Contribution manual

Kdenlive website is the central collaboration platform for writing documentation, publishing tutorials and translating Kdenlive software.

If you want to help translating Kdenlive, check our Status page.

How to register on web site

To register on the Kdenlive web site, create a new account and enter the required information. You will receive your password by email.

Registration offers access to a number of features, including:

Registered users who apply for editing permissions can also contribute documentation.

How to set up your location on Google map

Kdenlive web site offer the ablity to display user location. This gives a good idea of the size of the community and can help you get in touch with enthusiast users and establish personal relationships. To set up your location:

  • Register on Kdenlive web site if not already done.
  • Log in kdenlive web site.
  • Click on View account->Edit account to edit your personal account.
  • This open a quite complex page. Between Account information panel and Language settings panel is hidden a triangle called Location. Here is an approximative screenshot showing where the triangle is hidden:
  • Click on this triangle to display a location map. Click on the map to choose a location. Click on Save when finished.

Howto make a video tutorial

Making a screengrab using Kdenlive

Make sure that you are using Kdenlive 0.7 svn, which includes record-mydesktop.
Otherwise, use kdenlive 0.7 and GTK-recordmydesktop.
Do not make a tutorial will older kdenlive versions, which are deprecated.

Create a custom project profile (Settings -> Manage Project Profiles):

  • Size: 1280x720
  • Pixel Aspect ratio: 1/1
  • Display Aspect Ratio: 16/9
  • 15 frames per second

Make a screengrab with the following settings:

  • Size: 1280x720 pixels
  • Follow the mouse option (you may not need it on a large screen)
  • Do not draw rectangle
  • 15 frames per second
  • No compression (if using gtk-recordmydestop)
  • Good sound support. If Alsa does not work well, try jack

Edit the screengrab in Kdenlive and render using Flash 4000K export setting.

Publishing the tutorial on, google or vimeo

Log in, Google video, or
Upload your tutorial.
If requested, select a free licence, otherwize you will not be able to broadcast.

Step 3: Publishing the tutorial on
Log in Kdenlive web site.

In the user menu, click on Create content, then Video tutorial.

Enter the following information:

  • URL of the tutorial on, google or vimeo (required)
  • Duration of video
  • A direct downloading link (when available)
  • A short description
  • Meta tags which will help Google find the video

Click on Split summary at cursor button to separate the text between the teaser and the main description.

Click on Preview or Save.
At any moment, you will be able to modify or remove the tutorial.
Wait until moderators approve your post.


You must be the copyright holder of the tutorial or make sure that it is published using a Free licence.

Ask for help and/or collaborate

The turorial forum is available here:

A list of possible tutorials:

How to write Kdenlive manual


Kdenlive is a long term project and it took 20 years to build Free Tools in video. We have the goal to produce a very accurate and complete documentation on Kdenlive and video editing in general. But this will be done step by step, writing documentation during months. Don't expect immediate results.

The Kdenlive manual has moved to the KDE userbase Wiki ( If you want to contribute then create an account on that wiki and edit away.


Kdenlive manual is written in simplified English and then translated into several languages.  The KDE userbase wiki is built with translation in mind.

  • Write short sentences, with a single idea.
  • When writing the user manual, do not use pronouns like "I", "We" or "You".
    Avoid: You can select Open in the File menu
    Write: Select Open in File menu
  • The sentence should be translatable as a whole, without context. Never use indefinite words, like "it". A translator will not understand what is "it".
    Avoid: It provides several features.
    Write: Kdenlive provides several features.
  • It is recommended to translate English source text into your mother tongue. Being able to translate the text means that the sentence is clear and simple enough.

Don't criticize, discuss, write and fix

The management rules for writing documentation are simple:

  • There is no hierarchy. Anyone is free to write. We welcome your help.
  • We love makers and doers. The first member who gets things do wins.
  • Use the user manual as a wiki. If you are adding content to the wiki, you may write directly and then advocate your additions on the forum.  On the converse, for any reorganization or important issues, try to discuss first using the forum.
  • Try to organize yourselves in small teams. But whenever things take longer than expected, do it yourself and avoid complicated organisations.
  • Book content belongs to anyone. Anyone with good writing skills should be able to modify anyone's content. In this sense, we non-English speakers must accept that native speakers correct our writing.
  • On the converse writing poor technical English should not stop you from writing. Some native speaker may correct afterwards.

Writing documentation forum

Do not use chat systems. Use the forum for any discussion. Whenever you agree on the forum, there is more commitment than a simple chat with no trace.

How to share your Wipe transition images

If you have created custom images for Wipe transitions, you can share them with other users by uploading them to:, in the category Kdenlive.

Wipe images are greyscale images in the pgm format and can be used to transition from one track to another. Once a Wipe image file is uploaded to, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users from the "Settings > Install New Lumas..." menu entry.

Sample luma image:

How to share your rendering profiles

If you have created custom rendering profiles in Kdenlive, you can share them with the other users. This can be especially useful for example if you created a rendering profile that creates videos for a portable device. In that case, you can browse the list of existing profiles and modify or create a new one. Once a rendering profile is created on the website, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users (requires Kdenlive >= 0.7.3) from the menu "Settings > Install New Profiles...".

How to translate Kdenlive

Since november 2011, Kdenlive has moved to the KDE infrastructure. It means that all our translations are now managed by the KDE translation teams. If you want to help translating Kdenlive in your language, the first thing to do is to get in touch with the KDE localization team:

There is a team for each language and you can get infos here.

After that, we recommand using the Lokalize tool which was designed to make KDE translations easier. Here is a quick howto, but please Don't forget to contact the translation team for your language so that the work is not done twice.

  • In Lokalize, go to Project > New project wizard. Select "Translate application interface" as in the screenshot

  • Select "Get from svn repository" and chose your language, then the folder where the translation files will be downloaded, as in screenshot. This will download all translation files for KDE and is rather big (about 20Mb).

  • After a few minutes (be patient - it takes a while after downloading to build indexes), you will see the different translations appear, and can select Kdenlive which is in Messages > extragear-multimedia

  • You can then start translating, and send your work back to the translation team

If you have questions, you can always contect the Kdenlive developers on the Kdenlive mailing list

How to submit a patch

To submit a patch, create an issue on Mantis bug tracker and attach the patch to your post.
Send a message on the mailing list to describe the patch.

Howto develop Kdenlive

For developers, the steps to participate are as follows:

Understanding how Kdenlive works

Like in any good free software project, the GUI and the framework rely on different projects:

  • FFMpeg provides audio and video codecs.
  • MLT is the video editing engine. I provides shared libraries and a command line player called "melt".
    MLT can be easily extended to support more audio, video codecs and effects.
  • Kdenlive is the graphical interface to MLT.
    It relies on KDE4 but works very well under Gnome too.

Most of time, new features need to be added to MLT and Kdenlive.
As a rule, you should be able to play any video editing project using melt and Kdenlive.

MLT has several GUIs, including Kdenlive. We do not accept new features which cover only Kdenlive and not MLT. We would like to make possible for other developers to work on other interfaces.

Setting-up a developing environment

We recommend using a Debian SID distribution. It is updated very rapidly on the contrary of Ubuntu, which lacks months behind.

You can use the following /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb experimental main contrib non-free
deb-src experimental main contrib non-free
deb unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src unstable main contrib non-free
deb testing contrib non-free main
deb-src testing contrib non-free main
deb stable contrib non-free main
deb-src stable contrib non-free main
deb sid main
deb-src sid main
deb experimental main
deb-src experimental main

A recommended /etc/apt/apt.conf

APT::Cache-Limit 40000000;
APT::Default-Release "unstable";

To upgrade to Debian SID:
apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade

Install VDPAU

If you are running VDPAU, install Nvidia proprietary drivers:
apt-get install nvidia-kernel; module-assistant a-i nvidia-kernel ; apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-libvdpau1-dev
Modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf and replace "nv" with "nvidia" in the driver section.

Checkout the source from SVN and GIT

Then checkout Frei0r-plugins, MLT and Kdenlive from sources. You may find useful information here:

Frequently Asked Question for developers

Question: I would like to add a new effect to Kdenlive. How to add the effect in MLT?
Answer: check-out Frei0r and MLT and read frei0r plugin code in MLT: /src/modules/frei0r . You can either add a new plugin to MLT or add the feature in Frei0r, which is already implemented in MLT. Other choices are also possible. Discuss this with us.

Question: Why should I join Kdenlive and not project Foo?
Answer: MLT is the future of video editing and it is already a standard on GNU/Linux platforms. Other frameworks are oriented towards displaying video, not editing it. With the separation of video libraries (FFmpeg codecs), video engine (MLT) and user interface (Kdenlive), you have a more secure framework. Furthermore, our community is very well organized to track bugs, make frequent releases and write documentation. We will still be there in 10 years. So if you add some code to FFmpeg, MLT or Kdenlive, be sure your time is not lost. If you need a specific feature, don't loose time working on a minor video tool. Kdenlive and MLT provide you the basic import/export and timeline. So that you can concentrate on the quality of your code.

Check bug reports and features requests

Visit the Roadmap page.
You might also want to have a look at the Brainstorming section of our forum

Submit any code that could be useful.

How to advocate a featured project?

How to propose a featured project

Featured projects are displayed in these two menus:

To advocate a project, write a message on the forum, providing the following information:

  • Web site name and URL
  • A short description in English.

We will review the link and publish information.

Documentation writers

To add a featured project:

  • Make a screenshot of the website and resize it to 150 px 72 dpi vertically.
  • Click on Create content -> Featured project. Enter name, URL, short description, language and upload a screenshot. Choose between "Free Software" and "Video communities".

As an absolute rule, commercial sites offering freeware downloads are not allowed. We accept only Free Software sites as regards the definition of the GNU Foundation. 

Commercial sites managing video communities are allowed.

How to build a Debian live CD with Kdenlive

Update Debian and install live CD tools

apt-get update

apt-get install live-helper qemu debian-multimedia-keyring

Building the live Debian GNU/Linux CD-ROM

Download and run the following script:


2008-06-12 New version including Kdenlive 0.7.4, melt and required codecs, including gstreamer codecs for viewing.
2008-12-30 New version including Kdenlive 0.7.1.
2008-12-22 The DVD now ships with a graphical Debian installer.
2008-12-21 Adding Twinkle SIP phone.
2008-12-21 Adding OpenOffice
2008-12-21 Adding fuse packages to mount ext2, fat files and smb networks.
2008-12-21 Adding usbmount to mount ext2 and ext3 usb keys automaticaly.
2008-12-20 Adding wireless firmwares and wireless tools for Gnome desktop. (JM)
2008-12-20 Adding gparted partition manager with support for resizing partitions. (JM)

How to share your title templates

If you have created a nice custom title you can make it available to all Kdenlive users.
You can browse the list of existing templates and modify or create a new one. Once a the template is created on the website, it can be automatically installed by all Kdenlive users (requires Kdenlive >= 0.7.8) from the menu "Settings > Download New Title Templates...".