The best open source alternatives to Adobe Premiere

Published by TheJoe on

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
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Today we talk about multimedia and video making. Since many years Adobe Premiere is in a dominant position on the market, it is used by many users and is present in practically all professional studios.

In the open source world, there are simpler and less complete alternatives to Premiere, all more or less valid, but which, due to the location of Premiere, are often not known. I'm talking about programs that try to approach the level of Premiere, sometimes with appreciable results, often less complete, but not for this reason to be ignored.

Let's see which ones together.


OpenShot is almost certainly the video editing program that enjoys the greatest effort in terms of constant development. Among its advantages we can mention the simple inclusion of advanced effects such as the Ken Burns effect to incorporate single images into a movie, a very well done title editor and support for a variety of video formats.

OpenShot is meant for HD video, but despite some elements that may be required on a professional level are missing, it is a complete and easy to use program. Personally I think it represents the non plus ultra of software for this category and can satisfy the majority of users.


Another open source program is Pitivo, a project “community driven” under active development, focused on ease of use (the interface is quite intuitive) and is aimed at both newbies and professional video editors.

It includes a large variety of effects and transitions and allows you to cut the video in real time. The project timeline is independent of the framerate. Pitivo is not just simple to use, it also has an excellent feature list behind its interface.


Another non-linear video editor in continuous development is Shotcut. The list of available functions is very varied, but the list of scheduled functions is even more so. The program comes with a rather simple and very pleasant to use interface.


With the offer of a number of limited tools, Avidemux is not a program for everyone. Anyway if we are looking for something rather light, that allows importation / exporting to a multitude of formats and an efficient way to do video editing even if you are not an expert… is the right program.


One of the open source projects, longer-lived and more mature (perhaps the most mature) in this field it is Cinelerra. Developed from the 1998, since then it has been under constant development. It's still the spearhead of all open source video editing software ever since.

Cinelerra is essential professional video editing software, which supports HD, ultraHD and high quality audio formats. The interface may not seem intuitive and simple, but nothing is missing if we talk about instrumentation. Anyone who has or has had the opportunity to explore its possibilities will be able to confirm that in conjunction with the animation package of Blender Cinelerrà it must not envy any characteristic of competing commercial software..

Look here:  A gui for "lshw"


It is an open source application for non-linear editing, whose development began in the same years in which that of Cinelerra began. This program also focuses on a rather varied effect park and compatibility.

Kdenlive is being actively developed, it offers support for a large variety of formats and is a good compromise between ease of use and professional features.


LiVES is another semi-professional level open source software. The interface is not very attractive, but it combines real-time video effects with non-linear editing in a single solution. Designed for video editors and VJs, allows you to mix clips using keyboard shortcuts in real time and includes a multitrack editor to keep all clips together in one – more functional – single track. With LiVES it is also possible to record in real time, edit the registration or export it directly.


Flowblade is one of the younger projects on our list. Developed from the 2009 has grown more and more today, after eleven years of development, is a more than discreet program for video editing. The most amazing feature of this software is the speed.

Open Movie Editor

The Spartan interface, the lack of effects and transitions and ease of use make Open Movie Editor the video editing software suitable for amateur use only.

Although the site is still active, the project appears to have been abandoned (the latest release is from 2009) could represent for the novice user a first step in the world of video editing, also thanks to its simplicity of use.


It has not been added to the Lightworks list, despite being a program known for its completeness and compatibility with Linux. The software house that produces and develops Lightworks (EditShare) announced several years ago its intention to release its software under an open source license. This never happened and lately it seems that he has made public an apology in which he declares that these years have been partly spent cleaning up the code before releasing it.. There are those who think it was a maneuver to bring Linux users closer to their software, without however “lose control”. We'll see… meanwhile the years pass and we have listed nine alternatives.


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.


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