HomeNEWSA look at Kdenlive – Free Video Editor for GNU/Linux

A look at Kdenlive – Free Video Editor for GNU/Linux

I’ve done my fair share (or more) of video editing in my life, mostly using Adobe Premiere Pro as I was taught in college. However, I try not to use Windows unless I have to, so I’ve always been looking for better options for my GNU/Linux systems, and I think I’ve found my personal favorite video editor; kdenlive.

Kdenlive is a free video editor that, so far, hasn’t let me down yet for my personal needs, and has also been easily the simplest and fastest for encoding and exporting videos.

Features of Kdenlive

The Kdenlive website lists the features as:

  • Multitrack video editing
  • Use any audio/video format
  • Configurable interface and shortcuts
  • titrator
  • Lots of effects and transitions
  • Audio and video viewers
  • proxy editing
  • online resources
  • Timeline preview
  • keyframe effects
  • Thematic interface

Performance and resource usage


The first thing that struck me when using Kdenlive compared to other GNU/Linux video editors, was the performance. I currently use a system with a Ryzen 7 1700x, 16GB of DDR4 3000mhz and a GTX 1070, and this app FLIES when I’m exporting videos…

Regardless of format, encoder or encoder; I have yet to find another video editor that comes even remotely close to Kdenlive’s speed and performance. Even on my laptop with a GTX 980 8GB desktop card, 32GB of DDR4 3000, and an i7-6820HK that’s still not far behind, work gets done faster than I ever expected.

For comparison, I rendered a 2 minute 19 second long MP4 video at full 1080P quality on Kdenlive and another tool (I won’t reveal the name, I don’t want to leave any other tool), Kdenlive completed the task in 53 seconds on this one. machine, the other tool took almost 10 minutes. Your mileage may vary, but the difference was absolutely amazing.

While working, I closely monitored Kdenlive’s system resource usage and saw that the most RAM it used (outside when rendering) was 0.6GB / about 600MB RAM, and less than 1% CPU usage… little actually, that KsysGuard told me it was using 0% CPU. The program is remarkably lightweight, for how powerful it is!

final thoughts

Lately I’ve started streaming games on Twitch during this pandemic as a Linux-focused gamer, or at least streaming console games through Linux OBS Studio, and editing my highlights and clips to share with Kdenlive… And I haven’t been disappointed yet for this app. There isn’t a single feature I’ve personally needed that I haven’t been able to use or easily achieve, and the render time is mind-boggling in contrast to its competitors. The user interface is quite simple and straightforward if you have ever used any other similar app, or even for new users alike. Lastly, small footprint and resource usage is never a bad thing!

Now You: What do you use for video editing on your GNU/Linux systems and why? Let me know in the comments!

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