A sincere note/plea to the developers of Kdenlive


I am the maintainer of AV Linux a small independent multimedia ISO based on 32bit Debian Squeeze. Over the last few years AV Linux has grown and built a reputation for providing a stable platform for both audio and video applications and is the official LiveDVD for Openshot and LiVES, it has been my pleasure to also provide Kdenlive although you guys don't make it easy! I am writing this in addition to this post on my forum: http://www.remastersys.com/forums/index.php?topic=2451.0

As the post above indicates Kdenlive currently is at a place currently where it will be no longer distributable for the soon to be released AV Linux 6.0, as I was careful to indicate this is due to a variety of factors and I'm not questioning the development decisions made by the developers of Kdenlive or MLT because they are none of my business. I will let you know for you own consideration that AV Linux sees about 10000 FTP downloads in an average month and probably an additional 1000 torrent downloads, these are small numbers compared to giant distros like Ubuntu but I can honestly say other than users of your kdenlive-svn PPA that AV Linux gives one of the best OOTB user experiences out there with Kdenlive and it's NLE contemporaries. It is unthinkable both to myself and many other users that Kdenlive will not be available on the next AV Linux release (without using the build scripts). At this point I will switch from 'note' to 'plea' and ask if any of the following options would be possible:

1. Make MLT fully compatible with both ffmpeg 0.7.X and 0.8.X...yes I'm dreaming big!

2. Make Kdenlive 0.9.2 compatible with MLT 0.7.6 which was the last fully functional version compatible with ffmpeg 0.7.X and is also the best performing version with Openshot 1.4.2+

3. Provide a GIT checkout URL for a snapshot between 0.9.0 and 0.9.2 where MLT 0.7.6 was still valid.

Let me be clear that although this is a frustrating issue it is my intention to be constructive and not critical, I hold Kdenlive in very high regard and it has earned it's place as the most fully featured Linux NLE through countless hours of your hard work, I simply want to continue to provide a good working example of your combined efforts to the growing number of AV Linux users.

Please consider my request and in any case thanks for taking the time to read it.

Sincere regards, Glen MacArthur - AV Linux Maintainer.


Well since no reply has been forthcoming after several days I have ended up building Kdenlive 0.9.3 (GIT) from the build script and creating a Deb package that installs to /opt. This is a disappointing workaround however not quite as disappointing as the complete lack of acknowledgement by the Kdenlive developers.

In any case sincere thanks for the build scripts since without them Debian Squeeze users would be out of luck.

Glad to see you have managed a workaround to this problem, although not the best solution.

At least you've got Kdenlive 0.9.3 which, unfortunately, is giving me a number of problems.

It's absolutely dead at Mantis Bug Tracker with my reports soon drifting off the bottom of the list. Not bothering with reporting any more at the moment.

Must be the holiday season, taking a well earned break from our nagging :-)....but of course this is no help to you.

Sorry that you didn't get an "official" response.

I don't really understand the technical reasons why you are having trouble including kdenline in your distro, but for my two cents worth, I've tried most of the video editors out there and this is the only one I'll use now. I can't imaging an AV-centred distro that didn't have it included by default.

Fingers still crossed that the refactoring will lead to more development and that it'll jive better with what you need in the future.

Thanks for your replies guys,


You are correct that 'technically' everything will build on Debian Squeeze, however just because it builds doesn't mean it works. Obviously the forking of ffmpeg and the various ways that downstream packagers handle that is a key cause of the issue since MLT and thus kdenlive build on top of that. However on the other hand it's not like Debian Squeeze is an outdated or old release, it is the current official Debian release and I find it frustrating that many projects (not just Kdenlive) don't try a little harder to work with established stable dependencies instead of instantly bowing to the sometimes misguided whims of upstream developers.

I don't know who benefitted from forking ffmpeg/libav, hopefully someone did, it certainly wasn't packagers or end-users!

I have an ISO sitting here within days of release with over 40 audio and video applications to maintain, less than 10 of these applications are the current release tarballs as the upstream developers released them, everything else is some in-between variant from CVS, SVN or GIT just so they function properly, even in the Ubuntu world how many current released apps can you actually install and use without knowing about using some development PPA hidden somewhere? There is a very fine line between the 'freedom' of Linux and the madness of anarchy it is increasingly seeming to cater to. I can only say as a packager and distributor that it is tiresome to the point of walking away completely to somehow put this sort of chaos into an orderly functional product.

Not sure that the devs frequent this forum much, you may have more luck on the mailing list:


Also, your request number 1, I do not believe Kdenlive devs also maintain MLT. I think Dan worked on both, but now mainly does MLT. Not 100% sure on any of that though.

Good job on your distro though, you are right that Kdenlive gets a heck of a lot of exposure because of your hard work. I can't imagine how tricky it must be to get everything playing nice with each other!


GMaq, thanks for your hard work to build an AV distro using free software.

I've searched the net for video editing software from around 1995 when I first bought a DV-cam. I've used a lot of different programs, but currently I'm trying to use free software only, and I think kdenlive is the best video editor that's free (FOSS). I do want to contribute and help the coders with the product but I haven't got the time yet to start.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I appreciate your effort to include kdenlive on your dist, because I think it's the best free video editor!