I'm looking for a free video editor similar to - Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Microsoft Movie Maker under Linux Desktop operating system. My tasks are pretty simple such as cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks etc. Can you provide me a list of FOSS software which can be used for video capture and video editing purposes under Fedora or Ubuntu Linux desktop systems?
A non-linear editing system (NLE) is a video editing (NLVE) or audio editing (NLAE) system which can provide editing method for video clips or frams. You will be able to access any frame in a video clip. Non-linear editing is done for film and television post-production. However, the cost of editing system gone down and non-linear editing tools (including software) are now within the reach of most home users.

MS-Windows PC included Windows Movie Maker and Apple computer comes with iMovie. Most Linux based editing software can now be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. You also need a video capture card and a FireWire connection to capture digital video from a DV camera.


Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.

Fig.01: Avidemux in Action under Ubuntu (image credit: Wikipedia)Fig.01: Avidemux in Action under Ubuntu (image credit: Wikipedia)

How Do I Install Avidemux Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install avidemux

Embedding The Subtitles to AVI By Using Avidemux

=> Download Avidemux


Cinelerra is the most advanced non-linear video editor and compositor for Linux. Cinelerra also includes a video compositing engine, allowing the user to perform common compositing operations such as keying and mattes. Cinelerra includes support for very high-fidelity audio and video: it processes audio using 64 bits of precision, and can work in both RGBA and YUVA color spaces, using floating-point and 16-bit integer representations, respectively. It is resolution and frame rate-independent, meaning that it can support video of any speed and size.

Fig.02: Cinelerra Rendering in Action (credit Cinelerra project)Fig.02: Cinelerra Rendering in Action (credit Cinelerra project)

Video editing in Ubuntu Using Cinelerra Part 1

Cinelerra Tutorial Capturing Desktop Screens

=> Download Cinelerra


Kdenlive is an intuitive and powerful multi-track video editor, including most recent video technologies. Kdenlive supports all of the formats supported by FFmpeg (such as QuickTime, AVI, WMV, MPEG, and Flash Video), and also supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for both PAL, NTSC and various HD standards, including HDV. Video can also be exported to DV devices, or written to a DVD with chapters and a simple menu. Kdenlive packages are freely available for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X under the terms of GNU General Public License version 2 or any version later.

Fig.03: Kdenlive in Action (credit: Kdenlive project)Fig.03: Kdenlive in Action (credit: Kdenlive project)

How Do I Install Kdenlive Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Video Effects & Stacking - Kdenlive 0.7 - Ubuntu 8.10

=> Download Kdenlive


Kino is a non-linear DV editor for GNU/Linux. It features excellent integration with IEEE-1394 for capture, VTR control, and recording back to the camera. It captures video to disk in Raw DV and AVI format, in both type-1 DV and type-2 DV (separate audio stream) encodings.

Fig.04: Kino Main Window (image credit - Kino porject)Fig.04: Kino Main Window (image credit - Kino porject)

How Do I Install Kino Under Debian / Ubuntu Linux Desktop?

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install kino

LINUX video capture - KINO Tutorial

=> Download Kino


LiVES (LiVES is a Video Editing System) is a free software video editing program and VJ tool. LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which is used by both professional VJ's and video editors - mix and switch clips from the keyboard, use dozens of realtime effects, trim and edit your clips in the clip editor, and bring them together using the multitrack timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away.

For the more technically minded, the application is frame and sample accurate, and it can be controlled remotely or scripted for use as a video server. And it supports all of the latest free standards.

Fig.05: Lives: Linux Video Editing System (Image: Lives project)Fig.05: Lives: Linux Video Editing System (Image: Lives project)

Demo made using LiVES Software

=> Download LiVES

Comparison Of Video Editing Software

Feature Avidemux Cinelerra Kdenlive Kino LiVES
License GPL GPL GPLv2 GPL GPLv3+
Cost Free Free Free Free Free
Paid Support N Y N N N
RAM (min) ? 256M 256M ? 128M
Hard Disk (min) ? ? 1G ? 10G
CPU ? 500Mhz 600Mhz ? 800Mhz
High Definition Video Editing ? Y Y ? Y
Non-destructive Editing ? Y Y Y Y
Full-screen Playback ? Y Y Y Y
Storyboard Mode ? N Y Y N
Video Tracks Y Y Y ? Y
Audio Tracks Y Y Y ? Y
Linear Timecode Display ? Y Y ? Y
DVD Output ? Y Y N Y
HD Output ? Y Y N Y
Smart Phone Output ? Y Y N Y
QuickTime Output ? Y Y N Y
Windows Media Output ? Y Y N Y
MPEG-4 Output ? Y Y Y Y
Web Output ? Y Y N N

Other Open Source Non-linear Video Editing Software For Linux Operating Systems

  1. Blender - 3D animation suite (cross-platform) : Blender is a 3D graphics application. It can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including games. Blender's features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics, modifier based modeling tools, powerful character animation tools, a node based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.
  2. OpenShot Video Editor : OpenShot Video Editor is an open-source program that creates, modifies, and edits video files.
  3. PiTiVi : PiTiVi is a program for video editing based on the GStreamer framework. It can - Capture and encode audio and video, with formats supported by GStreamer, split and trim video clips, split and trim audio, render projects in any format supported by the GStreamer framework etc.

Our Recommendation

  • Use Cinelerra for professional work. It is very fast, and can handle a heavy load. You can also obtain paid support for this product.
  • For video encoding and conversion purpose use Avidemux.

Who Uses...?

  1. Cinelerra - Recommended for Animator, Artist/Illustrator/Designer, video editor.
  2. Kino - Recommended of home user, video editor, and videographer.
  3. Avidemux (Non-Linear Editor) - Recommended videographer
  4. Kdenlive - Recommended for home user.
  5. LiVES - Recommend for home user and VJ.

What Software do you use for Digital Video Editing?

This is an user contributed article.

Project management software is not just for managing software based project. It can be used for variety of other tasks too. The web-based software must provide tools for planning, organizing and managing resources to achieve project goals and objectives. A web-based project management software can be accessed through an intranet or WAN / LAN using a web browser. You don't have to install any other software on the system. The software can be easy of use with access control features (multi-user). I use project management software for all of our projects (for e.g. building a new cluster farm) for issue / bug-tracking, calender, gantt charts, email notification and much more.

Obviously I'm not the only user, the following open source software is used by some of the biggest research organizations and companies world wild. For example, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses track software or open source project such as lighttpd / phpbb use redmine software to keep track of their projects.

You use the following top 10 software for personal or business use. Keep track of all your projects in one place and finish them successfully on time.

#1: Codendi

Codendi is an open-source collaborative development platform offered by Xerox. From only one interface, it gathers, all the needed tools for software development teams: management and versioning of code, bugs, requirements, documents, reporting, tests etc. It is mainly used for managing software project processes.

#2: Redmine

Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. It includes calendar and gantt charts to aid visual representation of projects and their deadlines.

#3: ProjectPier

ProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting.

#4: Trac

Trac is an open source, web-based project management and bug-tracking tool. Trac allows hyperlinking information between a computer bug database, revision control and wiki content. It also serves as a web interface to a version control system like Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs.

#5: Project HQ

Project HQ is a collaborative open source project management tool, similar to Basecamp and activeCollab. Project HQ is built on open source technologies like Python, Pylons and SQLAlchemy and is fully database independent. Project HQ uses a structured workflow to assist you in managing your projects.

#6: Collabtive

Collabtive is a web-based project management software that is being published as Open Source software. The project was started in November 2007. It strives to provide an Open Source alternative to proprietary tools like Basecamp or ActiveCollab.

#7: eGroupWare

eGroupWare is a free open source groupware software intended for businesses from small to enterprises. Its primary functions allow users to manage contacts, appointments, projects and to-do lists.

It is used either via its native web-interface, making access platform-independent, or by using different supported groupware clients, such as Kontact, Novell Evolution, or Microsoft Outlook. It can also be used by mobile phone or PDA via SyncML.

#8: KForge

KForge is an open-source (GPL) system for managing software and knowledge projects. It re-uses existing best-of-breed tools such as a versioned storage (subversion), a tracker (trac), and wiki (trac or moinmoin), integrating them with the system

Linux comes with various GUI based email client to stay in touch with your friends and family, and share information in newsgroups with other users. The following software is similar to Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail and is used by both home and office user.

Webmail interfaces allow users to access their mail with any standard web browser, from any computer, rather than relying on an e-mail client.

However, e-mail client remains extremely popular in a large corporate environment, small business, home and power users. An e-mail client (also mail user agent (MUA)) is a frontend computer program used to manage e-mail. Mail can be stored on the client, on the server side, or in both places. Standard formats for mailboxes include Maildir and mbox.

The following are top five amazing piece of cross-platform software from various projects to make your life easy with wide variety of plug-ins / add-ons.

#1: Mozilla Thunderbird

It is an e-mail and news cross-platform client software package by Mozilla Foundation. Thunderbird can manage multiple e-mail, newsgroup and RSS accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders , advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels help manage and find messages. Just like Firefox, the tons of extensions and themes for this client makes it very secure and flexible to to enhance your productivity.

Fig.01: Mozilla ThunderbirdFig.01: Mozilla Thunderbird

=> Download Mozilla Thunderbird

#2: Claws Mail

Claws Mail is a free, GTK+-based, open source email and news client. It is very light lightweight. Like Firefox , the wide variety of plug-ins for this email client makes it very flexible and secure. Claws Mail runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems such as Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

Fig.02: Claws Mail in ActionFig.02: Claws Mail in Action

=> Download Claws Mail

#3: Spicebird

Spicebird is a collaboration client that provides integrated access to email, contacts, calendaring and instant messaging in a single application. It provides easy access to various web services while retaining all the advantages of a desktop application. It is developed by an Indian company called Synovel. It is a free, open source and cross-platform software.

Fig.03: Spicebird in Action (image credit Spicebird project)Fig.03: Spicebird in Action (image credit Spicebird project)

=> Download Spicebird

#4: Zimbra Collaboration Suite (Open Source Version)

Zimbra is a client and server platform for messaging and collaboration. The web client integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, VoIP, and online document authoring in a rich browser-based interface. This is more like MS-Exchange and Outlook combo. In other words it is compatible with proprietary clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail, both through proprietary connectors, as well as the open-source Novell Evolution, so that mail, contacts, and calendar items can be synchronised from these to the ZCS server. Zimbra also provides native two-way sync to many mobile devices such as Nokia Eseries, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone with 2.0 software.

Fig.04: Zimbra (credit offical Zimbra website)Fig.04: Zimbra (credit offical Zimbra website)

=> Download Zimbra Collaboration Suite (Open Source Version)

#5: Sylpheed

Sylpheed is a free, GTK+-based, open source email and news client. It is very light lightweight. Sylpheed runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems such as Linux, and BSD.

Fig.05: Sylpheed in ActionFig.05: Sylpheed in Action

=> Download sylpheed

Comparison of E-mail Clients - Essential Features

The following tables compare general and technical information between e-mail client programs.

Feature Thunderbird Claws Mail Spicebird Zimbra Sylpheed
Cross-platform Y Y Y Y Y
Cost Free Free Free Free Free
Authentication Y Y Y Y Y
Image blocking Y Y Y Y Y
Junk filtering Y Y Y Y Y
Phishing filtering Y Y Y Y ?
Add-ons Y Y Y ? N
Thread view Y Y Y Y Y
PGP support Y Y Y ? Y
Label Messages Y Y ? Y Y
Spell Checking Y Y ? Y N
Signatures Y Y Y Y Y
Scheduled message Y ? ? ? ?
Message templates Y Y ? Y Y
Database mbox MH, mbox ? File system MH
NNTP (News) Y Y Y Y Y
RSS Feed Y Y Y Y N
iCalendar Y ? Y Y N
Paid Support ? ? ? ? Y

Y = supported; N = not supported; ? = unknown; Privacy feature; Security features; Productivity features; Cross-platform - runs on Mac OS X, Windows and UNIX like operating systems.

Other Email Clients For UNIX Like Operating Systems

  1. SeaMonkey - Mozilla SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite that includes an Internet browser, email and newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat, and web development tools. It includes a pop-up blocker, junk mail controls, and a tabbed interface.
  2. Pine (Alpine) - Alpine is a rewrite of the Pine Message System that adds support for Unicode and other features. Alpine is meant to be suitable for both inexperienced email users and the most demanding of power users.
  3. Evolution or Novell Evolution - Evolution provides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop.

Our Recommendations:

  1. Claws Mail - Highly recommended for netbook user due to lightweight usage.
  2. Mozilla Thunderbird - The wide variety of add-on for this email client makes it very flexible, secure and easy to use. Highly recommended for desktop and power users.
  3. Zimbra Collaboration Suite ~ Open Source Edition or Businesses Editon - Highly recommended for business and corporate users due to its support for a broad range of email clients and mobile devices via "over the air" sync.

All of the e-mail client listed above used by me at one point or another. If you know of, or use, another e-mail client that offers better features than those mentioned here, tell us in the comments.

These are full-featured cross-platform softwares, free as in beer and speech. Vivek Gite picks his best open source software of 2009.

#1: Inkscape ( Vector Graphics Editor )

Fig.01: Inkscape is used by artist/illustrator/designer as vector graphics editor

Inkscape is a vector graphics editor. It is similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Xara X. This is perfect for object manipulation and styling objects. From the project home page:

Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

#2: 7-Zip ( Archiver )

Fig.02: 7-Zip is used as archiverFig.02: 7-Zip is used as archiver

7-Zip is a file archiver and open source software. No need to use winzip or anything else. It does everything for you without paying a single penny:

  1. Supports many formats:
    1. Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    2. Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.
  2. Fast.
  3. Free and open source.
  4. High compression ratio.
  5. Works best with Windows operating systems.

Note: For Linux / UNIX desktop I prefer to use native tools such as zip/unzip, tar etc.

#3: VLC ( Media Player )

Fig.03: VLC is similar to QuickTime / Windows Media PlayersimilarFig.03: VLC is similar to QuickTime / Windows Media Player

Great media player which supports almost all formats (audio, video formats DVDs / VCDs, and various streaming protocols) and is stripped down to its most fundamental features (i.e. portable media player). A must have software for all anim and movie fans.

#4: VirtualBox ( Virtualization )

Fig.04: VirtualBox is used for virtualizationFig.04: VirtualBox is used for virtualization

Run Linux / MS-Windows or any other supported os directly without removing Windows, Linux, OpenSolaris or Macintosh (OS X) host operating systems. A professional class software that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). I recommend this software to all users to try out Linux or learn Perl / Shell scripting using UNIX development environment. VirtualBox is similar to VMware workstation.

#5: Miro ( Internet TV )

Fig.05: Miro is used for Internet TV and as video playerFig.05: Miro is used for Internet TV and as video player

Miro is a free, open source, video player and podcast client. The official site described it as:

Torrents made easy, RSS made beautiful, with tons of gorgeous HD video.

I love Miro and I use it for Internet TV and video player which comes with a library of more than 6,000 Internet streams and podcasts.

#6: TrueCrypt ( Disk Encryption )

Fig:06: TrueCrypt is used for disk encryption (image credit official website)

Free open-source disk encryption (real-time on-the-fly encryption) software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (for Linux I prefer native disk encryption). From the wikipedia:

It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or a device-hosted encrypted volume on either an individual partition or an entire storage device. It supports Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (using FUSE) and encrypted volumes can be made portable. The version for Windows Vista or XP can encrypt the boot partition or entire boot drive and has the ability to create and run a hidden encrypted operating system whose existence is deniable.

#7: Calibre ( eBook Converter and Reader )

Fig.07:  Calibre is used for: ebook converter / readerFig.07: Calibre is used for: ebook converter / reader

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application. It supports the following features:

  1. It manages your e-book collection for you. It can sort the books in your library by: Title, Author, Date added, Date published, Size, Rating, Series, etc.
  2. Tags - a flexible system for categorizing your collection however you like
  3. Comments - a long form entry that you can use for book description, notes, reviews, etc.
  4. Search local ebooks or over the Internet using title/author or ISBN.
  5. E-book conversion
  6. Syncing to e-book reader devices
  7. Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form (e.g., NYT, TOI, ESPN etc).

Without this software Sony or Amazon ebook reader is virtually useless for non-ebook format pdf reading.

#8: GnuCash ( Financial Management )

Fig.08: GnuCash is used for financial management / accountingFig.08: GnuCash is used for financial management / accounting

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Personally I like it because of its rich functionality and easy of use. GnuCash is similar to Microsoft Money and it is used by accountant, small business/home user etc. Features:

  1. Double-entry bookkeeping
  2. Scheduled Transactions
  3. Mortgage and Loan Repayment Druid
  4. Small Business Accounting Features
  5. Transaction-Import Matching Support
  6. Multi-Currency Transaction Handling
  7. Stock/Mutual Fund Portfolios
  8. Online Stock and Mutual Fund Quotes

#9: GIMP ( Graphics / Simple Photo Editing )

Fig.09: GIMP quality photo retouching programFig.09: GIMP quality photo retouching program

I'm not a professional artist/illustrator/designer/web designer (read as Photoshop expert), but gimp is used for simple photo editing of my personal work such as photo retouching, image composition, simple effects, image authoring, and much more.

#10: Audacity ( Sound Editor / Recorder )

Fig.10: Audacity is used for audio / sound recorder & sound editorFig.10: Audacity is used for audio / sound recorder & sound editor

Audacity is a free all in one audio editor and recorder like GoldWave software. You can use Audacity to record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, and edit sound files or just create personal ringtons for mobile phones.


  • Firefox 3.x - nuff said!
  • Thunderbird 2.x - Another amazing software from the Mozilla with tons of plug-ins for email client.
  • OpenOffice - Great Microsoft Office replacement.
  • Pidgin - IM all your friends in one place.
  • MPlayer - Now supports most of the Bluray and HD-DVD codecs.
  • Nmap - The ultimate network exploration and security auditing tool.

My Favorite Software Of 2009:

VirtualBox - It is a life saver for sys admin and perfect free software loaded with tons of features. It offers great performance and stability, and supports a wide-variety of guest operating systems.

This is my personal FOSS desktop software list and it is not absolutely definitive, so if you've got your own software, share in the comments below.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. --

Albert Einstein


Here are a few mistakes that I made while working at UNIX prompt. Some mistakes caused me a good amount of downtime. Most of these mistakes are from my early days as a UNIX admin.

userdel Command

The file /etc/deluser.conf was configured to remove the home directory (it was done by previous sys admin and it was my first day at work) and mail spool of the user to be removed. I just wanted to remove the user account and I end up deleting everything (note -r was activated via deluser.conf):
userdel foo

Rebooted Solaris Box

On Linux killall command kill processes by name (killall httpd). On Solaris it kill all active processes. As root I killed all process, this was our main Oracle db box:
killall process-name

Destroyed named.conf

I wanted to append a new zone to /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf file., but end up running:
./mkzone example.com > /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf

Destroyed Working Backups with Tar and Rsync (personal backups)

I had only one backup copy of my QT project and I just wanted to get a directory called functions. I end up deleting entire backup (note -c switch instead of -x):
cd /mnt/bacupusbharddisk tar -zcvf project.tar.gz functions
I had no backup. Similarly I end up running rsync command and deleted all new files by overwriting files from backup set (now I