Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

After being in beta for almost a year, Lightworks, a professional video editing and mastering software, has reached version 11.5 stable, this being the first Lightworks release for Linux. The new version is of course also available for Windows.


According to Wikipedia, "Lightworks was an early developer of computer-based non-linear editing systems, and has been in development since 1989". The application was used in some renowned Oscar and Emmy Award award-winning films, including The King's Speech, Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Departed, Mission Impossible, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart and Batman.

Lightworks is available as free to use or with a a pro license that costs $7.99 | 5.99€ | £4.99 a month or $79.99 | 59.99€ | £49.99 a year or a one time fee of $279.99 | 214.99€ | 179.99.

The difference between the free and paid (pro) version is that the free version is limited to web formats such as MPEG4/H.264 at up to 720p while the pro version has a much wider range of output options, includes project sharing, 3D stereoscopic output, user-definable project locations, rendering and Hardware I/O support.

It's also worth mentioning that Lwks announced a while back that Lightworks will become open source. That was four years ago and I'm not entirely sure what's the current status of that, but hopefully Lightworks will go GPL at some point.

Lightworks Ubuntu
Lightworks 11.5 running under Ubuntu 14.04

The new Lightworks 11.5, released today, includes new features such as:
  • import, Render and Export as background tasks;
  • added support for Retina displays;
  • YouTube export option including direct upload;
  • AC3 audio decode support removing the need for third party decoders;
  • fully customizable user interface;
  • smarter menus with fast access Export and FX favourites;
  • powerful new Multicam improvements;
  • playback controls added to source and edit viewers;
  • much more!

A full list of changes in the latest Lightworks 11.5 can be found HERE (PDF).

Even though this is considered a stable release, there are some known issues and limitations for both Windows and Linux. For instance, on Linux there is no Firewire support, no Quicktime/MPEG4 export option, now .wmv support, only ATI and Nvidia cards are supported, audio may not be present on some uncompressed avi files and there are only 64bit deb and rpm files available for download, among others. For a complete list and more info, check out the Lightworks 11.5 changelog PDF.

Lightworks comes with the following recommended specifications on Linux:
  • Debian Distros: Ubuntu/Lubuntu/Xubuntu 13.10, Mint 15, 16;
  • RPM Distros: Fedora 18, 19;
  • Chipset: Intel i7 chipset or faster, fast AMD chipset;
  • Memory: 3GB RAM or higher;
  • Screen: Two high-resolution displays (1920 x1080) or above;
  • Graphics card: PCI Express graphics card (NVIDIA or ATI) with 1GB or higher and support for OpenGL;
  • Storage: Separate media and system drives (these can be internal or external as long as the the interface is suitably fast: eSATA Firewire 800);
  • Sound: Compatible sound card and an audio monitoring system;
  • Optional: Lightworks Console;
  • Optional Lightworks keyboard;
  • System drive: 200MB Disk space for Lightworks installation;
  • Internet: Internet connection for activating Lightworks (first time only).

Download Lightworks 11.5 for Linux or Windows

Note that to be able to download Lightworks 11.5 for Linux, you need to register and agree to the Terms and Conditions:

Download Lightworks (available for Linux - deb and rpm 64bit only, and Windows)

If you're new to Lightworks, I suggest you take a look at the official tutorials.

Thanks to Imri for the tip!