A look at GNU/Linux exclusive Flowblade video editor

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Apr 6, 2018

As a journalism student, I deal with both print but also multimedia forms of journalism, on a daily basis.

Generally speaking, I have always used various Adobe software for my needs, such as Audition for my audio, and Premiere for my video while in school, but I know that there is plenty of awesome and free (albeit I will concede, rarely as fully-featured) software out there that could be used to substitute. One example, is Flowblade.

Flowblade is a GNU/Linux exclusive, which is pretty cool really, given that nowadays many of the tools and applications people use on GNU/Linux are available for other systems as well. Thankfully, Flowblade is pretty sophisticated, so many may find it to be more of a suitable replacement for other software, than expected from an exclusive.

Not to be dismissive and say that all GNU/Linux exclusive software is terrible or anything, but its a fairly common opinion of less than stellar software attempting to emulate its Windows counterpart.


The Flowblade download comes in the form of a .deb file, so Debian/Ubuntu/Mint users will have no issue there. Users of most other popular distributions should have no issue finding Flowblade in their repositories; Arch/Antergos/Manjaro users have it in their repo for example.

There is also the option of building from source, for those interested. More information on the download and installation can be found here.


The features page lists a plethora of various goodies, but to list off the just a few I personally feel most noteworthy:

  • Clip and Compositor parenting and resync with other clips
  • Max 9 combined video and audio tracks available
  • Flowblade offers a dedicated Batch Render Queue application. Batch Render Queue is a separate application to Flowblade and runs on different process, so it is possible to close Flowblade without affecting ongoing renders
  • Flowblade G'MIC tool presents user with a selection of commands that can be edited and combined to achieve complex filtering of video clips

The G’MIC tool is something I’m personally still learning to use, but so far it’s pretty neat I have to say, and extremely powerful I’d imagine for someone who really knew how to use it.


Unfortunately, Flowblade isn’t perfect, and there are a few things that in my use of it (you may find other things) I found lacking:

Minimal amount of audio editing available in-house. Granted, usually that’s done first in other software, but there have been many times I have needed touchups, and while you can do a minimal amount; there could use some more power in this direction.

The UI is a bit clunky. Hovertext often will not be on a per-item basis, but will explain multiple buttons to you in the area at once, rather than just explaining the button you are hovering over. Also, the application UI itself (the entire window) can only be minimized so much, and so depending on resolution, number of monitors etc; it may take you some messing around to make it fit or work on your screen.

Not as intuitive – This one, I can’t give specific examples of, but I’ve just noticed that while working, there are numerous times I’ve said to myself, “Oh, I have to do that THIS way?” Or things like, “Hm. Where is this...” So that is worth noting.

Last thoughts

I do rather like Flowblade, and while it’s still not quite on the level I wish it was, it’s pretty good; and the exclusivity of it is at least a little bit warming to my heart, given the less than stellar view on free alternative software to popular paid applications.

Now you: Have you used Flowblade? What other exclusive software do you use? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Paul(us) said on April 6, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    I hear nobody about:

    Should I prefer Vidcutter, OpenShot, Avidemux, kdenlive or DeVeDe or the easy cut and edit work?

  2. buck said on April 6, 2018 at 12:48 pm



  3. buck said on April 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    kdenlive ftw.

  4. RichardT said on April 6, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I agree that Flowblade is not very intuitive and has its own strange way of doing things. I prefer OpenShot. I still haven’t figured out the right way to add a transition in Flowblade; something that is really easy in OpenShot.

    Does anyone have recommendations for software for authoring & burning Blu-ray and DVDs on linux? I have tried DVDStyler which is OK, except it converts the video to 720×576 (for PAL).

    1. anon3 said on April 6, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Try Avidemux or DeVeDe for authoring, and K3b for burning.

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