Lightworks on Linux

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If you are looking to edit video on Linux there are many free options available (OpenShot, Cinelera, Kdenlive…) While all of those programs work and with some time can get basic jobs done, none of them are quite up to par with Lightworks. Most of them have an ugly UI, a shortage of good built in effects, and some of them are unstable and crash quite often. Lightworks solves these issues and brings professional editing to Linux along with a free version.

The UI in Lightworks is minimal, functional, beautiful. You can look at the screen for hours without feeling like you were transported back to 1999. Almost every piece of the UI can be customized and moved the way you like it.

Importing from multiple sources and in multiple formats is made simple.

Lightworks can be very resource intensive while rendering edits and video. This is common with professional non-linear editors,  however Lightworks is still usable on slightly older hardware as long as you have the non-free video drivers installed for your card.

With many built in effects and the ability to customize them to create your own, there is no limit to the creative touch you can add to your production.

Keyframing is available for audio and effects in Lightworks and works, but is probably the only major piece of this NLE that I find frustrating. Lightworks automatically sets the value of the last keyframe to the same value as the first keyframe causing your effect to transition back to the way it was at the start of the effect. Most other professional NLE’s have the end keyframe hold the same value as the last user created keyframe. Lightworks can take longer to get your desired effect keyframed the way you like it because of this issue, however keyframing is still better in Lightworks than in the OpenSource alternatives on Linux.

Firewire is not supported in the Linux version, however for me at least I have not found that to be an issue since most newer cameras no longer use Firewire.

The free version only exports to YouTube (720p) however the Pro version is only $279.99 to buy outright which makes this one of the cheapest professional quality NLE’s to date.

Overall Lightworks is a full featured professional NLE that puts other Linux editors to shame with its stability, beauty, and effects. It still has some work to go if it wants to compete with Adobe, Avid, and Apple on other platforms, but on Linux it is number one in comparison to the other editors available. If you are looking to try a new NLE on Linux, I highly suggest giving Lightworks a shot.

Lightworks can be download from:

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