Kdenlive 0.8 Released

April saw the release of Kdenlive 0.8. I'll take you through some of the new features, along with some notes on how I built it for Debian Sid.

Kdenlive 0.8 is a release that fixes bugs and adds new features rather than being a complete departure from the previous version, probably welcome news to the regular users. New features aside, my hope for this revision is that it can overcome the main shortcoming of Linux video editing programs: poor stability. It didn't crash while I was testing it, but user feedback in the long term will be the real indicator of improvements that have been made in this area.

The Kdenlive main window looks much the same as before, but it's actually a bit more configurable.

The Kdenlive team run a website that resembles the quality of that of a commercial software vendor, and many of the new features have their own mini articles. I'm not going to replicate what's on the Kdenlive site, but in brief, the heavy hitters are:

Rotoscoping - a way of placing irregular objects into moving video.

Corners - a way of placing objects into the videos that are adjusted for perspective. This feature has been updated and showcases the new effects GUI. Rather than adjusting sliders and then previewing the results, the user can now drag points about within the monitor itself.

Widget layouts - Layouts can be customized, named and saved as profiles. This is particularly helpful as there are now quite a few optional GUI elements that are not needed at all times.

Audio scopes and spectrogram - The level scope indicates when the audio is clipped. The spectrogram allows you to tell, at a glance, if the audio is good quality.

There are about 20 other significant new features. See the release details page for a complete list. I'm pleased to see that the list of bug fixes includes a lot of crash fixes.


As the 0.8 series isn't in the repository of my distribution yet, I built Kdenlive from source. Building an application like Kdenlive can be somewhat difficult as it depends on a lot of libraries. The Kdenlive project have tried to ease this problem by providing detailed instructions. There is also an automated build script that fetches the latest snapshot of the Kdenlive source and all other needed sourcecode. Helpfully, the instructions on the website list all of the needed libraries so that you can type

sudo apt-get install

and then cut and paste them in.

The build script didn't quite work for me until, after a bit of forum searching, I changed the line FFMPEG_SUPPORT_LIBVPX=1 to FFMPEG_SUPPORT_LIBVPX=0. Churn, churn, churn, and the script placed a snapshot of 0.81 into the directory. I'm not quite sure how you go about installing this to the system, or even if you would want to as it is a snapshot.

Conclusion (including rant)

Kdenlive is arguably the best video editing software for Linux, and the best just got a bit better with this commendable update. The project also has a great site that hosts an enthusiastic community.

The following is the kind of remark that can lead to outcry in the comments, but the most important target for any Linux video editor should be stability rather than features. Flashy features aren't much use if the application crashes all the time. As it stands, I can confidently recommend desktop Linux for web browsing or office tasks. However, a couple of my friends who put videos up on YouTube have tried using Linux for video editing, and the consensus was that that the tools would have been adequate, if it weren't for the fact that they crashed all the time. Kdenlive 7.x series was getting to the point when it could be used on a day to day basis by casual users such as myself, if you saved a lot.

Perhaps, when 0.8 is in the repositories of the major distros, it'll will add up to something that I can recommend to switchers.


UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Just what I've been looking for

Loganiii's picture

Thanks for the info Michael, this is just what I've been searching for. Installing it now.



Anonymous's picture

...it is laughable to suggest that in considering the well-known fact that Linux is the OS of choice for most movie studios (& has been for many years), one would expect those studios to demand most of their software not deviate from that base when editing same content. Back in the mid-90's, the adoption of Linux over Irix as a base OS was more or less stymied by proper graphic drivers until SGI's VPro workstations were released with RH installed.


Jesper Hansen's picture

I kind of hoping that people will elaborate on the on where and how to obtain these night creatures.
I search Vidiohelp and the list is dwindling year by year the cassablanca pages are in a word useless, some < href="http://videotreff.blogspot.com/2010/06/herzlich-willkommen-bei-holgers.html>bloggers are taking their time to educate in the special features of said machines, thought who where and how much these are in use I can't find out.
The real help isn't coming from the companies themselves. It's a bit of secret club to get near one working station. Or find good info on reliability usability.

So where's the nearest Irix?

Okei so what's the point of

Jesper Hansen's picture

Okei so what's the point of suggesting something that isn't available for common linux users?

I fail to se the point in Piranha and ant if one cannon't download a trial even.

Why not just suggest a Cassablanca machine?

@ Dorin. Funny I did not say

Jesper Hansen's picture

@ Dorin. Funny I did not say what OS I was on, nor does it matter. For arguments sake let's assume that the wipe coming across is based on a misunderstanding of youthful joy and jubilation. I have to no point had any success with Cinelerra nor Lives or OpenShot. Kino, yes, but that's it. So any hint towards better and further usage is most welcome.

I'll look into the new names and links, see what's what.


dorin's picture

Why do you always assume we use ubuntu or a debian distro?

"Kdenlive is arguably the

Anonymous's picture

"Kdenlive is arguably the best video editing software for Linux"

Not even close to being true.

Piranha and Ant are the two best editors for Linux.

Furthermore, Piranha is probably more powerful than any editor on OSX and Windows.

Piranha: http://www.imartis.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=169&...

Ant: http://www.imartis.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=172&...

best video editing software

John Hardin's picture

Okay, so Michael should have said "Kdenlive is arguably the best free video editing software for Linux". Imartis seems to be commercial software.

Michael: feel like comparing Kdenlive vs. Blender?


Michael Reed's picture

I've heard good things about Blender being used for video editing. I'll look into it and do a write up some time.

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

Kdenlive and Blender are two

Anonymous's picture

Kdenlive and Blender are two very different programs with very different goals. Blender is used to create 3D animations and is comparable to Autodesk Maya while Kdenlive edits already made video from a camera is similar to something like iMovie. Which one you should use depends on what you want to create....

Kdenlive and Blender

John Hardin's picture

Even though Blender is primarily a 3D modeling and rendering studio, it does include a non-linear video editor, and can be used for that purpose alone if you have no interest in 3D rendering.


Jesper Hansen's picture

Yes it is definitely better than before. I have been using it for a week and it never did do but what was expected.
I am hoping for this program to get tons of how-to tutorials so that this fine video editor gets some attention.