Developers

If you are a programmer (or want to become a programmer), and are interested in developing new features, fixing bugs, or improving the user interface for OpenShot, the following sections will explain how to get started and get involved!

The Big Picture

OpenShot Video Editor has 3 main components, a Python & PyQt user interface (openshot-qt), a C++ audio library (libopenshot-audio) and a C++ video library (libopenshot). If you are not familiar with Python, PyQt, or C++, those would be great topics to research and learn more about at this point.

However, many bugs and new features can be added with only Python knowledge, since the C++ components are not involved in the user interface at all. Python is an amazing language, and is super fun to learn, and is the only prerequisite skill needed to become an OpenShot developer!

Getting the Latest Source Code

Before we can fix any bugs or add any features, we need to get the source code onto your computer. These instructions are for Ubuntu Linux, which is the easiest environment to configure for OpenShot development. If you are using another OS, I suggest running a virtual machine with Ubuntu LTS before continuing any further. If you must use Windows or Mac for development, take a look at these instructions.

Use git to clone our 3 repositories:

git clone https://github.com/OpenShot/libopenshot-audio.git
git clone https://github.com/OpenShot/libopenshot.git
git clone https://github.com/OpenShot/openshot-qt.git

Configuring your Development Environment

In order to actually compile or run OpenShot, we need to install some dependencies on your system. The easiest way to accomplish this is with our Daily PPA. A PPA is an unofficial Ubuntu repository, which has our software packages available to download and install.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/libopenshot-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot-qt \
                     cmake \
                     libx11-dev \
                     libasound2-dev \
                     libavcodec-dev \
                     libavdevice-dev \
                     libavfilter-dev \
                     libavformat-dev \
                     libavresample-dev \
                     libavutil-dev \
                     libfdk-aac-dev \
                     libfreetype6-dev \
                     libjsoncpp-dev \
                     libmagick++-dev \
                     libopenshot-audio-dev \
                     libswscale-dev \
                     libunittest++-dev \
                     libxcursor-dev \
                     libxinerama-dev \
                     libxrandr-dev \
                     libzmq3-dev \
                     pkg-config \
                     python3-dev \
                     qtbase5-dev \
                     qtmultimedia5-dev \
                     swig

At this point, you should have all 3 OpenShot components source code cloned into local folders, the OpenShot daily PPA installed, and all of the required development and runtime dependencies installed. This is a great start, and we are now ready to start compiling some code!

libopenshot-audio (Build Instructions)

This library is required for audio playback and audio effects. It is based on the JUCE audio framework. Here are the commands to build and install it:

cd libopenshot-audio
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../
make install

Essentially, we are switching to the libopenshot-audio/build folder, and running cmake ../ on the parent folder, which finds dependencies and creates all the needed Makefiles used to compile this library. Then make install uses those Makefiles to compile, and install this library. This should result in files being installed to your /usr/local/ folder.

libopenshot (Build Instructions)

This library is required for video decoding, encoding, animation, and just about everything else. It does all the heavy lifting of video editing and video playback. Here are the commands to build and install it.

cd libopenshot
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../
make install

Essentially, we are switching to the libopenshot/build folder, and running cmake ../ on the parent folder, which finds dependencies and creates all the needed Makefiles used to compile this library. Then make install uses those Makefiles to compile, and install this library. This should result in files being installed to your /usr/local/ folder and in your Python site-packages folder.

openshot-qt (Build Instructions)

This is our main PyQt Python application. Because it is written in Python, it does not require any compiling to run. To launch openshot-qt from the source code, use the following commands:

cd openshot-qt
python3 src/launch.py

This should launch the OpenShot user interface, and include any changes you have made to the source code files (*.py Python files, *.ui PyQt UI files, etc...). This requires the libopenshot-audio and libopenshot libraries, and if anything went wrong with the steps above, OpenShot will likely not launch.

If OpenShot launches at this point, congratulations, you now have a working local version of OpenShot, which is running off your local source code! Try making some changes to the source code and re-launch OpenShot... you should now see your changes!

GitHub Issues

Now that you have successfully compiled and launched OpenShot Video Editor, be sure to check out our list of bug reports on GitHub: https://github.com/OpenShot/openshot-qt/issues. Also, feel free to send me an email: jonathan@openshot.org and introduce yourself! I’m always here to help if you have any questions.

Share your Changes

Once you have fixed a bug or added an amazing new feature, be sure to share it with the OpenShot team, and ideally, we can merge this into our main source code branch. The easiest way to share your changes is by creating a fork of our repo, pushing your changes back to GitHub, and creating a Pull Request. A Pull Request lets the OpenShot team know you have changes ready to be merged, and we can review things, give feedback, and hopefully merge your changes into the main branch.