Good, low-requirement video editing software?

Before I installed Ubuntu MATE on this old laptop, I used Windows Movie Maker (Windows XP version) a few times, and I kinda liked it. Now I’m looking for a similar experience (low system requirements, simple to use, etc.) on Linux. I am a beginner video editor so I don’t need an HD editor, SD is fine. It should require <1 GB of RAM, work on an approximately 1.8 GHz processor, be able to use OpenGL 1.4, basically everything you expect from an old PC. :slightly_smiling:

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Kdenlive might be a good choice although I have no idea what system resources it may use.

Kdenlive is a non-linear video editing suite, which supports DV, HDV and many more formats. Its main features are:

  • Guides and marker for organizing timelines
  • Copy and paste support for clips, effects and transitions
  • Real time changes
  • FireWire and Video4Linux capture
  • Screen grabbing
  • Exporting to any by FFMPEG supported format

To install via the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t):

sudo apt-get install kdenlive


From the Kdenlive website:

Kdenlive is reported to work on recent computers, with at least:

32bits or 64bits computers with a modern Processor (AMD64 or Intel mono/dual core systems).

A fast hard disc with more that 20Gb of free disc space.

A firewire interface for camcorder capture.

At least 1Gb of RAM.

Screen size : 1024x768 or more.

It looks like I have most of the requirements (except firewire), but I'd like to know what OpenGL it uses, because my graphics card is very old and only supports up to OpenGL 1.4.

There’s also OpenShot 1.4 and Pitivi that may also suit your needs.

OpenShot 1.x is a bit buggy in that it tends to crash… a lot. :expressionless: That’ll be fixed with v2.0 (currently in beta), but neither state any minimum requirements. It depends on how resource hungry the files are, so it may actually crash less (or not at all) if the files are SD.

I found this post from 6 years ago:

It was manageable on my old Pentium 4 that had 2 GB of RAM.

I haven’t used Pitivi, but it’s also full of basic and some advanced features too that may suit your needs. This page states recommended requirements, but again, no minimum requirements. It may depend on the type and quality of the files.

@wolfman Actually, nevermind. I just tried to put together a quick stop-motion animation, and when I went into “Project Settings” to try to change the length of each picture, my whole computer froze (except the cursor) and the hard drive light started going nuts. I had to reboot, and my computer works fine now. :disappointed_relieved:

Sounds like you ran out of ram and went to swap.

What version of UM are you using?, as your PC has limited resources, try using Ubuntu Mate 14.04 if you aren’t already!. :smiley:

@wolfman I’m using UM 15.10. Also, can I install 14.04 while still keeping and being able to run my existing stuff? Do I need a CD/DVD?


yes you would need a DVD/USB image and you can (should) also set your partitions prior to the install and run both 14.04 and 15.10!.

See the partition guide if you don't know how to set partitions:

I’m not actually sure if partitioning it would be possible (or practical). My hard drive is only 40GB, 20 of which are already used.

Also, I tried to install UM 14.04 onto a 16GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade flash drive, and when I boot to the USB drive, it says something like “Operating system not found”. The computer is an IBM ThinkPad T30 (really old, I know, but that’s why I’m using Ubuntu MATE), and to boot from a USB drive, I have to go into the BIOS settings, and the drive appears under “Hard drives” in the boot menu, so I have to change its priority over the internal hard drive. Then it goes into something called “Intel Boot Agent” or something, and that’s when the message appears.

If you only have 40GB HDD then choose which OS you want, either 14.04 or 15.10. (Or wait for 16.04 which is due in April) :smiley:

Did you fully format the USB stick to FAT 32 before you created the bootable disk?. :smiley:

Yes. I already figured out how to create the USB stick. I want to know which directories I need to back up in case the installation fails. I’ve already used Aptik and backed up my home folder, both to one separate partition of the USB drive. There should still be about 8 to 10 GB left on the thumb drive.

You would need to set USB as your main boot device in BIOS so it boots first from the USB stick, the message you are getting about not finding an operating system may be due to the USB stick itself or the boot order you are using?.

Like I said before, decide which OS you want and I would start again from scratch if I were you and backup any or all my files before partitioning/re-installing takes place!.

Ok, I fixed the USB problem. Which directories specifically should I back up? I already backed “home” and used Aptik.

I’m sorry but with less than 1 Gb RAM, You won’t go far. RAM is way more critical than CPU speed in video editing, so try to spend some bucks and increase as much as you can your RAM.
Then, for the software OpenShot, now at 1.4.3 is quite feasable. as it’s simple, quick and give best output format for today.
To reduce the load of processing, when I have several bit of video, or mixed formats to collect together, I previously make a track, let’say of photographs, and/or different little bits of video in different format or resolution. I realize this with Imagination, very useful to prepare and pre-mount, also with sound.
When I have all the spare tracks “finalized”, I join these in OpenShot.

If you don’t have anything saved on the drive you won’t really need to do a backup as there won’t be anything to lose!.

Do a fresh install and if you did create any docs or pics, save them to an external drive (USB stick) before commencing!. :smiley:

Joyoshare Media Cutter, an easy to use and all-sided video editor on Mac and Windows. It supports Pentium III 800 MHz or higher and PIV 1.6 GHz or higher processor on Windows as well as 1G Hz Intel processor or above on Mac. I think it can satisfy your requirements.