Troubleshooting and common problems

Here is a list of the most common problems users are reporting, with a solution.

Additional codecs are not available, only raw and avi DV

Kdenlive relies on the MLT video engine.
By default, MLT only handles DV.
To have access to a wide variety of formats, you will need to install codecs.

Installed the audio and video packages listes on the following page:

On some systems, you may need to install the package names 'ffmpeg-unstripped' instead of 'ffmpeg'.

Clip and project monitor only display still images, audio is present


The clip and project monitor shows the correct frames when scrolling through a clip or project.

However, when a clip or a project is played the clip- and project monitor stay black, although the audio is played.


The graphic card may not support hardware acceleration.

Disable use of hardware acceleration in Kdenlive settings. Look for the video driver used by SDL and try changing to x11 or to xvideo and see if it works. You need to restart Kdenlive after that change.

More information:

I cannot render to a specific format (xvid, mpeg 4, flash,...), it is unavailable


You cannot render to some format, the option is greyed out in the rendering dialog:


A greyed out profile means the video or audio codec is not installed on your computer. Kdenlive uses FFmpeg for all video rendering, so you must enable these codecs in FFmpeg.
Step 1

  • If you are using distribution packages, install the full versions of FFmpeg libraries. on Debian style distros, you may need to do something like:
    sudo apt-get install libavcodec-unstripped-52 libavdevice-unstripped-52 libavfilter-unstripped-0 libavformat-unstripped-52 libavutil-unstripped-49 libpostproc-unstripped-51 libswscale-unstripped-0
  • If compiling from source, please check the configure flags to enable the missing codec.

Step 2
After installing those missing libraries, you must run the "Config Wizard" [1] that can be started from Kdenlive's Settings menu. Then restart Kdenlive and the rendering profile should be available now [2].



Kdenlive is not fully translated

Part of Kdenlive translation is fetched from KDE standard interface.
This is the case for strings like "Open file ...", etc.

Install kde-l10n-YOURLANGUAGE package to benefit from a full translation into your language.

Sound is bad and delayed

This problem was reported on Ubuntu stations, which use PulseAudio.
We recommend using the PulseAudio backend to SDL or removing PulseAudio and using only Alsa drivers.

Install the PulseAudio backend for SDL

Kdenlive uses SDL for audio and video output. However, there appears to be a problem somewhere between SDL, ALSA, and PulseAudio. One possible remedy is to install the PulseAudio backend for SDL, if it is available on your distribution. For Debian and Ubunutu based distributions, try this:
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio

If that does not help, make sure you have set the Audio Driver to Auto in Kdenlive settings. Also, try restarting Kdenlive and possibly reboot your computer to reset everything. If that does not work, then consider removing PulseAudio per the directions below.

Remove PulseAudio

Remove the added lines to /etc/asound.conf.
If /etc/asound.conf did not exist when you installed PulseAudio, you may remove /etc/asound.conf entirely.

After this, you may remove all of the installed PulseAudio packages:
sudo apt-get install esound
will remove PulseAudio packages.

To disable pulseaudio you may need to select alsa for for all options in /system/preferences/sound

Log-out and start a new session.
Then test Alsa drivers using this command:
speaker-test -Dplug:surround51 -c6 -l1 -twav to test if

Enable Alsa in Kdenlive

Select Alsa as an audio driver.

Troubleshooting firewire capture

If you experience Firewire problems, please follow these steps:

Which firewire stack is installed ?

GNU/Linux recent kernels may be compiled with an old or a new firewire stack. To understand which firewire stack is installed, query the list of loaded modules

lsmod | egrep 'firewire|1394'

This is the old firewire stack:

ohci1394   37040  0
ieee1394   306104  2 sbp2,ohci1394

This is the new firewire stack:

firewire_sbp2          15152  0
scsi_mod              163832  5 firewire_sbp2,sg,sr_mod,sd_mod,libata
firewire_ohci          23140  0
firewire_core          39492  2 firewire_sbp2,firewire_ohci
crc_itu_t               2288  1 firewire_core

Old firewire stack

Make sure to load modules at boot time:

sudo gedit /etc/modules

Fix udev permissions

# ieee1394 devices
KERNEL=="dv1394*",      NAME="dv1394/%n"
KERNEL=="video1394*", NAME="video1394/%n"

If you still cannot capture from firewire, there may be a bug in udev permission.

Locate the udev configuration file responsible of firewire access.

KERNEL=="dv1394*",    MODE=”0666″,      NAME="dv1394/%n"
KERNEL=="video1394*", MODE=”0666″, NAME="video1394/%n"


New firewire stack

Write a custom udev script and store it in /etc/udev/rules.d/z95_firewire.rules:

# /etc/udev/rules.d/z95_firewire.rules

# Set GROUP="video" for some IEEE 1394 device types, driven by the new firewire stack.
# We cannot use the GROUP directive because the significant device type attributes
# live in child devices. So change the group after the fact with chgrp.

# IIDC devices: industrial cameras and some webcams
KERNEL=="dv1394*|video1394*|raw1394*|fw[0-9]*",    GROUP="video"

# libraw1394 older than v2.0.1 and some special-purpose applications also need
# access to the local node(s).  Alas there is no simple way to tell local nodes apart
# from remote ones; here is a simple hack.

SUBSYSTEM=="firewire", ATTR{vendor_name}=="Linux Firewire", GROUP="video"
# Or if your application needs access to all nodes, simply use:

SUBSYSTEM=="firewire", GROUP="video"


Debug and test using dvgrab

Your username should be part of the video group:

sudo adduser username-foo video

Reboot your system for rules to apply. After reboot, run dvgrab in interactive mode:

dvgrab -i

Type h for help. 

You should be able to rewind and play your camcorder.

If this is the case, enter "q" for quit dvgrab. Kdenlive should now be able to acquire video.

Using AVI clips from xfire (a Windows program)

When importing AVI clips from xfire you may getan error messaging saying that it isn't a support format. This is because xfire use a special codec inside avi files. You may have to transcode the clips in xfire(?) before you can load them into Kdenlive.

Why is the monitor transparent during playback, but works when dragging the timeline?

Try disabling compiz, if it is enabled. Try choosing a different background color in Settings -> Playback. If nothing helps, try starting kdenlive like this:


(or kdenlive_start, if using the build wizard).