I'm relatively new to Linux but love using Ubuntu and it has become my preferred OS for daily use. I am really disappointed I don't seem to ba able to edit video on Ubuntu 14.04 with my Lenovo Thinkpad T410.

Spec as follows:
Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 520 @ 2.40GHz × 4
Intel® Ironlake Mobile
8gb RAM

It plays files back OK but I find as soon as I make an edit, add an effect, title or transition playback stutters very badly, to the point of being unusable. I have tried Openshot, Kdenlive, and PiTiVi, they all perform about the same but Kdenlive seems to have the better performance for me.

As I have been happily using Premiere Pro on an old MacBook Pro with a core2 duo processor I was a bit surprised I didn't get better performance from the Lenovo with an i5.

I guess I'd like to know if I can get this to work either on this laptop or another? Is it the hardware or the software which is failing to perform.

I have wondered about the System76 laptops but wonder if I will be just as frustrated and significantly poorer!

If anybody has any advice I'd be very grateful.


  • IMHO editing video on a laptop is a bad plan. Your problem could be caused by one or more of the power saving techniques that laptops use for obvious reasons (battery life..). I've only ever done this task on custom built desktops designed for the purpose. Your CPU is unlikely to be the problem. A far more likely cause is poor IO performance. (many laptops come with hardrives that have poor rotational speed to save power. A quick view of the detailed specs for that model indicates that you may have a 5400 rpm drive. replacing that with an SSD should help,swappiness may also be having an impact
    – Elder Geek
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:49
  • Thanks for your response. I take your point that a desktop might be better suited, but I am frustrated that having achieved what I needed to do on a series of MacBook Pros I am struggling to do the same within Ubuntu. Am I to conclude that OSX is 'better' or perhaps better suited, or is it the hardware? System 76 seem to pitched their 'Pro' laptops at 'videographers'. Your point about the HD is welcome, I had swapped the standard drive for a Seagate hybrid drive but you prompted me to look into the performance of that drive, and it gets a very poor rating on userbenchmark.com. I'll try SSD. Jun 6, 2015 at 9:53
  • My best guess is the hardware as I've edited video using Ubuntu frequently and have not experienced the issues that you are having. Granted I designed and built the desktops I used rather than buying mass market product for the task. I used a lowly i3 CPU and a small SSD for programs and a large 7200 RPM HDD (WD Black) for storage. All the best!
    – Elder Geek
    Jun 6, 2015 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


[SOLVED] A friend suggested me the solution. The problem was the FILE CODEC. Smartphones often use H264 codec that are awful to decode on the fly, so preview will hang even with a decent hw. Ironically, a 100 Mb video file from a smartphone (LG G3 in my case) can be heavier to decode on the fly than a 1 Gb file encoded with Xvid (wich probably isn't the best option for a video edit, but at least prevents sluggishness).

I'm stuck with the SAME problem!

And I've got notable hw specs:

Xeon E3-1241v3 quad core 3.5

16 Gb RAM 1600


VGA MSI GTX 970 oc

I've tried EVERY editor available so it's not a sw-specific problem. I think it's a NVIDIA driver issue, or a kernel issue, or a OS issue.

Too bad that pro video editing on Linux lacks a pretty decent solution because of structural problems.

  • Out of interest have you tried Lightworks? I have found it generally gives the best playback across edits. Oct 22, 2015 at 11:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .