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Behind every great program, is a great story. Well... I'm not sure if this is a great story or not, but here it is. My name is Jonathan Thomas. I live in Arlington, TX, USA. I am a professional software / web developer (12+ years experience).

In early 2008, I first installed Ubuntu. I was very impressed, but like many people, I realized immediately the lack of a video editor. For weeks I researched, downloaded, configured, compiled, and installed any Linux video editor I could find. It turns out there are many, but none that met my simple criteria:

  • Easy to use
  • Powerful
  • Stable

So, after much consideration, I decided to start my own video editor project in August of 2008. Sounds easy right? However, as I learned, I had many challenges awaiting me.

  • I barely knew Linux
  • I barely knew anything about programming on Linux (all of my experience is with Microsoft C# and the .NET Framework)
  • I had no idea how to mix video & audio via code

I decided it would be an interesting challenge, and it was worth attempting. I quickly decided on the Python programming language, for it's speed, beauty, and it's rich bindings for many libraries.

One of my friends suggested that I should track my progress with a blog. Although I had no experience blogging, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made. It has allowed me to document my key decisions, meet many interesting people, and most importantly, it gives me a direct feedback loop with the Linux video editing community.

The last piece missing from the puzzle was a good multimedia framework (i.e. the library that does all the video and audio mixing). MLT. Enough said.

Once it all started to fit together, I got real excited. Was I actually going to be able to pull this off? Was I actually going to create a video editor? Maybe. But first, it needed a name. A meaningful name. An awesome name. Fast forward 1 month... I still could not think of a name. One day while playing basketball (PIG to be exact), I missed an open shot. My friends started laughing at me, and then it clicked. "OpenShot"... It's perfect. Sounds cheesy, but that's the true story of how I came up with the name "OpenShot".

Officially though, the name stands for a lot more than a missed basketball attempt: Open stands for open-source, and Shot stands for a single cinematic take. Add them together, and you get "OpenShot".

How does this story end? Does OpenShot become the single greatest video editor of all time? Who knows... the rest of this story is still being written. If you would like to start from the beginning, here are my first 4 blogs... back from May 2008:

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If you are visiting this page, it's likely you have encountered a bug, want to request a new feature, or have a question. We use to keep track of all the bugs, feature requests, and questions.

View the OpenShot Help Manual
- Read the official help manual, and learn how to use OpenShot!
- Also available in Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish.

Visit the OpenShot Forum
- Discuss OpenShot with other users.

Report a bug about OpenShot
- If you receive an error or want to request a feature

Ask a question about OpenShot
- If you can't figure out how to install, or any other questions

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What in the world is a PPA you ask? It is an acronym for Personal Package Archive.

This is now the preferred way to install OpenShot for Ubuntu 9.10 and above. If you use an older version of Ubuntu, you will still have to use our .DEB installers. Also, I highly recommend un-installing any existing version of OpenShot (and it's dependencies) before you install via the PPA.

Using this PPA is simple! Just enter the following commands, and that's it. You
should now be able to launch OpenShot!

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) and above
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

Now that OpenShot is installed, you should be able to launch it from your Applications > Sound & Video menu, or from the terminal ($ openshot). Every time we update OpenShot, you will now be prompted to update to the newest version. It's a great way to test our latest features.

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OpenShot's Features include:

OpenShot provides extensive editing and compositing features, and has been designed as a practical tool for working with high-definition video including HDV and AVCHD.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a thousand pictures, right? Here are the first 4 videos of OpenShot ever published! To view a larger version of these videos, click on the link under each video. Enjoy the show!

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A picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look at some of these screenshots! Click any image to see a larger version.

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Welcome to the OpenShot Download Page! There are many ways to install OpenShot: LiveDVD, PPA, DEB Installer, and the Build Wizard. Which one should you use? Please read the description next to each method to decide.

Current Version: 1.2.2 (release notes)


To try OpenShot on any computer (without installing anything), please download the AV Linux LiveDVD. Burn the ISO image to a DVD, and boot your computer with the DVD drive. OpenShot is installed by default, and you can safely evaluate it. AV Linux is a Debian-based multi-media focused Linux distribution.

PPA Instructions (Recommended):

Easy install, and Easy Updating! Our PPA only works with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) and above. Install using the PPA.

Download Installer:

Please choose the correct CPU and OS from the lists below and download the installers. NOTE: Ubuntu 9.10 and above must install from the PPA.

Choose a version:

Build Wizard Instructions (Debian / Ubuntu):

We also have a build wizard available for Debian and Ubuntu, which downloads the latest source code and compiles all of the dependencies.

Source Code Tarball:

If you are just interested in downloading the source code for OpenShot, you can find the tarball with the entire source from our bzr branch. An alternative way to get the latest source code is to use the following command: "bzr branch lp:openshot". To install OpenShot, run the command "sudo python install".

NOTE: This tarball does not include the dependencies that OpenShot requires, such as MLT, FFmpeg, Frei0r, and Sox.

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