There is an excellent set of free, open source video software available on the Linux platform which is both fully featured and mature. Become a digital video editing master, turn your Linux machine into a Home Theatre box are two options that are explored in this article.
We previously published an article on excellent open source video tools in 2008. Some of the tools featured in that article have ceased development. There were often developed by one or a few developers. They ceased working on the projects, in part because better alternatives sprung forward. Given the length of time that has elapsed, we thought it best to update the article.
There is one application that deserves a separate mention. It’s called Lightworks, an awesome professional non-linear editing system. It is very mature, and has multi-platform support. But it has no source code, and is released under a freemium license. But it’s still anticipated that the source code will be released soon.
Now, let’s explore the 42 video applications at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|VLC||Portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats|
|GNOME Videos||Official movie player of the GNOME desktop environment|
|SMPlayer||Qt based MPlayer front-end|
|mpv||Based on MPlayer and mplayer2|
|MPlayer||Extremely powerful movie player|
|bomi||Powerful and easy-to-use open source multimedia player|
|Miro||A platform for Internet television and video|
|Kaffeine||Full featured media player for KDE|
|Kodi||Award-winning digital media hub and HTPC|
|MythTV||Provides a Home Theatre convergence box|
|Kdenlive||Non-linear video editor for KDE|
|OpenShot||Non-linear editor for GNOME, built with Python, GTK, and the MLT Framework|
|Cinelerra||3 main functions: capturing, compositing, and editing audio/video|
|LiVES||Video Editing System designed to be simple to use, yet powerful|
|PiTiVi||Non-linear audio/video editor using GStreamer|
|Open Movie Editor||Non-linear video editor designed for basic movie making capabilities|
|Avidemux||Video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks|
|Shotcut||Powerful cross-platform video editor|
|Flowblade||Multitrack non-linear video editor|
|Veejay||Visual instrument and realtime video sampler|
|Blender||3D content creation suite|
|Natron||Node-based compositing tool|
|HandBrake||Multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter|
|dvd::rip||Perl front end for transcode|
|OGMRip||Application and a set of libraries for ripping and encoding DVDs|
|avconv||Part of libav-tools; fork of FFmpeg|
|Mencoder||Simple movie encoder, designed to encode MPlayer-playable movies|
|FFmpeg||Real time audio/video encoder/converter, streaming server|
|transcode||Console based tools for transcoding video and audio files|
|DeVeDeNG||Create video DVDs, suitables for home players, from any number of video files|
|DVDStyler||Cross-platform DVD authoring application|
|Q DVD-Author||GUI frontend for dvdauthor and related tools|
|GCStar||Manages personal collections|
|Data Crow||Cataloger/media manager|
|Tellico||KDE application for organizing your collections|
|dvgrab||Receives audio and video data from a digital camcorder via an IEEE1394|
|Kazam||Well designed and easy to use interface screencasting tool|
|MKVToolNix||Tools for the Matroska media container format|
|SMTube||Search, play and download YouTube videos|
|Cheese||Use your webcam to take photos and videos|
|OBS||Open Broadcaster Software|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.