Import in your video/picture/audio files.


Drag the required files to the timeline at the bottom. Move them around to the desire position.


Click on the Transition tab. Drag your favorite transition effects to the timeline.


At the timeline toolbar, select either the Razor, Resize or Snapping icon to manipulate the video effects.


Click the Play button to preview your creation.

Once you are happy, go to File -> Export to Video. You can now select the format that you want to export the video to. There are two tabs: Simple and Advanced. The Simple tab contains the pre-configured setting for some of the popular format, including BlueRay, DVD, Device and Web.


In the Advanced tab, you will be able to customize the video/audio format and quality.


Click Export Video to complete the process.

Other Features

Image sequencing

You can either import images sequence based on the filename pattern or you can export your video into a series of images. What it will do is to take a snapshot of each video frame and save them as PNG file.

Support for multiple timelines (akin to layers in Photoshop)

You can add/remove as many timelines as you want. Each timeline can be used for different purposes: 1 for background audio, 1 for video, 1 for transition effects, 1 for watermark etc.

Support many video, audio and image formats

Thanks to FFmpeg, OpenShot is able to support all multimedia formats that are supported by FFmpeg. Unless you are using some weird out of the world codec, the video format you are using are most likely to be available in OpenShot.

Digital video effects

Other than the transition effects, OpenShots also include various digital video effects like brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key (bluescreen / greenscreen). One thing that I like about this is that they are easy to use and you can easily and quickly produce a great video without any skill or experience.


If you are looking at this software from an expert point of view, OpenShot is not definitely not up to par with professional video editing tool like Final Cut Pro or Cinelerra. However if you just want a simple, easy to use video editor that comes with plenty of useful features, then OpenShot will be the one for you.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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