Video Capture and Editing under Linux


After I got audio recording for linux working just enough to be dangerous, I decided to start playing with video. This is a rough document of what I have found in the process of trying to do video capture, image processing, and movie making with Linux.

Things you need...

Useful Software


Is a simple, yet very useful, X program for utilizing a TV card. It's written in Xaw, so you don't need the latest GTk or XML libraries for it to work. I got it working with all 50 cable channels I get in full-screen and stereo sound.

Non-Linear Editing Software


from MainConcept GmbH is a professional multimedia processing package consisting of MainActor Sequencer, a timeline-based video sequencer, and MainActor Video Editor, an animation composing and editing program. It is available for both Linux and Microsoft Windows.

There is a free demo version available for download, but the real version costs $85.00 (US) or 149 (DM).

I have used the MainConcept product quite a bit. In fact, I have a list of issues (or bugs) with the software that you can browse here.

In May 2007, MainConcept decided to discontinue development of MainActor. I still have it and it still works, but I am looking at other packages now.

Broadcast 2000

is software licensed under the GPL. It can do high resolution audio and video editing. It has trouble reading many movies I have colected from other sources, but it has its own video capture module to create your own movies. You will want to use XFree86 4.0 or greater.


LiVES began as the Linux Video Editing System. Since it now runs on more operating systems, LiVES is a Video Editing System. It is designed to be simple to use, yet powerful. It is small in size, yet it has many advanced features. I haven't tried it yet.

jahshaka The worlds first OpenSource Realtime Editing and Effects System. Jahshaka takes advantage of the power of OpenGL and OpenML to give its users exceptional levels of performance. I haven't tried it yet.


Alias|Wavefront is the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology for the film, video, games, interactive media, Web3D, industrial design and visualization markets.

There are references that the software, at least some of it, works under Linux, but I can't say for sure. This is a professional suite of software that the big boys use to make real movies with. So don't be surprised if you are expected to by thousands of dollars for it.

Useful Links

listing of video software for linux.

The Linux Hardware Support Page

TV frame grabber cards that work under linux

Multimedia hardware for GNU/Linux

Video 4 Linux 2


XVidCap - Video Capture for X


The GNU VideoCD Image Maker/Ripping Tool

Today's Date: Thursday, 25-Apr-2019 17:09:31 MDT
Last Modified: Tuesday, 23-Jun-2009 11:36:11 MDT
K. Scott Rowe