Kdenlive is rather easy to build (at least on supported platforms), and this page should show you the simple steps to get there. If you encounter any problem during the process or spot any information that should be added/updated, please don't hesitate to reach out to the Developer's mailing list or on the Telegram Kdenlive Developers' group .
Pre-requisites and Supported Platforms
Kdenlive is primarily developed on GNU/Linux. There is an effort to build Kdenlive on Microsoft Windows, but it's still a work in progress.
Currently supported distributions are:
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa and derivatives
- Arch Linux
You should be able to build it on any platform that provides up to date versions of the following dependencies Qt >= 5.7, KF5 >= 5.50,MLT >= 6.20.0.
To get a recent enough version fo MLT on Ubuntu, you have to add Kdenlive's ppa
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-master sudo apt update
It is recommended to uninstall the official kdenlive packages to avoid potential conflicts.
sudo apt remove kdenlive kdenlive-data
You will need classical development tools (like git, gcc ...) but also cmake :
sudo apt install build-essential git cmake extra-cmake-modules libsm-dev
KDE Frameworks 5, based on Qt5
On Ubuntu the following packages will pull all the necessary dependencies:
sudo apt install libkf5archive-dev libkf5bookmarks-dev libkf5coreaddons-dev libkf5config-dev \ libkf5configwidgets-dev libkf5dbusaddons-dev libkf5kio-dev libkf5widgetsaddons-dev \ libkf5notifyconfig-dev libkf5newstuff-dev libkf5xmlgui-dev libkf5declarative-dev \ libkf5notifications-dev libkf5guiaddons-dev libkf5textwidgets-dev libkf5purpose-dev \ libkf5iconthemes-dev kdoctools-dev libkf5crash-dev libkf5filemetadata-dev kio \ kinit qtdeclarative5-dev libqt5svg5-dev qml-module-qtquick-controls \ qtmultimedia5-dev qtquickcontrols2-5-dev breeze-icon-theme
If your distribution packages a recent enough version of MLT (>= 6.20.0), you can install it directly along with ffmpeg and frei0r plug-ins. Otherwise, you'll have to add our ppa or compile it yourself (see above)
sudo apt install libmlt++-dev libmlt-dev melt frei0r-plugins ffmpeg
Dependencies for localization
There are some additional dependencies required by the specific script to fetch the translations:
sudo apt install ruby subversion gnupg2 gettext
Getting the source code
Cloning the git repo
The easiest way to get Kdenlive source code is to clone the git repo:
git clone https://invent.kde.org/multimedia/kdenlive
Selecting the branch
You should generally base your developments on the master branch
cd kdenlive git checkout master
or if you want to get the code for a given release
cd kdenlive git checkout release/20.04
Create a directory for the build inside the kdenlive directory:
mkdir build cd build
To avoid problems with plugins and libraries, it is easier to install Kdenlive in /usr:
cmake .. -DKDE_INSTALL_USE_QT_SYS_PATHS=ON -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr -DRELEASE_BUILD=OFF
Alternately you can build it with debug flags (advanced users only ;-) and you need to have clang installed ) :
cmake .. -DKDE_INSTALL_USE_QT_SYS_PATHS=ON \ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug \ -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/usr/bin/clang++ \ -DECM_ENABLE_SANITIZERS='address' \ -DBUILD_TESTING=ON -DBUILD_FUZZING=ON -DBUILD_COVERAGE=OFF \ -DRELEASE_BUILD=OFF
You may get a warning "Qt5 WebKitWidgets not found. You cannot use your Freesound.org credentials, only preview files can be downloaded from the Online Resources Widget": as this is a very specific feature requiring a rather large dependency, you can just ignore it. But if you want to use that feature, you must install libqt5webkit5-dev.
To fetch the translations of the application :
This should create a po sub-directory in your build directory. You have then to create a symbolic link to this po subdirectory :
cd .. ln -s build/po/ po cd build/
Then build and install:
make -j5 sudo make install
You can then start your compiled version by simply entering:
If you have compiled it in debug mode, you may encounter errors like
SUMMARY: AddressSanitizer: new-delete-type-mismatch (/usr/bin/kdenlive+0x643020) ==6982==HINT: if you don't care about these errors you may set ASAN_OPTIONS=new_delete_type_mismatch=0 ==6982==ABORTING
As the hint says, the you can solve this with
Now that you've got a working dev environment, you can find some nice first issues to solve.
You can also gain more general knowledge by exploring the tutorials on TechBase.
Pick your favourite!
Setting up KDevelop
Open KDevelop and go to Project > Open/Import project Then select the CMakeLists.txt file in the kdenlive source folder. You can now start hacking on Kdenlive!
Setting up QtCreator
After checking out Kdenlive from git—when working on refactoring, you may want to clone two copies, one with the next branch and another one on the refactoring branch—, you can open the CMakeLists.txt in QtCreator, which will load the project if cmake succeeds. If you run/debug Kdenlive, make sure that kdenlive and not kdenlive_render is selected as an active project.
If you let QtCreator restore the previous session (File > Session manager), it will remember the open documents. Environment variables (see below) can be set in Projects > Build Environment.
Kdenlive uses MLT’s C++ API called mlt++. This API is not documented as it is simply a wrapper to C functions. For example, the documentation of
Mlt::Consumer::position() can be found in
framework/mlt_consumer.c:mlt_consumer_position(). The actual C function name is usually a combination of the class name and the function name, but can also be found by consulting
If kdenlive crashes on startup (e.g. in QtCreator) and shows a message like:
kdenlive(24309) KXMLGUIClient::setXMLFile: cannot find .rc file "kdenliveui.rc" for component "kdenlive"
then you have to ensure the .rc file is found. If CMake is configured to install Kdenlive to /usr/local, the .rc file is put there, but when kdenlive is then run from the build directory, the KXMLGUIClient will not search there. Solution: Set the environment variable KDEDIRS to
You can get more information about the paths that are checked by running kdenlive like this:
strace build/src/kdenlive 2>&1 | grep kdenliveui.rc
To avoid flickering here are some Kdenlive envvars that work with Sway?
QT_QPA_PLATFORM=wayland-egl SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland XDG_SESSION_TYPE=wayland
There are several chat groups on Telegram and Matrix. The groups existing on both services are bridged via a bot so you can choose your preferred one. Not all groups exist an all services.
The kdenlive developer mailing list archives can be found here
A searchable archive of the kdenlive developer mailing list can be found here
Information on how to subscribe can be found here