Kdenlive: Tips on installing the application

I make this entry to give some recommendations on the installation of the Kdenlive video editing application since, since the entry that covered this topic, some changes have occurred.

It is best to install the version that comes in the repositories of our distribution from the application installation wizard or from Synaptic (for me one of the best package managers).

This is so so that, after all, although it is not the most recent version, it is the one that the developers have considered the most stable, and this is good to take into account. Sometimes pretending to have the latest version is counterproductive.

The version that I recommend (and I know that it is the most stable and solves many past errors) is 18.12.X with the ending (X) highest we find (this refers to the last digit, thus remaining 18.12.1 B for example).

As for versions 19.04 … better abstain since it is still very unstable and has many bugs and malfunctions.

Let’s see below the different options to install different or more current versions than the one that comes in our system.

Do not forget to read the important recommendations at the end of the article.

Using the AppImage

(The best option to try different versions until we find the most stable one in our system)

In some distributions, sometimes, the version of the repositories is not the latest (or even gives execution errors) so it is best to download the AppImage from the KDE project page.

In some distributions it is recommended to use the kdenlive-18.12.1b-x86_64.appimage for being the most evolved and stable of the options we have.

But if it doesn’t convince us, we can try other ones that are available on the page.

If we want to use the latest version (kdenlive-19.04.0b-x86_64.appimage) it is recommended to have a distribution as recent as possible so that it can work without errors. And it doesn’t work on all distros or desktop environments. I have not yet obtained a satisfactory result with this latest version, so at the moment I do not recommend it, too many errors. It can be said that it is a trial version and not a final version to work with.

What is an “AppImage”? Well, in a colloquial way and without going into a technical way on this matter, it can be said that an AppImage is like a portable application that comes in a single file with everything necessary to run on any computer, in this case, that uses a distribution Linux.

How do you run an AppImage? In a very simple way, it must be in our home or in a folder within the home. In my case, I have created a folder called AppImages for these types of files. To execute it, it is as simple as giving it execution permissions and then double-clicking on the file in question and the application will open.

To give execution permissions, simply right-click on the appimage file and enter its properties, and from the “Permissions” tab, activate the execution option.01.pngWe can also do this from a terminal, we place ourselves with it in the folder where the appimage is and we execute the following command:

chmod +x nombreDeLa.AppImage

Or if we are not in the folder, the command would be:

chmod +x ~/Carpeta/Donde/Tenemos/El/Archivo/nombreDeLa.AppImage

Do not forget that if the path where we have the file has any space, we will have to enclose the aforementioned path in quotation marks.

From repositories

(May not work well on certain distributions or versions)

From a terminal we can add the repositories to obtain the latest stable version; then I put the commands to execute. Although I warn that these may not work depending on which distributions and versions.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install kdenlive

If for whatever reason, having added the repositories the result is not the desired one (the problems can be multiple, from dependency problems to unstable versions in our system), it is best to eliminate these repositories as follows:

sudo apt purge --autoremove kdenlive
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable
sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install kdenlive

When removing the repository, the first thing to do is uninstall the application and, once the repository is removed, reinstall it.

With the first command I put “sudo apt purge – -autoremove kdenlive”The application and its dependencies are eliminated (it is convenient to check that these are installed when reinstalling the application). In the final recommendations of this article I cite some packages that it is convenient to check if they are installed and, if not, install them to enjoy a better experience with Kdenlive.

Using the Flatpak version

(It may install an unstable version or it may not work properly)

We also have the option to install the Flatpak version. To get the download file, we can do it from this page, in order to more help on Flatpak see the next page.

It is recommended to install the most recent stable version. Flatpak is usually the same as the AppImage, but in some cases it is not, so it is advisable to check the versions.

And remember that, if we install the latest version, 19.04 (not recommended yet), we must have the most up-to-date distribution possible to obtain an optimal performance by library themes. Neither in KDE has this latest version worked optimally. I have tried it on several systems and it does not work out well (even in kubuntu 19.04) and too many errors to be able to work reliably. We trust that the KDE team will solve them quickly and we can enjoy this new version in a short space of time.

Final Recommendations

Once we have the application installed and working correctly, we can install some additional libraries to make sure we have all the essential effects and, if we wish, have the application in Spanish (if it is more comfortable than having it in English).

To make sure we have all the effects

For the purposes, the command I put is for distributions based on Debian, those of you who use other distros will surely know more about this topic than I do.

sudo apt-get install frei0r-plugins swh-plugins dvdauthor dvgrab sonnet-plugins

Application in Spanish almost 100%

And for the language (ditto for the command for Debian derivatives)

sudo apt-get install kde-l10n-es

Recommended to install the Breeze style of Kde if we do not use this environment

If you like Kdenlive, but don’t use the KDE desktop environment and want to have the Breeze theme (Elegant and above all without display errors) and the dark themes of the interface, and by the way solve some small display problems derived from using environments other than KDE you can install the following package:

  • kde-style-breeze – occupies with its 0.9Mb dependency (899kb – really for what it occupies it is worth installing it and being able to have this nice theme).
  • To install it you can do it from synaptic (looking for the aforementioned package) or from the terminal with the following line in Debian and derivatives based on this distribution:
sudo apt install kde-style-breeze

Once installed, you can go to the menu “Preferences ⇒ Style” to choose the one you like the most; I personally really like the Breeze song (Breeze in Spanish) because it looks so good. Then in “Preferences ⇒ Theme” you can choose between normal, light color or “Dark” (dark in Spanish). I personally like “Dark” a lot and it relieves eyestrain if we work long hours with the application.

Annex on some distributions

I know that in some distributions (such as Centos) both the installation from repositories and Flatpak give errors and the application does not run correctly, but the issue is resolved using the AppImage, so this option is the one I recommend when we have these types of errors to have the latest stable version and avoid problems.

I wish it is useful to you.

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