This article provides step-by-step instructions for installing Cinelerra 4.4.

I upgraded my main workstation to Ubuntu 12.04 recently, briefly looked at PiTiVi and decided that Cinelerra is still the only capable video editor for Linux, despite its many flaws.

This post provides step-by-step instructions for compiling and installing Cinelerra 4.4.

Install Dependencies

Here is the list of dependencies that I know about. At a minimum you’ll need these packages, although there may be more. If the compile fails on a dependency, simply look at the last few lines of the output and the error should tell you what it’s missing.

$ sudo apt-get install wget bzip2 patch build-essential w32codecs w64codecs libtool nasm libncurses5-dev libbz2-dev libncursesw5-dev libxv-dev libxxf86vm-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libtheora-dev libopenexr-dev libdv-dev libpng-dev libjpeg62-dev libfreetype6-dev libfaad-dev libsndfile1-dev uuid-dev libavutil-dev libmpeg3-dev libavcodec-dev libx264-dev libfaac-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libmjpegtools-dev

Download Source

$ wget
$ tar xvf cinelerra-4.4-src.tar.xz

You should now have a directory called cinelerra-4.4

Apply Patches

You will need to apply two patches from the Community Version of Cinelerra to add dnxhd and dv50 codec support and YUV Stream support. This was easy, b/c the patches applied cleanly.

$ wget
$ wget
$ patch -Np1 -d cinelerra-4.4 < patch-cinelerra-4.4-dnxhd
$ patch -Np1 -d cinelerra-4.4 < patch-cinelerra-4.4-yuvstream

I found out about these patches from Eric Olson’s site:


$ cd cinelerra-4.4
$ ./configure
$ make

The install target does not work, so don’t bother with it. After make succeeds, the Cinelerra binary will be in the bin/ folder. So, to run Cinelerra:

$ cd bin
# ./cinelerra

Importing AVCHD

I mostly use Cinelerra to work with AVCHD video from my Sony DSLR, which shoots at 1080p with 60 FPS. Cinelerra cannot read the resulting MTS files, so I have to convert them to dnxhd (AVdn) format first:

$ ffmpeg -i 00014-360_2.MTS -b 185M -vcodec dnxhd -acodec pcm_s16le -threads 4

Also, I could not get Cinelerra to read the sound from the resulting file (complains about missing ‘lpcm’ codec), so I had to take another intermediate step to extract the audio from the file, so I can import it separately:

$ mplayer -vo null -vc dummy -ao:file=sound.wav

Once I import into Cinelerra, I delete the audio tracks and I replace them with sound.wav, which work well.


Aside from some new features here and there, the most obvious advantage of Cinelerra 4.4 over the Community Version is that the video processing and playback appears to be faster. I get about 10 FPS in cinelerra-cv, whereas Cinelerra 4.4 gives me 20 FPS, which makes the video manipulation and playback much smoother. Nice.

Missing Faders in Video Tracks

Aside from some minor problems, like missing icons for transitions and other resources, the most severe problem I ran into was the missing Fader line in video tracks. The audio tracks still had the Faders, but in Video tracks the horizontal white line was just gone.

Here is what it looks like:

Missing Faders

If this happens to you, the fix is to press the 3rd button from the right in the tool bar. It is called “Fit autos to display (Alt + f)”. What it will do is change the fade range in the drop down at the bottom from “-10.00 – 10.00” to something like “-33.00 – 133.00” in my case. You can also select “0 – 100” from that drop down as an alternative.