Sure, I could Google and find random software. But I rather have the opinion of users that have had hands-on with any open source video editors.

So if you've used one that you like or know of any, please let me know and state whether you've used it or just know of it (and heard good things). Thanks.

I'm looking for Windows software. But you may suggest Linux as well for other people that might stumble upon this.

  • 2
    I tried some and it's hard to find one that is free, well documented and that works perfectly. Especially on Windows. You should tell which operating system you use.
    – Julien N
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 0:30
  • 1
    I think you are looking for "free" and not "open source".
    – koan
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 8:41
  • @koan Well I'm a developer so I may want to contribute to a video editor that I deem worthy of my time :D
    – Tek
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 16:05
  • Duplicate of: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/25378/…
    – niutech
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:56
  • 3
    @niutech Isn't it the other way around? I asked this in 2011 :p
    – Tek
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:58

11 Answers 11


VLMC is a non-linear multitrack editor. It's based on VLC and inherits a pretty vast format compatibility from that. The UI is a little rough, but it gets the job done.

Lightworks is a more recent project and seems polished. It's rooted in broadcast editing, so a large number of familiar codecs are unsupported. It supports Matrox codecs, which you have to install separately, so you'll have to convert your video to Matrox AVIs first.

Avidemux is a simple editor, good for trimming and small tasks. In my experience, not very stable on Windows, OK on Linux.

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    +1 for Lightworks. I switched from FCP to Lightworks a year ago and love it. It's very full-featured; many feature films have been cut on it, including Pulp Fiction and Braveheart, and more recently, The King's Speech and Hugo. Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:48
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    Note that Lightworks is not open-source currently, but open-sourcing it is on the roadmap.
    – n611x007
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 12:40
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    I agree with the Lightworks suggestion, however, to really use it in any modern projects, you need to purchase the pro license for import and export options other than the most basic.
    – Jarmer
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 16:40
  • 2
    VLMC seems to be a bit dead. Five years on and it's still in alpha.
    – stib
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 12:30

You might want to see Wikipedia's Comparison of video editing software and list of video editing software. From my personal experience I recommend Kdenlive over any others. It has good support for a wide range of non-linear video editing functions. If you are the real geek, you may want to try out Cinelerra.


Kdenlive is rapidly becoming the most advanced FLOSS video editor. Kdenlive supports Linux and Windows natively. There is also a version for macOS on macports.org, but it is outdated.

I use Kdenlive often on my Linux system. It has an active development team that are very responsive to new feature requests and bug reports. The user community is also very friendly and supportive.

  • +100 for Kdenlive. I started using it somewhat recently, and it has done everything I've wanted. It has great support, is well developed, and mature features.
    – Linuxios
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 22:37

I personally run Cinelerra CV and it's "mochup" Cinecutie on my Linux boxes.

Cinelerra (and it's relatives) can do some very sophisticated editing work, but they aren't the easiest to use. Luckily, there are lots of video tutorials out there to help you.


There is an Linux/Gnome based video editor called PiTiVi which is working close with the GStreamer multimedia framework which is used by most Linux distributions. The PiTiVi project has been slow moving because of their development philosophy which is "upstream first". Challenges they encounter in GStreamer means that they work with GStreamer to solve the issue instead of working around the framework.


For Linux people:


It is a non-linear DV editor. It has many features including capture, editing, FX, and export to other formats.

I've used it for several years without issue.


If you're on Linux, consider Cinelerra: the most powerful video editor for Linux, Openshot: simple, powerful, and free video editor for Linux, or Kdenlive (also available for FreeBSD and Mac OSX): Free and open source video editor for GUN/Linux and FreeBSD

Openshot and Kdenlive can be installed via apt-get install, however Cinelerra requires a little more configuration


If you are really adventurous why not give Blender a go? It is a 3D animation and compositing/tracking application. It is completely free and open (FLOSS) as well as being totally system agnostic. Run on Windows 32bit or 64 bit, MacOS 32 or 64 bit and Linux 32 or 64bit.

The video editor is rather novel and a bit rudimentary but is supported by a large compliment of addons or python scripts that enhance its usability.


A friend of mine liked VirtualDub quite a bit, which is free. I have not, however, used it myself.

  • 1
    VirtualDub used with AviSynth is a good combination.
    – koan
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 15:44

OpenShot is easy to use. Only for Linux.

OpenShot Video Editor is a free, open-source video editor for Linux licensed under the GPL version 3.0. It can take your videos, photos, and music files and easily add sub-titles, transitions, and effects, and then export your film to DVD, YouTube, Vimeo, Xbox 360, and many other common formats.

  • 2
    Could you maybe elaborate on why it is easy to use? Is there a good manual? Intuitive user interface? Other good/bad things the software has? Please add some more detail to your answer. Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 21:36
  • 1
    OpenShot 2.0 (currently in late stages of development as of March 2015) is going to be cross-platform. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 13:15

Better than mearly good is AviSynth: http://avisynth.nl/index.php/Main_Page .

Basically you write a Script and then open the Script in a Player. The Script can change the input in many ways and there are many 1000's of Plugins. There are a few Forks including some 'traditional' looking Editors that use AviSynth under the hood.

After tweaking the Script precisely you simply 'copy' the Script (possibly with Ffmpeg) and render a final version.

Includes capabilities to express exactly (to the pixel and frame) what you want. Not too bad a learning curve and so many examples available. During several years of use I discovered no Bugs but apparently others found a couple that have since been fixed. Open Source and you assistance is welcome.

Often used in conjunction with VirtualDub to provide a GUI.

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