Cut Videos on Linux with Kdenlive

Kdenlive, that video editor available for our Linux system is one of (in my clear opinion) the wonders of applications that we have available to use.

Years ago when I was still a Windows user I used TMPGEnc to cut videos, thus eliminating commercials or whatever I wanted. Today with Kdenlive I can cut pieces of a video, but I can also change the audio, add effects, etc, all this in a very simple and intuitive way.

Kdenlive Installation

It has never been so simple, search your official repository for the kdenlive package and install it.

In ArchLinux it would be:

sudo pacman -S kdenlive

In Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives it would be:

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Opening Kdenlive for the first time

When we open Kdenlive for the first time we will be shown a configuration wizard, it will check if we have everything we need installed (such as vlc and ffmpeg), it will ask us what video profile we want to use, if we have a webcam, etc. Here are several images about it:

Once open we will see something like this:

kdenlive-clean That is our workspace. Above we see the Menu (File, Edit, Project, etc.), below 3 areas that from left to right contain: Space through which multimedia files can be added to the project, the video player in use, and finally to the right, the player through which the complete project is previewed.

Further down we find the project timeline, that is, the large rectangle through which we put the videos or photos we want in the order of appearance we want. In the left part of this area we will see that it says something like "Video 1", "Video 2", "Audio 1", etc, this means that we can add several videos, several audios, not limit ourselves to just one.

Adding and cutting a video

To add a video and use it later we must click on the button with the plus symbol (+) that is in the area on the left above. Remember when I mentioned just above that there was a space through which multimedia files are added? … Well, the + is in that area, click on it and a window will open that will allow you to search for the desired video.

When they add it, a small window will appear possibly telling them that the video does not comply with the profile they selected at the beginning, it does not matter, they give Update Profile and that's it:

It will appear in that same box or area, simply drag it to the larger area below (timeline or project) and voila, the clip player will be activated (central area above), you will see the file on the line down, etc. It would look like this:


When we have added the clip it is a matter of just looking for the point, minute and second in which we want to make the cut and place the vertical line there, then we right click + cut and we will divide the video file like this: kdenlive-cut

To delete the unwanted part we click on it and press [Delete] on our keyboard. If what we want is to delete only a fragment of the video, then we will need to make two cuts, so that we have three fragments of the video, a first that corresponds to the first part of the clip, a second and smaller one that is the one that we will eliminate, and a final piece which is the normal continuation of the video. We select the one we want to delete and delete it, then join (using the mouse) both fragments. Here I show you a screenshot of what the three fragments look like after making two cuts:

kdenlive-cut2 Once the fragment that we want to eliminate has been removed and the rest joined, we proceed to Process o render the video, to get it out already in a format like avi, mp4 or similar.

By the way, if you want to change the audio and put a song or something like that, first we must silence or mute the video that we add, for this we click on the first video symbol that appears to the left of the video, an icon of a lock appears and to its right two icons of video, the Mute is the first of the latter two. Then we simply add the file from audio desired using the + button with which we add the video and then insert the sound file where it says Audio 1, here is a screenshot:


Obviously, we always recommend not to use copyrighted files and so on ... say no to copyright infringement 😉. Anyway and this is to have a better finished and more professional producer if they need it, they can help themselves in some mastering studio or improve the quality of the audio file, anyway always look for files to 256kbps.

Finally processing and extracting the video

To finish with the edition, we must now extract the video in the format we want, webm, avi, mp4, etc. To do this, click on the button Process o render which is indicated by the red circle.

A window will be shown asking us where we will put the video and the format (as well as other more advanced options that I personally rarely change). When from the left list we select the output format (I use webm) and we have established the folder where the video will finally be, we click on the option Render File, here is a screenshot:


The end!

Well nothing more to add. This is basically how to cut videos with Kdenlive and a little more, how to change the audio 😉

I hope it has been helpful to you, here I did not use filters or effects or anything, when I learn a little more public about this, even if someone wants, they are welcome to publish their experiences and tips about it.


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  1.   Lolo said

    Great friend post.

    By the way, I never knew what bitrate is suitable for processing video and / or audio.

    If I upload too much I generate huge files and if I set a value too low the image quality is bad.

    How is this calculated?

    Thank you.

    1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      About the bitrate ... no idea, I always leave it as it comes by default, just like Google here! explains gives several useful links.


      1.    Miguel Angel said

        In my "güindoseros" times I used to move with 1500-2100 bitrates which were recommended for the CVD format (China Video Disk, a less strict mpeg-2 'fix' than the one used on DVD's. I used to generate files around of 1 Gb for a 90-100 minute film and the balance between quality and size seemed correct for what I wanted. I hope it serves as a reference.
        A greeting.

  2.   juansantiago said

    Hello, let's see if someone can help me, the red grasshopper at least. I installed kdenlive in linuxmint 17 mate, I had some problems when installing, at that time it seems that the servers of the ubuntu repos were not running very well, I think I ended up installing from the debian repo, and now when it comes to rendering I am missing many codecs, curiously I am missing the free ones, and the one I use is webm, the menu load new processing profiles does not lower anything, and the repos recommended by some blogs for codecs, the console tells me that they are not found 🙁

    1.    rawBasic said

      You can find the red grasshopper or several other incredible characters that can help you in our forum:

      Greetings .. 😉

      1.    juansantiago said

        Problemilla to register in the forum, it asks me for a Captcha but it does not show me the image or the field 🙁

        limuntmint 17 matte / mozilla

      2.    juansantiago said

        ready, I saw it, good trick 🙂

    2.    JuanPe said

      You had to install Qt dependency fabric to your gtk system.

  3.   jamin samuel said

    I love the window decorator you put into KDE 😀

  4.   eliotime3000 said

    And I as an animal using Adobe Premier to edit the videos.

    Anyway, good tip.

  5.   oscar said

    It is an excellent program, thanks for spreading it!

  6.   JuanPe said

    Well, one who stops visiting this website after seeing how you delete comments because you feel like it when I have not missed, respects anyone

    1.    JuanPe said

      edit: I'm blind

    2.    dwarf said

      Nobody deletes anything, the system simply still does not accredit you as "reliable" because you have few comments and they go directly to moderation ... that is, they have to be approved and we are not 24/7 reading the "pending moderation"

  7.   Francisco said

    I have not tried it but it looks interesting at the moment I use openshot and for simple things it is fine.


  8.   xphnx said

    I leave you some very good and recommended tutorials about Kdenlive The same author also has some videos about Gimp.

  9.   Bones said

    Hmm interesting.
    Is it possible to edit videos that were accidentally recorded vertically?
    I don't need to adjust the position, just cut pieces and that's it, the problem is that when I open X editing program, the image is rotated to fit, and when saving changes ... the image stays rotated.

    1.    juansantiago said

      With kdenlive in "add effects" you will find: rotate and transform, pan and zoom, crop, resize. With that you have to have fun for a while.

  10.   Anonymous said

    Try OpenShot, they come installed in crunchbang linux, it is quite good and light, it is the editors' vlc player because it supports all formats or more than vlc player.

    1.    juansantiago said

      Years ago I stopped using openshot because it was unstable, it closed by itself (not only happened to me) and the graphical interface, not very exact in the drag-and-drop functions etc, kdenlive was always more stable and with more professional possibilities.

      I should try openshot again years later 🙂

      1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

        We are already two U_U… OpenShot seemed phenomenal, brilliant, but so much instability made me put it aside. Then I met Kdenlive and well… OpenShot? ... I literally forgot it existed, I remembered it was an option now with these comments.

        1.    Anonymous said

          Yes, it is unstable, but it is improving. They released a Kickstarter campaign that was funded to release version 2.0 cross-platform, with installers for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

          1.    Anonymous said

            They requested 20 thousand and raised 45 thousand. The project is almost complete but the developer got stuck in the development of the installer for Windows.


          2.    juansantiago said

            Luckily I didn't put a single € on them, if they use a penny of mine for anything related to winbugs, such as packaging for said virus, I would feel that feeling between disgust and violence that is very unpleasant 🙁

  11.   rag said

    this can also be done with avidemux that tabiem is open source and does not weigh much

    1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

      Yes yes of course, Avidemux also serves the same purpose.

  12.   free said

    Where can you get themes, to change the appearance.

  13.   nexus6 said


  14.   kk said

    has some difference with avidemux

  15.   NeoRanger said

    I create the titles for the clips but they cannot be edited once created. Could you give me a hand with that?


  16.   Wilberth said

    Thank you very much, your tutorial very well explained.

  17.   Carlos said

    Help I have a video that I can not open in kdenlive this message appears
    Your clip does not match current project's profile.
    No existing profile found to match the clip's properties.
    Clip size: 640 × 360
    fps: 30
    I need to edit it but doing it and rendering it turns into invalid video
    thanks for your help

    1.    elav said

      In my experience, the Profile or Profile in this case has nothing to do with the result of the video. You can use the Profile you want that in the end what matters is the format in which you export the video, which apparently you are not using the correct one.

  18.   Exequiel said

    Thank you very much for the tutorial, I am getting started in this free software and audio and video are usually one of the most problematic points to adapt

    a greeting

  19.   Rafael said

    Excellent program and you who always contribute useful things