HitFilm for Linux (Ubuntu mostly)

FilmWorld Posts: 12
edited March 2015 in General

My name is Micah and I used CompositeLab Pro and EffectsLab Pro, I loved the software! You might remember me from the old form as Micah Master Studios. I unfortunately can not afford HitFilm 2 Ultimate yet, Unfortunately I have to buy a new camera. BUT, as soon as I have saved up enough money I am going to buy HitFilm 2 Ultimate.
  On to my subject for this post. I am a Windows user, but recently I duel booted my desktop with Ubuntu... I love it but many programs I want are windows or mac only. I still have windows 7 but I might want to switch to Ubuntu. I said all this to say that I think it would be a great thing for HitFilm if they were to make a Linux version. They would be one of the few good filmmaking software options for Linux. When I watch movie special features(which is almost every night) I see the VFX artists using Linux on there computers. I love Linux and I love HitFilm and I would LOVE to see them make a Linux version.
Thank you very much,



  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    In 2013, I believe the stat is 1.4% of desktop computer users use Linux. That is quite a small market share compared to the 48.77% using Windows 7, or even the 7.58% running Mac OS X. (The way I understand it this is a worldwide statistic.)
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,585 Ambassador
    And, when you see a major FX house running Linux, well... That's usually a VFX house coding custom tools... Like, Pixar uses Linux on it's systems, along with its custom-coded Renderman tool.
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    I'd also like to say, the big FX houses aren't running Hitfilm ;) (yet).
    That aside, welcome back Micah Masters Studios, it's been a while. I was BIblmac on the old forums.
  • FilmWorld
    FilmWorld Posts: 12
      Ah Yes... I remember you quite well BIblmac. Good to be back with you guys. I have been doing some practice with the trial version of HF2U and I want it so bad I want to take a baseball bat and hit myself. But, I won't have to because I hope to be getting it by the end of the year. :(  I still have to buy a canon T3i and that is sucking all my funds away. 
      On the Linux thought. Check this out: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_use_Linux?#slide=7
    And it seems that Linux is gaining in popularity considering how mad people are getting with Windows (i.e. Windows 8) And many like on wiki answers says, with most Linux distros being free many people download them and put them on many computers from one download. With Android and Chrome books and more we are seeing Linux becoming a much bigger roll in the OS fight. Other things like, LiteWorks becoming Linux compatible shows us that there is a real place for Linux in the filmmaking world. 
  • DoctorOW
    DoctorOW Posts: 1
    The question isn't about popularity. The point is there aren't any (good) major video editors and compositors for Linux so they would have a huge advantage in that market of untapped users.
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    I disagree. I don't think that they would have a "huge" advantage because I don't think there is a "huge" number of video/film editors using Linux (unless they are a part of a large VFX that codes their own tools as mentioned above.) Most people in the market for a low budget video editor (like HitFilm) will be using either Mac or a Windows PC. Although, now that they have a Mac version, it might not be too hard to code for Linux as I believe the Mac operating system is based on Linux...
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    It's going to be one of two things: either we'd have a massive advantage because we'd be the only consumer video/VFX software in the Linux market; or we'd discover the reason why there is no consumer video/VFX software in the Linux market (ie, there is no market).
    It's hard to say for sure without risking it for a biscuit, but right now the stats and general consensus doesn't point towards us being able to justify spending the resources on a Linux version.
    As I always say with regards to ANY platform - it's not that we have anything against the platform. In an ideal world we'd have our software available on ALL platforms. But we have to be realistic and go where the (paying) users are, which is why we started on Windows, then went to Mac a while later.
    It's something we're continually evaluating, but there are currently no Linux plans.
  • FilmWorld
    FilmWorld Posts: 12
      I was not expecting this thread to pick up again. I would love some traffic on this topic though, because, I have something to say to you guys... I have not been on this forum lately because... I switched to Linux as my main os! I was getting to many BSODs and Virus notifications on Windows. I am now using Ubuntu and Blender for my VFX. 
      But hear me out!!!!!!!!!!!!! If there ever came a version of HitFilm for Linux, you can bet your Red Epic I would get it.
      I am loving Linux I just wish that HitFilm became a Linux app too.
    Dream Big, Pay Small
  • JCL_Films
    JCL_Films Posts: 158 Enthusiast
    Isn’t there some program called WINE that lets you install windows programs on Lunix? Would this void the Hitfilm agreement that you sign in the install? You still need to pay to activate it so I don’t see why not unless FXhome does not approve.
    Just a thought…
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    I'm not sure whether WINE would provide proper access to the GPU and other hardware. A bit like how the Windows version of HitFilm didn't work in Parallels on Mac.
    As for BSODs and virus problems on Windows...that's not really been a problem since Windows 7 came out, unless something is fundamentally broken on your machine.
  • FilmWorld
    FilmWorld Posts: 12
      I tried Wine with the trial of HitFilm... It didn't work. Wine runs as if it is windows XP, and HitFilm was telling me I need Windows 7 or higher. 
      If FXhome ever decides they will make a Linux version I love to use it!!! But for now I am sad to say I am out of FXhome.
  • Just to add a little to the conversation, I think a lot of people are waiting for some sort of video editor for the Linux platform. 

    Now I know I would be fully willing to spend 300-400$ on a editor and I don't think I'm alone.

    I know tones of content creators having to duel boot just to get media production done and if there where an alternative it would sell as hotcakes. Linux users aren't stingy because it's a "free" OS.

    For my part it just lets me build my workflow and then gets out of my way.

    As a game developer I understand the concerns about margins for profit vs development and infrastructure costs.
    However there are companies with that in mind that are investing and the platform like valve and there steamOS

    If there is a curiosity if it could be a profitable venture wouldn't it be an Idea to test the waters bye doing a kick starter like you did for your mac version?
    The platform is defiantly more starved for an editor and fx compositor compared to the mac platform

    Would love to hear youre thoughts on this topic

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    I think before even hitching their wagon to a kickstarter, they would need a sign up on here of enough people pledging money to make porting the software and keeping it updated worth it. 


    If a couple guys just randomly say Linux please then that's not worth doing.  I mean every serious or indie filmmaker or vfx artist I know  or know of uses Mac or PC.  There is more call for an Android App then Linux. 


    Hitfilm for mac required 25,000 British dollars or "pounds" to be successful.  If you couldn't get $35,000 British dollars for  hitfilm for Linux already lined up then they shouldn't start a kickstarter to maybe have it fail or slow down the updates for Hitfilm.

    Or just switch to Windows and spend your money and get hitfilm.

  • __simon__
    __simon__ Posts: 113 Just Starting Out
  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,755 Ambassador

    BTW, its decision time for users of NewTek's SpeedEdit.   The standalone for SE will be discontinued in a matter of weeks.   If I remember correctly, March 7th will be the last day you can buy it without a TriCaster.

    @_simon_ Thanks for the Lightworks link.  But still looking forward for HF to come into its own as an editor. 

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,755 Ambassador
  • ZedFable
    ZedFable Posts: 136

    Man, that flash animation takes me back. Good times.

    For what its worth, I'd be pretty likely to switch to linux if you guys made the move to. That being said, I totally understand why HF hasn't yet- no easy (or cost effective) task. But for the record, I'd dig it.

  • jdprueitt
    jdprueitt Posts: 1
    edited March 2015

    Hitfilm,  All those winblows O.S.s are worthless for production video editing! They're notoriously unstable. If Lightworks can make the jump to linux by using Wine-emulator, then so can you.  All of Hollywood has dumped Winblows as unusable and gone with linux for good reason! Wait until you call them with a graphics bug and they tell you they  WON'T fix it. That's what happened to several studios. Every studio you can name has gone over to Linux for their server farms. Don't sit on the fence too long. Blender+Natron will soon be giving you a run for your customers. Right now you hold the lead for ease of use and that is a big deal to content makers. My advice to you is keep going at adding features that we need and then go talk to Grant Petty over at Black Magic design.     J.D.

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast

    Windows hasn't been unstable since version 7, in my experience.

    You're also comparing high end studio use (where Linux is indeed very important) to consumer and prosumer use (where Windows and Mac are massively, massively in the lead). Two very different things.

  • Pencilandinc
    Pencilandinc Posts: 140 Enthusiast
    edited March 2015

    Here's a link that might be pertinent to this discussion:


    In it, the author states that the only reason that he can't use LightWorks on Linux is that the video card requirements were too high for his system. He goes on to say that the only editor that is stable enough to run on his system is Blender. Blender and HitFilm share one common trait, although the recommended requirements can be reasonably high, they also run exceedingly well on consumer-level hardware.

    Bottom line is this; most video editing/compositing/VFX software is going to have "high" requirements. If a user wants to get in the game--on at least a "prosumer" level--their hardware is going to have to meet those requirements. FXHOME has done an immense service to the independent, aspiring filmmaker with HitFilm, BUT there is a limit.

    At my day job, I've recently been talking to a young man who's joined our graphics office and has completed his art school education. He attended on scholarship and loans and had no money for a Mac, so he spent every waking moment in the school's computer lab to get his projects accomplished for four years. He recently graduated with a degree in video pre-production and couldn't afford to buy a new computer, let alone pay for Windows and software to run it on; so a friend at his church showed him a place here that sells refurbished PCs and put Ubuntu Linux on it for him. He's been using the GIMP and that's the only resource he knows. I told him last week about Blender, Natron, and Krita and he's having his friend install them on his system (he knows nothing about how to facilitate Linux or the package managers).

    Now, if anyone thinks I told that story to try and persuade the devs to advocate for HitFilm for Linux, that would be a wrong assumption.

    My point is this: there IS a limit. We have all salivated over wanting the newest version of (fill in the blank here), but found out that we couldn't run it because of the hardware/software requirements. It's the nature of the beast. I can name two packages that recently became available for free that I want to try, but can't run on my systems. Unless we--or our jobs--have the resources that we can just go out and buy a new card or system to accommodate the purchase (or acquisition) of the new package, we have to stick to what we can use. Most aspiring filmmakers are going to concentrate on buying the glass before software and may not readily have the systems with the big, powerful cards available to them (yet). HitFilm is a godsend in this fashion as most packages now require those higher hardware requirements. As stated before, a lot of the only ones that don't are open source: Blender and Natron are designed to run on the CPU in the absence of and/or if they can't use an accommodating GPU. This may result in a lot of overnight renders (to which I can personally attest), but it gets the job done.

    (I hope I haven't offended anyone at FXHOME by mentioning a potential open source competitor in this forum.)

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,755 Ambassador
    edited March 2015

     @Pencilandinc Don't apologize.  That's a pretty real assessment. 

    Investing in gear for the first time or even upgrading to keep up is nothing to be taken lightly.   Its a major, major expense.   And you only hope that you don't get run over by Moore's law before you see a return on your investment.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    Linux  for most people is like superman under a red sun... Its not impressive. 

  • dancerchris
    dancerchris Posts: 75 Just Starting Out

    The primary reason for using Linux in pro FX situations is to do massive parallel processing.  Most CPU clusters seem to be optimized with Linux based OS (although Windows is catching up).  A lot of software is now using the Linux version as a number cruncher with a windows front end for the user interface, i.e. a cloud based processing .  For the user that is using a single machine Windows for processing and interface makes more sense.

    Just my $0.02

  • DreamArchitect
    DreamArchitect Posts: 602 Enthusiast

    is there a Linux version of AE? 

    I think  @dancerchris is right. I can see why Linux would be used for render servers. Makes perfect sense. I can't say I would ever use it for front end stuff though but of course everyone has their own opinion 

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast

    There's certainly more movement in the consumer Linux arena now than there has been for years (decades?), primarily thanks to the efforts of Valve to bring Steam and gaming in general to Linux. While that seems like something of a tangent, it's actually quite relevant - a groundswell of gamers shifting to or exploring Linux creates a broader consumer base, and with a gaming focus also encourages decent hardware specs.

    The gamer demographic crosses over with the indie filmmaking scene both in terms of interests and hardware requirements. It was definitely a factor in HitFilm's early development - eg, HitFilm's hardware requirements were partially based on an average PC gaming machine.

    None of that means that Linux will be a suitable platform for HitFilm in the near future - but it's definitely an interesting development which I'm following closely. 

  • Just wanted to bump this thread and share my support for a Linux version of Hitfilm! I would def purchase a copy. For years and years now I have been wanting to fully switch my day to day life to Linux but the need for some proprietary software to perform my daily tasks as proofed itself to be a great task. I am mostly a videographer and editor and also a graphic designer. Great Video editing sftware is a much for me to perform my day to day tasks. So here is another vote for a linux version of Hitfilm!!

  • I think that HitFilm is a great product. I would like it for Linux as well. Windows and MacOS "ecosystem" leaves a bad taste in my mouth ( Translation: I tolerate them. ) I saw a comment earlier in the thread regarding LightWorks.. I know for a fact that it runs very stable under linux both Deb based distros ( like Ubuntu) and rpm based distros like CentOS and Fedora. Prerequisites has to be met but I have been having a very good experience with the product. I look at HitFilm to pickup where LightWorks left off .. Where LightWorks is a very powerful "Meat-n-Potatoes" NLE, HitFilm strikes me as more of a finisher. Not saying you could not take a project from start to finish on HitFilm I am more used to the workflow using LightWorks. I would love to have both tools in my "bag-o-tricks" ~As for WINE.. that needs some work to be useable with programs that require certain hooks in the hardware. There are ways to "tweak" it to translate WIn7 calls but I think there needs to mature a bit. I know that some distros that are "built" for multimedia use the packagers tend to glam on to the older stable releases instead of the new "hottness" this in itself can cause issues when running very well written programs for windows like HitFilm... 


    Would I pay for  linux version ? YOU BETCHA! I did for LightWorks and I am pleased with my purchase.. ~I just wish Boris would just dive in and develop their plugins to work with NLEs for linux.. I'd pay for that too!... Ultimately the choice is up to those in charge of the money .. ~I get it.. But if you need an alpha/beta tester.. let me know.. Keep up the good work!


  • Might want to check out a project called "Play on Linux".

    Rather than spending a tonne of resources porting it across, you can work with those guys to get it using the GPU under linux using their expertise.


    I'd love to see this happen. I am trying to transition to Linux as my main platform. For video I've made the switch to using Lightworks (my second attempt) and I am finding that it is that fastest editor under the sun when properly understood. Would be great to use Hitman for FX - even if it was running under a highly tweaked WINE install (which utilized the GPU).

    I haven't use Davinci resolve under Linux because only the commercial version is available. They have a VFX product too. I'm pretty sure that runs under Linux.

    With the help of PlayOnLinux, it may not be as difficult as you think - even if you provided it as an "unsupported" version. It would give you street cred in the industry.

  • Pencilandinc
    Pencilandinc Posts: 140 Enthusiast
    edited December 2015

    @DigitalRazor  Please be aware that the stable version of WINE just upgraded a few days ago. It is now at 1.9.0 (up from 1.6.0), haven't tested it myself but there might be enough of an upgrade to at least reach Win7 stature.