Downloading and installing kdenlive

Pre-compiled packages

When downloading packages, make sure to install Kdenlive and MLT video engine 0.5.6. To benefit from a full translation into your language, you will also need kde-i18n packages for your language.

Special message for package maintainers: Kdenlive 0.7.7 and previous versions are deprecated. Please upgrade to Kdenlive, which relies on MLT 0.5.6 and therefore is much more precise. We will not answer bug reports for Kdenlive 0.7.5 and previous versions.

Please report any problem in our forum:

Whenever you install packages, make sure to uninstall any previous installation using the Builder wizard.

Ubuntu packages


The recommended version of Kdenlive is 0.9.2 and MLT 0.8.2

All the following packages have been built with the official ffmpeg version of each Ubuntu release. If you are using some backported version of ffmpeg you can't use those packages.


Support: only for the recommended version

Please report any problem in our forum.


Ubuntu Precise (12.04), Ubuntu Oneiric (11.10), Ubuntu Natty (11.04),Ubuntu Lucid (10.04)

Versions of Kdenlive in official repositories are deprecated. It is strongly recommended to install Kdenlive 0.9 packages using Sunab's alternative repository:

  1. go to System Menu > System Menu > Administration > Software Sources > Other Software (10.04); or
    type 'Software Sources' in Unity Dash > Other Software (12.04, 11.10, 11.04);
  2. click add and paste this line in:
  3. close software source and click reload.

Install Kdenlive with the Software center (11.04, 11.10, 12.04) or your favourite package manager.


Alternatively you can do all the process typing the following command line in a terminal :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sunab/kdenlive-release && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Debian packages


Debian packages are available in the official repositories. Kdenlive 0.7.8-1 is in stable,
the last stable version (currently 0.8.2) is available in testing, and current development version is in unstable. You can check the Kdenlive packages versions here:
Debian packages are available for the following architectures: [alpha] [amd64] [arm] [armel] [hppa] [hurd-i386] [i386] [ia64] [kfreebsd-i386] [kfreebsd-amd64] [m68k] [mips] [mipsel] [powerpc] [s390] [sparc]:

To install Kdenlive packages from Debian repositories.

As root, type:

apt-get install kdenlive frei0r-plugins dvgrab recordmydesktop dvdauthor mkisofs

Upgrade to Debian Unstable

The last released version of Kdenlive is usually available within 10 days in Debian testing, but if you really want to get Kdenlive's current development version, you might want to upgrade to Debian unstable. Be aware that this is for experienced users only and might break parts of your system that are currently working. In Debian terminology, the word unstable indicates that packages are not yet in a stable release. You may experience problems with some recent packages. Make sure you understand what you are doing.

Under root account, add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb-src unstable main contrib non-free
deb unstable main contrib non-free

You may select mirrors in your country for faster download. 

To upgrade to Debian unstable, as root type:

apt-get update;
apt-get dist-upgrade

Install Debian multimedia packages

This is not recommended unless you are using stable (Squeeze).

Some packages are only available from Marillat multimedia repository:

  • mp3lame for mp3 sound export (usefull to export to Mpeg2/Mpeg4/DivX with mp3 sound).
  • x264 for H264 video export.
  • Quicktime container.

Under root account, add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb sid main
deb testing main

Install Debian-multimedia GPG key:
apt-get update ; apt-get install debian-multimedia-keyring

Then upgrade ffmpeg packages typing:
apt-get update ; apt-get ugrade; apt-get install ffmpeg x264 libmp3lame0 libquicktime1

Fedora packages

Kdenlive and MLT are available for Fedora 11 in the RPM Fusion repository:

Gentoo packages

Gentoo offers ebuilds for kdenlive at

A basic install of KDE4 is needed, check the Gentoo KDE 4 Guide if necessary.

Mandriva packages

Kdenlive official repository

Kdenlive 0.7 is reported to be published in the official Mandriva 2009 distribution.

Kdenlive unofficial repository

Kdenlive packages for Mandriva GNU/Linux distribution are available from zarb RPM repository.


Any feedback would be appreciated:

Slackware packages


The recommended version of Slackware is 13.37
-current support has been dropped
-There are now 64-bit packages as well as 32-bit; choose your preference

Update: New packages available! as per 31-05-2012: Kdenlive 0.9.2 and MLT 0.7.8

Recommended versions:

  • MLT 0.7.8
  • Kdenlive 0.9.2
  • Optionally: frei0r 20120516

To install:

  • download the packages from here:
  • Major changes have been made: all the packages for the patent-free software are provided as well as scripts to build the patented software.
    Everything has been built as shared library, which is notable in the amount of packages to support ffmpeg (which was built statically at first)

    New per May 31st 2012:
    - kdenlive 0.9.2
    - MLT 0.7.8
    - ffmpeg and dependencies updated

    Built for Slackware 13.37, which is the supported platform (although I think it should provide no issues on Slackware 13.1)
    Please leave comments in the forums, so everyone can see the status.

openSUSE packages

Kdenlive is available as a packaged rpm prepared by the Packman packagers. It can be installed via One-click install (once there click on the "1 click install" link on the right) or via YaST, if one first adds packman to one's repositories. For guidance on how to setup one's repositories, go here and per the instructions for one's openSUSE version, add OSS, NON-OSS, Main Update, and Packman.

Once the repository is setup then install kdenlive either via yast, or install kdenlive via a command line with root permissions, by typing:

zypper install kdenlive

FreeBSD ports and packages

FreeBSD offers Kdenlive through the ports collection. Unfortunately, FireWire and Webcam capture aren't supported yet; we hope to get them soon! You can track the status of the ports: MLT and Kdenlive.

How to install

Kdenlive depends on FFmpeg to manage your multimedia files. FreeBSD ships with two flavours of this software: stable and development snapshot. Kdenlive dependency defaults to the first one (multimedia/ffmpeg), but you're invited to install multimedia/ffmpeg-devel in place of it. If (and only if) you're using portupgrade, you need to specify the alternate dependency in /usr/local/etc/pkgtools.conf (ALT_PKGDEP), or you will get a conflict; this is one of the reasons which made me choose not to depend on the development port (every other port is depending on multimedia/ffmpeg at the moment), but things could change in the future.
Often, users complain about missing codecs while importing or exporting video and audio files: this depends on FFmpeg being installed without support for them. On FreeBSD it's rather easy to overcome this problem: just build FFmpeg from the ports, and remember that the more options you enable in the port configuration, the more codecs you'll be able to work with.
Consider yourself advised against using a package: with the default options you won't even get MP3 support.

Now you simply have to launch Kdenlive installation. You can choose between ports and packages.

Install from ports

This is the recommended way, since you can always get the latest version in the tree:

  1. upgrade your ports tree (click here for instructions);
  2. check /usr/ports/UPDATING for eventual instructions related to MLT or Kdenlive;
  3. # cd /usr/ports/multimedia/kdenlive && make install clean or # portupgrade -N kdenlive or # portmaster multimedia/kdenlive or # portmanager multimedia/kdenlive.

Install from packages

If you want to avoid building Kdenlive and all its dependencies, you can use packages. You won't always get the latest version (here's a list of the available packages):

# pkg_add -r kdenlive or # portupgrade -NPP kdenlive or # portmaster -PP multimedia/kdenlive.

Mix ports and packages

With portupgrade or portmaster you can use both ports and packages to install the latest version of the applications:

  1. # cd /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/portupgrade or # cd /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/portmaster;
  2. # make install clean;
  3. # portupgrade -NP kdenlive or # portmaster -P multimedia/kdenlive.

Portupgrade, or portmaster, respectively, will install packages if they are up to date, otherwise it will build from the ports.

Mac OS X packages from MacPorts

Kdenlive and MLT can compile and run under Mac OS X. Packages are available from the MacPorts project.

MacPorts is a source-based system - there is not a binary app bundle for Kdenlive. Therefore, Kdenlive and all of its numerous dependencies including multimedia libraries, KDE, and Qt must be compiled. This can take a long time and much disk space! Furthermore, it is not unusual for something not to build correctly; it is definitely not something for the novice, impatient, or "faint of heart."

System: Leopard or Snow Leopard

Kdenlive and MLT were tested on Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6, Intel platform.
We welcome your feedback on Mac OS C 10.5 PowerPC platform, not test was done.

Kdenlive could not be compiled on Mac OS X 10.4.

Install MacPorts

Follow these guidelines:

If MacPorts is already installed on your computer, upgrade installed ports:
% sudo port -d selfupdate
% sudo port -u upgrade outdated

Install Kdenlive

Run the following command:
% sudo port install kdenlive


Run the following commands:
% sudo chown -R $USER ~/Library/Preferences/KDE
% sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist
% sudo chown $USER /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist
% launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist
% open -a kdeinit4

If you want to reclaim disk space:
% sudo port clean --all installed

Add a Login Item:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences...
  2. Click Accounts
  3. Click Login Items
  4. Click +
  5. In the file dialog, go to /Applications/MacPorts/KDE4
  6. Select kdeinit4
  7. Click Add
  8. Close the System Preferences window

Running Kdenlive

There are a few ways:

  • In a terminal:
    % open -a kdenlive
  • From Finder or the Dock
    1. Switch to the Finder
    2. Navigate to /Applications/MacPorts/KDE4
    3. Double-click kdenlive
    4. Drag kdenlive to the Dock if you want

    Note: you will not get a pretty icon in the Dock when it is not running.

  • In Spotlight (after it has re-indexed), enter "kdenlive" and choose it from the Applications section of the results.

Not Launching?

If after performing the above, Kdenlive still does not launch, then check your process listing to see if dbus (one with --system and one with --session), kdeinit4, and klauncher are running.

% ps ax | grep [d]bus
% ps ax | grep [k]de

These must be running for Kdenlive to run, but the Kdenlive port is not responsible for making them work. You should review the above instructions.

Removing Kdenlive

To remove just Kdenlive:
% sudo port uninstall --follow-dependents kdenlive

To remove Kdenlive and all of MacPorts:


Please make your feedback here:

Installing from source

Kdenlive is at the crossroads of several free software libraries providing multimedia services. Therefore, the compilation process is rather long. It makes sense to at least get the development version of MLT and ffmpeg as well since these projects (especially MLT) are closely connected. If you need some new effects from frei0r, SoX, or another resource, you may want to compile it as well.

Make sure to install the components in the right order (as listed here), and to complete each step before starting with the next one.

Please report any compilation problem on our Forum: Installing from source.

Build Script

As an alternative to this manual procedure, there is a build script that gets the latest version of Kdenlive and many of its multimedia dependencies including x264, libvpx, FFmpeg, frei0r, MLT. Then, it builds them into an isolated folder in your home directory and does not require installation. Rather, when you run it with the provided launch script, it uses the more recent libraries and plugins instead of those from packages.

Installing the required libraries

First step is to install the required libraries. These libraries are rather stable and part of every GNU/Linux distribution. They will be needed in the compilation process of FFmpeg, MLT and Kdenlive.

Build Script

As an alternative to this manual procedure, there is a build script that gets the latest version of Kdenlive and many of its multimedia dependencies including x264, libvpx, FFmpeg, frei0r, MLT. Then, it builds them into an isolated folder in your home directory and does not require installation. Rather, when you run it with the provided launch script, it uses the more recent libraries and plugins instead of those from packages.

Packages and Version Numbers

Version numbers of the libraries may change. If you cannot find the exact name of a library, e.g. libpango1.0-dev, try searching for a different package starting with libpango and ending with -dev. Also sometimes a version number is necessary although it is not written here (e.g. the list below says libpango-dev, but the package is called libpango1.0-dev) — or also the other way round.

When installing packages in the terminal, e.g. with
apt-get install package1 package2 …
, the Tabulator key will be a great help: Type libpango and press Tab twice to see all possible packages.


For easier installing, this is the list of the required libraries. They are explained below.

subversion git cmake build-essential yasm libqt4-dev kdelibs5-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libxml2-dev libx264-dev libtheora-dev libxvidcore-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libschroedinger-dev libmp3lame-dev libfaac-dev libfaad-dev libgsm1-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libsamplerate0-dev libjack-dev libsox-dev ladspa-sdk swh-plugins libmad0-dev libpango1.0-dev

General tools

To download the source code you will need to install Subversion and git.

  • subversion
  • git
  • cmake

Additionally required for compiling stuff:

  • build-essential
  • yasm modular assembler (for H.264 decoding)

General libraries

  • Qt 4 and KDE 4 development files (libqt4-dev and kdelibs5-dev)
  • SDL (libsdl1.2-dev, libsdl-image1.2-dev)
  • libXML2 (libxml2, libxml2-dev)

Screen capture

  • recordmydesktop

Firewire and DV capture

  • dvgrab
  • libdv (libdv4-dev)
  • libdc1394 (libdc1394-22-dev)

Audio and video codecs

  • x264 codecs (x264, libx264-dev)
  • Theora codecs (libtheora-dev)
  • Xvid codecs (libxvidcore-dev)
  • OGG (libogg-dev)
  • Vorbis (libvorbis-dev)
  • Dirac lossless codec (libschroedinger-dev)
  • Lame audio codec (libmp3lame-dev)
  • Libquicktime (libquicktime-dev)
  • faac codecs (libfaac-dev)
  • faad codecs (libfaad-dev)
  • GSM (libgsm, libgsm1-dev)
  • speech codecs (libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev)

Sound processing and effects

  • libsamplerate (libsamplerate0-dev)
  • libJack (libjack-dev)
  • SOX (sox, libsox-dev)
  • ladspa (ladspa-sdk)
  • ladspa plugins (swh-plugins)
  • libmad (libmad0-dev)

Video effects and image processing

  • frei0r effects (frei0r-plugins, frei0r-plugins-dev) only if you do not intend to compile frei0r yourself!
  • gdk-pixbuf-dev
  • libpango1.0-dev


MLT relies on FFmpeg compilation parameters. If your distribution ships with an outdated FFmpeg version, it may not be able to use the audio and video codecs like H.264 or AVCHD. In this case, recompile FFmpeg with all needed options or ask FFmpeg packager to upgrade.

Please inform us of additional dependencies that we may have forgotten.

Installing FFmpeg

Installing FFmpeg packages

Most distributions provide packages for FFmpeg. The required packages for MLT compilation are:

  • ffmpeg
  • libavformat, libavformat-dev
  • libavutil, libavutil-dev,
  • libswscale, libswscale-dev,
  • libavcodec, libavcodec-dev,
  • libavdevice, libavdevice-dev

After installation, type ffmpeg to view ffmpeg compilation parameter, which must match our parameters (read below).

Compiling FFmpeg from sources

If your distribution does not provide a recent version of FFmpeg, it is recommended to compile FFmpeg from git. However you must be very careful to remove your distribution packages before installing the compiled ones, or you may be in trouble. Also remove any file from the Kdenlive installation wizard if you used it.

Install the needed libraries and make sure yasm assemby code compiler is installed.

Note on Ubuntu 10.10: ffmpeg requires libx264 of at least version 1.0 which is not in the repositories yet as of Jan 2011. Please follow this guide instead to install ffmpeg with H.264 support.

1. Get the source

Check out the ffmpeg source code from git into a new directory (called ffmpeg):

git clone git://
cd ffmpeg

(If you get an error message that git cannot be found, you need to install the package git.)

Alternatively, you can use the new Libav:

git clone git://
cd libav

2. Configure ffmpeg

To configure ffmpeg with the recommended compilation flags (determine which formats can be encoded etc.):

./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-shared --enable-libmp3lame --enable-gpl --enable-libfaac --enable-libvorbis --enable-pthreads --enable-libfaac --enable-libxvid --enable-x11grab --enable-libgsm --enable-libx264 --enable-libtheora --enable-libdc1394 --enable-nonfree --disable-stripping --enable-avfilter --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-version3

It is possible that you get some error messages here, like ERROR: libopencore_amrwb not found. In this case check whether the according library is really installed. If you cannot install it, delete the flag (in this case it would be --enable-libopencore-amrwb) from the above command and execute it again.

3. Compile and install ffmpeg

To compile and install ffmpeg, execute the following commands (still from the same directory):

make -j3
sudo make install

Compiling will take some time (possibly several minutes). After ffmpeg is installed you are ready to continue with MLT or, if desired, frei0r.

4. Optional: Updating ffmpeg

After some days/weeks you want to update your self-compiled copy of ffmpeg. To do so, first update the source code by running:

cd ffmpeg
git pull

Then run

make clean

to get rid of previously compiled files and continue with steps 2 and 3.

Installing frei0r

To compile the development version of frei0r, if you want to use an effect that is not available in a package. Make sure to first uninstall frei0r (frei0r-plugins, frei0r-plugins-dev, frei0r-plugins-doc for example) before installing the compiled version.


Some additional libraries are required for frei0r.

  • libcv-dev
  • libgavl-dev
  • libhighgui-dev
  • libcvaux-dev

in a line libcv-dev libgavl-dev libhighgui-dev libcvaux-dev

Compiling and installing fei0r

In the terminal, check out the frei0r source code from the git repository:

git clone git://

Then change to the frei0r directory and compile/install it:

cd frei0r
mkdir build
cd build && cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr && make -j3
sudo make install

Updating frei0r

To update frei0r to the current version, type:

cd frei0r
git pull
rm -rf build && mkdir build
cd build && cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr && make -j3
sudo make install

Installing MLT rendering engine

You can download the latests official release of MLT from

But it is recommended to use the latest development version which contains bug fixes. This page explain how to compile and install this version from the source code. If you just want to use the latest MLT component but keep an official Kdenlive released, please read this:

Remove MLT previous installation

You should uninstall previous versions of MLT very carefully. Warning: to remove MLT, you will need to connect under root account. There is a risk to destroy your operating system if you remove the wrong files.

  • Use your package installer to remove any mlt* and libmlt* packages.
  • Inspect /usr/local/lib and /usr/lib directories and look for mlt* and libmlt*. Remove files and directories if any.
  • Remove pkgconfig files (mlt-framework.pc, mlt-miracle.pc and mlt-valerie.pc). Remove the following files: /usr/lib/pkgconfig/libmlt*, /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/libmlt*.

Install dependencies

Make sure you have the following packages installed:

  • libxml2-dev
  • libsdl-dev
  • libsdl-image-dev
  • libavdevice-dev
  • libswscale-dev
  • libvorbis-dev
  • libsamplerate-dev
  • frei0r-plugins-dev (must notbe installed you compiled frei0r from source)
  • libdv-dev
  • libavformat-dev
  • libquicktime-dev

We also recommand that you install:

  • libsox-dev
  • libjack-dev
  • ladspa-sdk

Get latest MLT source code

Git is used to track MLT code. You can checkout the latest version with the following command:

git clone git://
cd mlt

To update your MLT copy later, you need to go into your mlt folder and run the following code to fetch the newest source code:

cd mlt
git pull

Configure MLT

Before compiling, MLT needs to be configured (searches for libraries etc.):

./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-gpl

Or, if qimage module fails to configure, try:

./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-gpl --qimage-libdir=/usr/lib/ --qimage-includedir=/usr/include/qt4

Read configuration output and make sure all shared libraries are found.

Compile and install MLT

The last step. Compiling will take a long time.

make clean
make -j3
sudo make install

If you are not on Ubuntu, then use su -c 'make install' instead of sudo make install.

Get a specific MLT version

This is only necessary when you experience problems with the most recent MLT version. To list the available tags and select one (e.g. v0.4.6) do:
git tag -l
git checkout tag

To switch back to the most up-to-date version use master as tag. After checking out the tag you need to do a git pull again.

Installing Kdenlive

Stable release

Kdenlive latest stable release can be downloaded from the KDE servers. (release before 0.9 are still available on our SourceForge page).

Getting the latest source code

Alternatively, you can checkout the development of Kdenlive from the git server:

git clone git://

You can also browse source code online ( | Quickgit).

If you want to build the current stable branch (0.9):

git checkout v0.9

Or to build the current development code:

git checkout master

Compiling and installing Kdenlive

Then, in the kdenlive directory, where the files have been downloaded to, type:

mkdir build; cd build; cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr; make
sudo make install

Updating your sources to the latest version

To later update to latest version of the source code:

git pull

Then make and make install and previously described.

Live demonstration on DVD or USB-storage

Running Windows and willing to test Kdenlive?

Update 14th of september 2010:
The live DVD and USB versions are outdated and should not be used anymore.

We provide a live demonstration which boots on DVD or USB mass-storage, and offers your a selection of the best multimedia softwares ... without the need to install to hard disc. After booting, you will have access to your Windows hard drive to read, import and export media. So you can only use the USB key/DVD to boot into Linux, run Kdenlive and exit.

Should I choose live DVD or live USB?

Both USB key and DVD allow to read and write to a Windows 95/XP/Vista/7 hard drive.

If you have the choice, we recommend you to choose to build an USB key. The USB Key will be able to memorize your configuration (keyboard, langage, etc...) and will allow you to install addition software, to the limit of available space on the USB key. The USB Key acts a a small hard disc and therefore is superior to a DVD.

The minimal size of the USB Key is 2Gb. A 4Gb key is recommended. Do not buy an expensive and large key as you will be able to read and write videos to your Windows hard disc. If you buy a larger key than 4Gb, you may be able to store your media. Your choice depends on your budget.


The live demonstration is provided on DVD and USB mass-storage.

Choose an image and click to download:

Detailed information

Unless you choose to resize your hard disc or decide to install GNU/Linux, it will not modify your operating system and will execute in memory only. After shuting down your computer, your old operating system is back. See boot screenshots.

If you choose the USB mass-storage flavour, it will execute as fast as an installed GNU/Linux system and allow complex video editing. The live demonstration is intended for Windows and Intel MacOsX users, who may be looking for a free software solution.

The live demonstration provides a usable Gnome desktop with several audio and video applications:

  • Kdenlive 0.7.4 video editor with MLT 0.4.2
    with all existing audio and video filters.
  • Linux 2.6.30 kernel.
  • FFmpeg video codecs, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs. Support for a wide range of containers: AVI, MP4, OGG, Quicktime, etc...
  • Blender 3D modeler
  • Audacity audio editor
  • Ardour audio station
  • All Xorg graphical drivers, including latest ATI and Nvidia accelerated cards.
  • Nvidia VDPAU hardware decoding extensions. mplayer and mencoder provided. Kdenlive cannot yet use VDPAU. To play with VDPAU, download footage from our camcorder database and mplayer -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau path/to/file.
  • Compatible with Virtual box, Qemu and VMware virtualizers (guest modules and graphical drivers included).
  • Gparted partition resizer with support for FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, UFS and many other files systems.
  • And much more ...

The live demonstration will be upgraded to Kdenlive 0.7.6 as soon as Debian fixes some packaging issues. Stay tuned.

This live demo also includes a Debian installer. Read our guide and make sure you understand what you are doing. Before resizing partitions or installing GNU/Linux, you should make a complete backup of your system.

Preparing the media

This section describes how to transfert the downloaded files to DVD or USB disc.

Burning the Live DVD

This section describes how to burn a live DVD.


You can use GnomeBaker to burn the DVD:

  1. Select the 'Tools' menu, then "Burn DVD image'.
  2. Select the DVD image and Click 'OK'.
  3. In the dialog, click 'OK' to burn.


Download and install Infrarecorder, a free and open source image burning program:

  1. Insert a blank DVD in the drive and select Do nothing or Cancel if an autorun dialog pops up.
  2. Open Infra Recorder, and select the 'Actions' menu, then 'Burn image'.
  3. Select the live DVD image file you want to use, then click 'Open'.
  4. In the dialog, click 'OK'. 


Use Apple's Disk Utility (Disk Copy in older versions)


Preparing the Live USB mass-storage

This section describes how to transfer the Live image to a USB mass-storage.

Warning: do not use u3 compliant USB keys

Some new USB keys have a bootable hidden partition, called "u3", which cannot be deleted. Most Sandisk USB keys are u3 compliant. These keys will need to be erased using proprietary software to gain full access. Avoid these keys or your computer will not be able to boot the USB key. To remove use (Windows) or (Mac).

Warning: low quality USB keys

If you are running Windows, some USB keys may be bootable after using "HP USB disk storage format tool" to reformat the key :


The USB mass-storage can be a USB key, a USB disc or a USB stick. Your bios should be recent enough to boot on USB media. The USB mass-storage size should be equal or larger than 2Gb.



Plug-in your USB mass storage. Try to identify the device node. If you are not used to command lines, run gParted:

  1. In the menu 'Gparted', select 'Devices'.
  2. Select the USB mass-storage and note the device path: /dev/sdX where X is a letter.
  3. Right click on the USB mass-storage and click unmount.
  4. Quit Gparted.

Now use the dd command line utility to write the mass-storage. Make sure that you overwrite the whole device, not just the first partition of it that you normally mount, i.e. /dev/sdX instead of the more familiar /dev/sdX1. As root, enter:

dd if=$DOWNLOAD.img of=$USBDRV

where $DOWNLOAD is the image that you downloaded and $USBDRV is the device node of your USB key, in the above example /dev/sdX and not /dev/sdX1.


Download and install WinRaWrite, a free software to copy the Live image onto a Usb mass-storage.

  1. In floppy drive, select your USB mass-storage
  2. Click on Image File and select the downloaded image.
  3. Click on 'Write'. Click 'Exit' when finished.

Please note that after this step your USB mass-storage will be unreadable by Windows.

Warning: do not unplug your USB key until Windows finished data transfer. Right clic on the USB key to unmount the key. Windows should inform you that the key may be safely removed. Or your USB key may be unreadable.

Preparing your computer

Most computers have a defaut setup to boot on a DVD or USB mass-storage:

  • Intel/AMD PCs:
    • Just after reboot, the BIOS dispays information.
    • You may then hit ESC or F2 key (or whatever key is displayed) to enter BIOS. 
    • Change your BIOS to allow booting on DVD or USB Mass-storage.
    • The boot order may be DVD/USB and then disc.
  • Intel MacOsX:
    • In the finder settings, select boot icon. Choose "Boot using another operating system" and select the live DVD or the Live USB mass-storage. 
    • Reboot.


Tips : if a USB memory stick is inserted before booting, pressing F8 to interrupt the usual boot process will bring up a dialog giving the option to boot from the USB stick after all :)

Starting a live session, without installing

Insert the disc or the USB mass-storage in your computer and reboot. A Bios dialog is displayed:

Hit return or enter "live" to start a live session:

Your computer is being discovered, a lot of messages are being displayed:

The demo system is up and ready:

If you are not using an English/American QWERTY keyboard, select System menu, Preferences menu, Keyboards to setup your keyboard:

Click on Add to choose a Keyboard. When done, press Close.

 To start Kdenlive, choose Applications menu, Sound&Video menu, Kdenlive icon:

A wizard displays:

Choose your default camcorder standard:

Important: Disable audio and video thumbnails. Thumbnails are stored on disc and you don't have access to your computer disc. This will save memory.

Et voilà! You can now test kdenlive:


Full persistence and home automounting (USB key only)

In this section, we will boot the newly created USB Key and add full persistence and home automounting. It will make your USB Key act as a real hard disc, allowing you to install additional software and remember your personal settings.

Please note that this does not apply to live DVD.

Free space on USB Key

After booting the USB key, launch Gparted in System -> Administration -> Gparted

In our example, we are using a minimal 2Gb USB Key. 1Gb free space is available:

We propose a simple rule, where 50% of free space should be for full persistence and 50% for home automounting.

You may experience problems to type on non-US keyboard. If this is the case, choose another keyboard in System->Preferences->Keyboard.

Full persistence

With "full persistence" it is meant that instead of using a tmpfs for storing modifications to the read-only media (with the copy-on-write, COW, system) a writable partition is used. In order to use this feature a partition with a clean writable supported filesystem on it labeled "live-rw" must be attached on the system at bootime.

This is very useful to be able to install additional software, keep your personal settings, such as keyboard, language, etc ...

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:


  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • Select ext3 file system as it is very common under GNU/Linux and well supported.
  • Label the partition "live-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Home automounting

If during the boot a partition (filesystem) image file or a partition labeled home-rw will be discovered, this filesystem will be directly mounted as /home, thus permitting persistence of files that belong to the e.g. default user. It can be combined with full persistence.

This partition can be used to store data on the USB Key and exchange data after rebooting under Windows.
if you plan to read and write data directly on your Windows hard disc, you don't really need this partition.

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:


  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7, select ntfs file system.
  • If you are using Windows 95 or any derived version from DOS, select fat-32 file system.
  • Label the partition "home-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Apply changes and reboot

To apply your changes, click on apply. Applying modifications will take a few seconds. Then you should see your three partitions:

Close GParted and reboot your system:

  • Select System -> Shutdown.
  • Click on the Reboot button.

After reboot, your system should be persistent.

Using the live demonstration to resize a Windows partition

Windows users may need to resize a partition in order to install a dual-boot system and free space for a GNU/Linux partition.


  • Make sure your computer is connected to a reliable power source and will not shutdown during partion resizing.
  • Make a complete backup of your data. When your backup is finised, disconnect the backup for the computer.

  • You should be aware that resizing partitions is not a normal daily maintenance task. This is an exceptional tool, which can fail and make your desktop system unusable. Preferably, you can also by a new hard disc and avoid partition resizing.

  • You should free at lease 20Mb for the system and 25Mb to store movies, which is a minimum.

Supported file systems

  • DOS, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions. 
  • Most Unix partitions can be resized. 
  • There is no support for resizing MacOsX partitions.

Required steps

Start a normal live session.

Unmount the disc that would like to resize. Right click on the disc and select "Unmount". You cannot resize a disc which is mounted.

Run gParted: in System menu, Administration menu, select Partition editor.

In gParted windows, select the partition that you wish to resize.

In Partion menu, select Move/Resize:

Move partition borders to resize the partition:

When done, click on Resize/Move:

When done, click on Apply changes.

Wait until your changes are fully applied. Depending on the size of the partition, this may take a long time.

Starting the GNU/Linux Debian installer


  • This page describes how to install a fresh GNU/Linux system on your computer. Do not read this page if you only intend to use the Live DVD in demonstration mode.
  • Before installing a new operating system, you should backup all your files on DVDs or fixed backup. Do not connect your backup to the computer during installation to avoid any accidental erase.
  • A free partition with at least 20Gb should be available.
  • Our installer is a Debian GNU/Linux installer. It is provided without liability or in countries which do not accept limited liabilities a maximum liability of 1€ as a total.
  • If you are not aware of GNU/Linux, please ask for help to friends or people with a good knowledge in GNU/Linux. A good way to learn GNU/Linux is to use the Live DVD in demo mode until you have sufficient knowledge. Do not install GNU/Linux directly without any support for "real" people.

Main installation steps

Make sure to connect to Internet using an ethernet cable. Do not use this installer using Wired networks, as your wifi card may not be recognized during installation. Without any wired connection to the Internet, do not performe an installation.

Insert live DVD and reboot. By default this is a QWERTY keyboard. Enter "installgui" to start the installation.

Choose your language:

Choose a language variant:

Choose your keyboard:

Your computer is being discovered:

To be written in more details...


Live DVD support and changelog

Feedback and suggestions

Use this forum thread:


Register Kdenlive web site and visit our forum:

How to build a Debian Live demonstration


Source code

Source packages for Live DVD (required by Free Software rules, no need to download).

Virtualbox images

For testing purpose, we provide Virtualbox images.

The image includes:

  • 100 Gb virtual hard disc
  • A GNU/Linux Debian system
  • Virtual guest addition
  • Recent Kdenlive packages
  • A set of multimedia software

The images are provided in two flavours:

Kdenlive 64 bits guest

Use this guest if your system is installed with a 64bits host.

Do not install a 64bits guest in a 32 bits host. It will not work.

Kdenlive 32 bits guest

This version is in preparation. Stay tuned.


Visit and install Virtualbox from the download page:

If you are using GNU/Linux, Virtualbox is already part of most distributions.

Then run Virtualbox and select "Import virtual environment" from the file menu. Follow the wizard.

If you share a directory called "kdenlive" on the host, it will be visible on the guest.

After booting-up, go to System->Preferences->Keyboard and select a Keyboard compatible with your country.


Daily user: kdenlive(username)/kdenlive(password)
Administrative user: root(username)/kdenlive(password)


Virtualbox is not able to virtualize firewire ports. Therefore you will not be able to capture from your camcorder. You will be able to play DV and HDV files, not AVCHD. Be aware that this is only a demo package for demonstration of Kdenlive AND GNU/Linux. We do not think that running Kdenlive in a virtualbox is a suitable solution for daily work.