May 4, 2013

Public Beta of Lightworks NLE for Linux Now Available, and Why Ubuntu May Be the Right OS for You

We talked a little bit about Lightworks and their plans for the future during NAB a few weeks ago. The team over at EditShare haven't missed a beat since then, and now they've released the public beta of the Linux version of Lightworks. Although most of us aren't currently using Ubuntu, my guess is that's due to the fact that, until now, there haven't been any truly professional or industry-recognized NLEs on that platform. Now, however, with an NLE that is truly powerful and operating system agnostic, editors will have the choice to work with the OS that suits their needs, not the OS that fits their software solution. Hit the jump for details on the release.

At this point, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Linux? What is this guy even talking about?" While I haven't used Ubuntu (the most popular Linux-based OS) in a few years, I can tell you that it's one of the most simple, streamlined, and intuitive operating systems out there. Add to that everything about the OS is completely customizable, and the fact that it is open source (meaning it will always be free and updated often), and you've got an extremely viable alternative to the major operating systems on the market today.

If you're already running Ubuntu, or if you're considering giving it a try (or any other Linux distro), you can now hop on over to the Lightworks site and download the public beta of the powerful NLE. Of course, there are some restrictions to be aware of, so here's the official word from RedShark:

This Beta version contains the new EditShare Licensing Service (ELS) which will allow users to sign in to the application using their Lightworks Username and Password (an internet connection MUST be present on the system) When signing in each new user will be automatically given a complimentary seven day Pro license to test the Pro version of Lightworks, this is renewable at the end of the seven days by simply signing back in to the application.

The Linux Beta does not include trial AVID DNxHD licensing due to the restrictions imposed by AVID. We will shortly be adding the option to the Lightworks Shop www.lwks.com/shop for users to purchase an AVID DNxHD license specifically for the Linux version.

If you feel so inclined, hop on over to the Lightworks for Linux page and get the beta. If you've never used Linux, or more specifically Ubuntu, this could be a fantastic reason to download it and give it a try.

What do you guys think? Are you more likely to try Linux now that there's some serious editorial firepower available in that ecosystem? Are you patiently awaiting the Mac version instead? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Lightworks for Linux goes public - Beta download now available - RedShark

Your Comment

38 Comments

Sounds tempting, but it's much more easier to take the conservative route and use something that's a little more industry-standard.

May 4, 2013 at 3:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Eric

Completely agree Eric, but imagine this - you can now pretty much build a fully functioning high-level professional editing workstation for 0$ software dollars. And that's quite an accomplishment. Combine this with Blender and you have a very powerful, absolutely free and pretty capable ecosystem that you can simply download off the web.

I remember a few years ago when I was starting out I thought about not doing any pirating and using only free software in a Linux environment - I just needed a decent HD editing running on Linux, of which none existed. I ended up pirating Sony Vegas, only eventually (and much later) buying a license, because there was no way I could pursue my dreams without it. Now it's completely possible.

May 4, 2013 at 5:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply

I run linux, Ubuntu for the last 5 years. The improvement is constant. My audio workflow don't miss anything from my windows days (except some hardware compatibility, but there're workarounds). I've been waiting for lightworks for a long time. As you say, Blender, especially after the mango project with all the compositing, tracking etc. features is incredible. But also Qtractor and Ardour (+plugins) for audio, GIMP for picture editing and Inkscape for vector graphics. But also, there have been some interesting things going on lately, some paid applications are considering linux now. Linux is just an OS, a great one in my opinion, but it's just that.

I'm not the guy who is trying to convince everybody to migrate, because to be honest it took some time to fully do it for me, but I'm not looking back. I don't need a mac or a windows pc. The community is always there to help and the developers listen to your suggestions and even include them on future releases. I'm very happy with linux so far.

May 4, 2013 at 6:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
maghoxfr

Hi can you tell is a little more about audio workflow on Linux? I'm actually kind of curious about converting an older machine into a windows audio editing box. But I haven't done much research yet.

May 5, 2013 at 3:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Rafael Kino

my brother uses linux for music production, you can get his new electronic music EP from Demars Record, "Dinonisius Rex - K33P The Beat EP" (BTW I created the cover with blender + gimp + krita + mypaint at linux! http://www.beatport.com/label/demars-records/31589 :D)

Anyway, he uses Jackd for real time, Ardour as the main mixing and editing stuff with tons of plugins, LMMS to create his electronic music, and Rosegarden for writing music sheet/midi stuff, plus mixx (i don't remember well the name) with his pickups, and a pro 5.1 soundcard (i don't remember the brand of it) and it's smooth professional system for music and sound production. maybe not "industrial standard", but, well, we are underground anarchical types, so who cares about industry standards when you are an artist that make art for FUN and in FREEDOM and don't care much about profits! :D our art may be shit, but is fine, since as i read once, "fine art is that in wich the hand, hed and heart of the artist go together" :D

May 6, 2013 at 3:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
Reply
guto novo

Patiently awaiting the Mac version.

May 4, 2013 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
JohnGreen

Good luck with that one, pal. If anything, they would release Mac version before Linux.

May 4, 2013 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Natt

Not necessarily. The UNIX core of Mac isn't all that far off from Linux. They had a working Mac demo at NAB as well

May 5, 2013 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply

Me too

May 9, 2013 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Joe Shapiro

I do IT for a living and documentaries as a hobby. I manage Windows and Linux servers at work and edit on Macs at home. My couch-front mail/web pc is Ubuntu on a chromebook. While Ubuntu as a desktop OS is very much improved over the years, it isn't quite there yet. All the features are there, and the interface is very nice, but it still requires quite a lot of tinkering time to get things done. Linux is "free" but your time isn't. If you just want to edit content, the answer is still Mac, but do check again in a year.

May 4, 2013 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Kevin

Come on, latest Ubuntu 13.04 is stupid easy. And installing software as easy as on mac with Software store. It is that If you want very certain app that has no Linux port, you're in trouble. And even in that case, there's things like WINE.

May 4, 2013 at 10:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Natt

I don't think this, itself, will change the world, as Lightworks is just weird compared to FCP and Premiere. Also, even Ubuntu really isn't that streamlined in many, many regards. A few months ago, I had to spend several hours just to figure out how to install a video player. Just one NLE does not mean widespread software support.

May 4, 2013 at 9:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
wgtwo

>I had to spend several hours just to figure out how to install a video player.

Have you tried... oh... dunno built-in Software Store? How is that harder than Mac App Store. Really?

May 4, 2013 at 10:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Natt

We use Apple and Windows at work and while I like Ubuntu and would like to use it, I've already invested in CS6 with Windows 8. It tore my hair out the first day but it's now my preferred OS by far. If I was starting from scratch on a limited budget then LW, Gimp etc and even Adobe Cloud on Ubuntu could be a way to go.

May 4, 2013 at 9:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply

Hi Marc,

I am actually in that scenario of starting from scratch with limited budget. Adobe Cloud would run seamlessly on the Ubuntu platform? Currently debating to go the PC route but wanted to try a main system with Ubuntu. There is also a "mackintosh" option I am looking into. Thanks in advance.

May 5, 2013 at 2:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Martha

No, Adobe will not run on any Linux system unless you use WINE and even then, it'll only be some of the older programs and they will run poorly. Adobe briefly considered doing a port once, but in the end, they reasoned that the market share for the OS was just too small for the effort and investment required.

May 5, 2013 at 3:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

7
Reply

I have Photoshop CS6 running flawlessly under Wine in Ubuntu, installing required a few extras (e.g. MS fonts, visual basic) added via Wine Tricks, instructions are on the Wine website.

May 11, 2013 at 8:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
David

Looks like Lightworks supports only Ubuntu based distros as of now.

May 4, 2013 at 10:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply
Natt

Waiting till a few more of the bugs are sorted out, then getting myself a new laptop and going full Linux. Resolve for grading, Blender for compositing/effects, Gimp for image editing, Ardour for audio, Inkscape for vector graphics and now Lightworks for NLE, the dream is here. Sure, it's not as integrated as the Adobe suite or as point and click/ flashy as the Mac software, but it's free, it's fast, the community is great and the future is bright. Not for everyone, but definitely for me.

May 5, 2013 at 3:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

But there are no Resolve Lite for Linux (unless you mean the full Resolve)

May 7, 2013 at 9:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Taufiq

Ubuntu has been getting worse and worse over the past few years. Right now windows 7 is a lot more stable (unthinkable 5 years ago, but that's where we are). The only reason Ubuntu still makes sense is because it is free.

May 5, 2013 at 4:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply

I have been using Ubuntu for a few years. My experience is totally the opposite. Ubuntu is continuously progressing and becoming more user friendly on every release. I cannot comment on M$ Windows any more since I have stopped using it. I would hope that since Windows is a huge commercial success that the company is investing money to make it better. Regarding Lightworks if I recall correctly a Linux release was the number one request from users. The more people are entering cinematography and lower budgets are the norm tools like Ubuntu (or Linux is general ), Lightworks, Blender, Ardour, Gimp and a myriad of open source or free products will be more popular. The Windows and Apple market is not going away but their OS share has reached their peak. When server farms will be necessary to process the higher resolutions that will be needed in the near future Windows or OS X will not make sense financially. At the moment not all tools are available to produce a major movie production exclusively in Linux but as more companies like EditShare are releasing pro tools the date is getting closer when you can finish a production from beginning to end on Linux.

May 5, 2013 at 10:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Nikolas K

it's difficult to install stuff in ubuntu? NO WAY! just click in the "app store" and type a name in there, and tons of "free" options will pop then click and that is it!!! yep. I was to be quiet about this all, but the thing is, even that I don't like ubuntu, I'm still using it in my main machines, because it is easy, fast and solid. My personal super ninja notebook is with the good and old and sexy slackware with fluxbox, but my two workstations are with ubuntu and its no problem at all.

But Samuel may have problems by using the latest distros released. I mean, this week the 13.04 was released. I instaled it in dual boot to test in my notebook, sounds solid, only a slowering problem with firefox, but there is other browsers... the thing is, my workstations are all with ubuntu 12.04, why? because it's an "old" release from april 2012, :D, so the bugs are solved well, it is a smooth version of ubuntu. When it was released it was full of little bugs... and this is the problem of releasing a new version of a software twice a year! it will always come with some bugs in it!!

So if anyone in here is thinking about using ubuntu as an O.S. for production, always go with a long-term support release that is more than 6 month old and you will be safe from any possible problem the kind Samuel says he had, like for example, Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS, a solid O.S. for production work.

And it's so flexible, for example, I HATE :D the unity desktop from canonical,so I use my ubuntu(s) with the lovely new Gnome graphical interface, it's sexy and fucking functional! :D :D :D

For those who complain about the softwares not being "industrial standard", I think this article -focusing more into CGI "industry" - may be a good call, since most companies use linux (plus maya, houdini, etc) in the pipeline: http://www.blendernation.com/2013/04/25/tips-getting-into-the-industry/

And for those who think linux + blender + open source tools are not good enough to create professional stuff, check out this reel, all made with blender plus lots of open source stuff:
http://vimeo.com/44420219

and, just to remind, Lightworks is not the FIRST linux pro editor, Piranha 7 is an amazing tool for editing and post-production, solid, fast, amazing! it cost U$1000, ok, not "free as in beer", but I love it! and in the open source world, if you use the right codecs for the software, Cinelerra is a powerhorse too, weird tool, but I like it -my torture short film -ultravires- I edit with no crash with cinelerra. But now, I'll learn Lightworks too, because it's retarded to pay U$60 for such an amazing tool.

some people may just thing linux is "good" because it is free, that is ok!

but the real deal is it is part of a culture of cooperation, of transparency into processes, mostly, and in a world where we are more and more surrender our will to machines and codes (because we are sick people disconnected from nature -while we destroy it!) to support a culture where code is open, transparent, is a good way to not feed the "wetiko" (sociopaths) that use corporation power to create feudal culture around people that is blind and in love with the religion of technology. Linux is free, but is an act of cyberactivism at the same time! :D :P and it is not enough, the next step for those who love to be human and that care about the planet is this: http://vimeo.com/opensourceecology

sorry for being such an old fart anarchist in here! :D :D :D :D

May 6, 2013 at 3:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
guto novo

I'm totally going to to the post on a short film 100% in linux at some point, so this will help. Though I've become really partial to reaper for editing audio. I think you can edit video in Blender too, but it's not really meant for that.

May 5, 2013 at 9:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

what ever happened to cinelerra?

May 6, 2013 at 6:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
kev

I believe many of the core Cinelerra devs moved to Lumeria. However, I'm pretty sure people are still developing for Cinelerra it's just a very small community now.

May 7, 2013 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Eric

Until literally anyone else I know uses it (much less enough people to convince me), I won't give it a shot. I like Ubuntu. I like the idea of Lightworks. But I have real work to do with real collaboration. And when I run into problems, I need to be able to call someone to walk me through it.

This could be the greatest NLE of all time, and Ubuntu could be rock-solid as an option. But it doesn't matter as long as the people I work with and depend on don't use it. Until then, it's novelty and maybe fun for a small personal project, but not a serious tool for my work.

Good luck to the team behind Lightworks. I would love to see it succeed. Honestly, though, I'd rather see Adobe become open to Linux, especially Ubuntu... now that would be something I would jump into almost immediately :)

May 6, 2013 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
David S.

I don't know about you, but I taught me everything I know with just a book and the good people in our favorite forums. Also, everyone's now split between Avid, FCP, FCPX, Adobe, etc, and getting along fairly well, so this faux "industry standard we've got is a bit threadbare. I'll admit, the majority of my collaborative work has been FCP, but that's been changing. Here's the rub: I may not use LIghtworks & Ubuntu with any big studios that I work with, but I damn sure will when I start my own little joint, and THAT is exactly the shake-down that's happening these days, isn't it?

May 18, 2013 at 10:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I been using Ubuntu-style Linux Mint since version 7. I'm still running Linux Mint 12 right now, I will upgrade to Linux Mint 14 and run Lightworks!

May 6, 2013 at 11:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Donald F.

i'd love to go to linux but lightworks does get a while to get used to vs all the other cookie cutter NLEs out there. Hopefully blackmagic comes out with a davinci resolve lite for linux.

May 6, 2013 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
mike

I have been waiting years for the present state of affairs, and am watching every development in this field. I am hoping that a year from now I will have made the switch to Linux.

I am hoping that Lightworks, Ardour, Blender, Gimp (and LibreOffice and a few other programs) will play nicely together, and be at the heart of my workspace.

T

May 6, 2013 at 8:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Teebawt

I'm mainly using my hackintosh for day to day and for photo/video work. The great thing about the hackintosh is that I can put Linux on another drive and boot to that whenever I see fit.

I found a great out of the box Creative Multi-Media distro that is fantastic. Dream Studio.

http://www.dickmacinnis.com/dreamstudio/

It is based off of the Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu. It comes with all of the best creative software available on Linux (audio software & plugins, graphics, video editor, web, WINE pre-installed, etc.). It may, eventually, include Lightworks....as the developer has been paying attention to that development. He has also been paying attention to a Ubuntu touch screen (tablet/mobile) version. He has been testing Dream Studio on a tablet!!

I would shy away from Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio and head straight over to Dream Studio!!! That way you can try out all of the creative software available out of the box. The 12.04.2 for Ivy Bridge should be compatible with the NoFilmSchool Hackintosh for all those interested.

As a side note, Teebawt, Apertus (the open cinema camera project) was at the Libre Graphics Meeting with LibreOffice, Gimp, Ardour, and others.... http://libregraphicsmeeting.org/2013/ They may be trying to get those programs to work together.

May 9, 2013 at 10:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
Shawn

http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Item...

Lots of good paid options but the killer for me would be AVCHD/H264.

May 10, 2013 at 1:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

1
Reply
Andy

I run Ubuntu Studio, now in ver. 13.04, since two months ago. Without previous knowledge about Linux, I must say that I do not use Windows anymore (I abandoned Mac years ago), and I still did not have a single problem. About Lightworks, I used it in Windows flawlessly, and in Ubuntu since de day it became available, there will be needed some weeks to keep it running ok and perhaps some months to get the stable version, in that moment, Windows and Mac OS will be a part of history for me. All aplications for Linux are free or very cheap, there is better support, in my opinion and experience, than for commercial software. Any issue can be solved diving a little through some accesible forums, sound, photography (I am a profesional photographer), design and publishing applications are similar and in some cases superior to those expensive ones from Adobe, Microsoft, etc. It is cheaper, customizable, more profesional (no stupid games, evaluation software with an option to buy, etc.). Comercial OS there will be in the stone age in few years, perhaps months.

May 10, 2013 at 4:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I switched from Mac to gnu/linux a few years ago and haven't looked back. Mac is good, but gnu/linux is fabulous!!! (I use Ubuntu Studio.)

June 29, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
Sam

Hi. I see this site caters towards the hip hop genre. My firm assists the twitter accounts of rap artists.If you is interested in creating a partnership, let us know on our contact page! Thanks!

December 9, 2013 at 6:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

What's up, just wanted to mention, I loved this post. It was inspiring.

Keep on posting!

June 16, 2014 at 8:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

I've been using Ubuntu for quite a while now, and it is great to have something like Lightworks, but since it only lets me render on 720p max, I guess I'll continue to use Kdenlive, that lets me render at 1080p. That it pretty much the only reason, because the workflow is good looking, the Color Correction tools are great, I've tried a few weeks ago.

I just really wanted DaVinci Resolve Lite for Linux as well, I know there is the pro version, but I'm not really a professional, so buying the software (both of them) while not even getting money isn't a great idea. Maybe in the future, I hope!

January 15, 2015 at 4:53PM

1
Reply
avatar
Lucas Zanella
Director / DP / Editor
34