Cinelerra is an NLE – Non-Linear Editor – for Linux that provides a way to compose audio and video media. Besides editing, it can be used as an audio/video player, for recording audio or video to include broadcast television programs, creating dvd/bluray media, and touching up old photos. Because cinelerra has many features for uncompressed content, high resolution processing, and compositing, using cinelerra can be quite complex. However, with only a little bit of introduction, even a novice will be able to create simple artful videos.

Cinelerra-gg is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) which is a free software license giving users the opportunity to run, share, and modify the software. Any included libraries, such as Ffmpeg, are also under the GPL license. Cinelerra-gg used the original cinelerra software (Heroine Virtual) as its base, incorporated the work and modifications made by numerous developers over the years (Community Version), added numerous enhancements over the years, and is continuously being improved. Currently new pre-built versions for many distros are released monthly.

Additional information


Why are there several branches of Cinelerra?

The tastes are different. Just as there are countless different desktop environments for Linux, like GNOME, KDE, Mint etc., there are now also different branches of Cinelerra. The original is by Adam Williams and can be found on his page. There are some other notable branches like Cinelerra-CV and Cinelerra-Einar, which have a large community of fans. Due to the different preferences and ideas of the developers also, the different versions of Cinelerra came into being.

Was Cinelerra-GG not represented earlier on Cinelerra-CV website?

Yes, we used to be together on the Cinelerra-CV website, but due to different development speeds and development directions we decided to have our own website to better realize our ideas. From the very beginning the projects were also developed separately on Cinelerra-CV, despite the desire to work on a common Cinelerra version, but the different branches have grown so far apart that it became more and more difficult to unite it under one roof. The differences were not always obvious to the user, so there was a desire to make the differences clearer and to highlight them with different websites.

Which Cinelerra version do you recommend?

The answer is relatively simple: try it out!

As there are different preferences to the Linux desktop environments, there are certainly also different tastes and preferences at Cinelerra. The other versions also have their strengths and that’s why we recommend simply trying them out. Here are some small hints about the different versions.

Cinelerra-GG: Has a fast development cycle and works mainly according to the Scrum model, i.e. releasing a new release every month, it’s a rolling release, and quickly recording and implementing user feedback. This version focuses on new features, improved stability, fast bug fixing and expansion of the codec base.

Cinelerra-CV: This version focuses on stability. The development philosophy is therefore rather conservative and slower than the other branches. But this variant is extensively tested and also offers support by the developers and the Cinelerra-CV community.

Cinelerra-CVE: This is the personal development of the developer Einar. The goal of Einar and his supporters is to sustainably improve the code base of Cinelerra-CV and add new features. He works tirelessly to release a significantly improved version of Cinelerra-CV. This version is not finished yet, but promises great potential for the future. If you want to take a look at this version in advance, you can compile it yourself.

Cinelerra-HV: This is the version of the inventor Adam Williams. He created Cinelerra and develops it, according to our personal opinion, mainly for his private purposes. Usually a new update comes once a year and this always brings great new features and improvements with it. The Cinelerra-HV variant does not offer developer or community support. Nevertheless it is worthwhile to have a look at it again and again, as it is also the case with the other branches.

If you want to see the exact differences to the other branches at a glance, you will find a PDF document here: