OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

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OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sat May 07, 2011 11:41 pm

It's now even easier than ever for a Windows user to try out the latest version (1.3) of the excellent OpenShot video editor, all it will cost you is a 2GB USB memory key/stick (which you may even have lying around anyway, or it's cheap to buy one, and it can be usefully reused later on - so it's not money down the drain no matter what happens). Just a couple of downloads and a little spare time trying something new is well worth it for a quality Open Source video editor with no restrictions and showing great promise for even more features in future versions. I've figured out for you (so you don't have to - as they say!) what steps you'll need to take...

All you need to do is prepare the USB stick with a Linux Operating System called Puppy Linux, which is used to boot up the PC so that Windows isn't running, but Puppy Linux is - it's a lightweight and fast version of Linux which runs entirely in chip memory without affecting your hard-disks in any way - and don't worry, it's easy to use.

pup.gif
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:geek: Puppy Linux desktop (resized and sharpened pic - so not as clear as in real use) showing OpenShot on the menu. You can have this!

You can load video clips from your Windows hard-drive and save the projects/output there too. Do remember the Linux Way of needing to 'unmount' drives (like with USB sticks) after use, before shutting down.

windrv.gif
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:geek: Drives shown on the desktop, with "lights" to show when mounted (full size screenshot snippet)

Note the subtle differences in file paths between Linux and Windows, the most obvious being that Linux uses /forward/slashes/ between folders/directories (like in web addresses) whereas Windows (like MS-DOS and CPM before it) choose to be contrary and adopt \backslashes\ instead. Not difficult to get used to! But for a Windows user it gets more confusing that our dear old C: D: E: etc. drive letters don't exist in Linux. Instead, when a drive is 'mounted' it becomes part of the single filesystem, and appears as a folder like 'sda1' in the /mnt folder (C: gets the a in sda, D: gets the b as in sdb (the numbers are partitions), so drive letters do kinda live on!) so if you get lost in any file saving/loading dialogs, head up to the root level and try mnt before you give up!
For example, my C:\windows\system32\test.txt appears as /mnt/sda1/windows/system32/test.txt
Also, you are expected to leave the root level folders well alone (/etc /usr/ /bin etc) and only place your own files in your 'home' folder, which has a shorthand method of referal as the single character ~ (a.k.a. tilde), so (in most Linux distros like Ubuntu with User accounts) instead of /home/username/test.txt you can just specify ~/test.txt ..... however just to confuse you Puppy Linux is always logged in as root and has a home folder of /root/ for ~ :D

(in fact, Puppy offers you a great way to snoop around your Windows hard drive(s) seeing all the hidden files, and you can delete anything that you normally can't - great for removing malware/viruses or completely wiping all trace of your www browsing history for sure! It's also great for websurfing that leaves no trace on your PC, if you like that kind of thing)

Trying a Linux program may seem like rocket science if you've never strayed away from Windows, but the truth is that is should be simple enough, one step at a time, for anyone already smart enough to handle a video camera and video editing software anyway....
Last edited by Diode on Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sat May 07, 2011 11:45 pm

STEP 1 - easy peasy

Go to the following webpage and download the Puppy Linux 'ISO' file (a whole operating system in one file, iso files used to be used with writeable CDs before USB sticks became better value), and remember where it's downloaded to on your PC so you can find it again...
:ugeek: http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm

Note Puppy Linux 5.2.5 is also known as 5.25 or "Lucid", and is not to be confused with other development branches 'Quirky' (experimental) or 'Wary' (most stable) which are well explained in the Release Notes here
:ugeek: http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/puppylinux/puppy-5.2.5/release-Lucid-525.htm

If you want to be sure it's downloaded exactly 100% correct, you can investigate how 'md5' checksums work, but that's probably a throwback to the old dial-up era - I've not had any corrupted downloads on broadband that I can remember. There is plenty of info out there via your favourite search engine - webpages such as :
:ugeek: http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/using_md5sums.html
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sat May 07, 2011 11:51 pm

STEP 2 - almost as easy

Download a new (if you don't have it already) Windows program called LiLi from here :
:ugeek: http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/download

It's a trustworthy piece of freeware that thousands of people use with no complaints - I'm as sure as anyone can be that it's not a malware risk.

STEP 2a

Run the downloaded file to install LiLi, which is quick and simple - accept the defaults.
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sat May 07, 2011 11:55 pm

STEP 3 - using an easy program to create the boot-up USB key

Plug in the USB key you want to use (it will get wiped, so copy anything on it that you want saved first).

Puppy will be installed on the key using the existing file system (FAT32) without reformatting, so it's not doing anything weird with the USB - it's still readable on any PC. Untick the LiLi option to hide its files, if you like.

Run LiLi and follow the simple 5 steps that its user interface gives you :
Image
:geek: (if you want to bail out, the X button to close the app is actually up there on the top right, in case that flashy transparent program window is confusing!)

By selecting the Puppy Linux ISO file you downloaded in STEP 1 here, and following the other steps, after a minute or two you will end up with a USB stick containing Puppy Linux 5.2.5 which can be used to boot your PC. There will be plenty of space left on the key that you can use normally, but you'll want to leave room as this spare space will be used later for saving your settings from Puppy Linux from one session of use to another.

Another option you may want to untick in LiLi's step 4 (as well as not hiding the installed files) is the one about being able to run from within Windows. You don't need that, doing things this way (booting from USB to keep things at full speed with Windows out of the equation).
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sun May 08, 2011 12:00 am

STEP 4 - rebooting into a different OS!

Shut down Windows, switching the PC off completely. With the USB key inserted, boot up into Puppy Linux using the USB key.

In order to get the chance to select a boot-up from the USB key instead of going into Windows as usual,
you may need to press a function key like F8 or F12 etc. during the power-up test sequence. Most recent PCs will allow booting from USB devices, if it doesn't go to plan at first there are websites to help you if you get stuck at this stage - you may need to go into the BIOS settings of the PC to enable USB boot-ups, but it should be straightforward enough for anyone technically minded.
Try http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/index.php/USB_Booting for starters, or consult Google for many many more.

Once you boot up into Puppy Linux you will find yourself at a friendly looking OS desktop comfortingly similar to Windows in many ways - but the desktop icons only need a single click to activate instead of the usual double click you're used to.

The first time in, a 'wizard' dialog will take you through specifying your language, keyboard layout, timezone etc.
Your hardware should be detected for you, but can be tweaked if not successful at first. You can change thing whenever you like, so you can use the same USB key on different PCs with different hardware - the important things like screen resolution/mouse/keyboard should be found for you. Sound cards and network cards are more likely to be the problem, if any.

Have a good look around like you probably do with any new piece of software, and you'll find the easy ways to verify (or change) the screen resolution, sound card, network card etc - in case anything needs adjustments. Change the wallpaper if you like :)

setup.gif
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:geek: PupControl gathers together in one place all the dialogs to change settings - like Window's Control Panel.

You can't ruin anything permanently - if you do stuff something up beyond repair at this point, just shut down and don't agree to save anything yet. Reboot, and try again until it's working how you like it.

When all is well, the next time you shut down you can save your settings to an 'sfs' (virtual file system) file that will be automatically loaded on further sessions to save you having to set things up again.

You will need the networking to be operational (to download OpenShot), see the Connect icon on the desktop and investigate the wizards launched from that. It should be simple to get online, if not, try searching/asking on the
:ugeek: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/ support forums (from Windows again) and they're sure to help.

Happy with the clear simplicity of Puppy? You'll probably be glad to have broadened your horizons - it's good to know that there is a free alternative to Windows so you're no longer shackled to its tyranny ;)

If for some reason you don't take to Puppy Linux, you could try Linux Mint (also free - see http://www.linuxmint.com/ ) before you give up on Linux altogether, it's a bit less of a leap to Windows users, and you may as well try one more ISO download and put another Linux OS on your USB key with LiLi now you know how to. LiLi works with all sorts of Linux distributions, so for the sake of some ISO file downloads you can try out loads of distros and see which you like the best. OpenShot is available for other distros too - it's just so easy though with Puppy.

One final step to OpenShot then...
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sun May 08, 2011 12:04 am

STEP 5 - simple installation of OpenShot itself

When you're online from Puppy Linux (try the Browse icon and install Firefox to satisfy yourself how wonderful it all is), you can then install the 'pet' packages from your choice of a number of websites listed for you (I had no luck with the first on the list, but the second worked ok) :
* firstly install Python (needed for OpenShot to run),
* and then OpenShot itself.

(in Linux-Land software is most easily downloaded from online 'repositories' of software provided by the 'disto' maintainers themselves, in packages called 'pets' for Puppy as opposed to 'deb' packages for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint, or 'rpm' for Red Hat etc. - you don't just download exe files from anywhere - with security risks - and run them like you do in Windows. It's more of a 'walled garden' that Linux users sometimes criticise Apple for with their iPads!)

install.gif
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:geek: Puppy Package Manager showing Firefox, Python and OpenShot installed, and what it looks like shortly before installing another pet package (Audacity in this case).


STEP 5b


Run OpenShot from the Multimedia menu, and be amazed :)

oshot.gif
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:geek: Openshot in action, paused on a wipe dissolve between two AVCHD Lite clips, with a title on top for good measure. If it looks different to any other screenshots you've seen, it's because I went into Preferences and changed the 'theme' to a 'blue slim' one. There are many options for changing the look of OpenShot, you can have a dark background instead of white if you like.
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Sun May 08, 2011 12:07 am

OpenShot in action

OpenShot uses a tools-based user interface like a photo editor, which is odd if you're used to context dependent interfaces in other video editors, but it's worth getting used to. I'd rather have the most frequently used actions depend upon clicks on relevant parts of the clips (click the clip's edges to resize for example) rather than having to whizz around selecting different tools all the time, but you can't have everything :)

It would be handy if a double-click on a clip brought up the properties, rather than the less useful clip preview - but then OpenShot doesn't show you what the clip contains in the timeline like some editors do :(

If you apply an effect to a clip, a star appears - and clicking that bring up the useful properties dialog. Maybe we could always have a star on each clip, a hollow star if no effects are applied yet, to allow the easy access to the clip properties?

Also, applying a transition is really unintuitive at first, you may eventually figure out on your own how to arrange two clips on two tracks and drag a transition onto the space between them - but it's certainly not going to give you any clues! More tooltips would help, if they could explain how to use features.

Sometimes, as with all too many software efforts (mine too if I'm honest), the developer is too well versed in how it works to realise how confusing it can be to a newcomer - so it feels like you're expected to do a little studying first or guess how it works. Still, at least it DOES work - and something as complex as video editing is never going to be trivial, is it?

The one thing I really wish the developer(s?) would do is make sure each right-click menu would actually have a key-binding for each option. Some do, some don't. It's so much faster to edit using the keyboard and mouse together, rather than just the mouse. I know that it is a tedious programming chore to add these basics rather than the fun stuff of adding new features, but usability really does benefit from the work.

Fast and Capable?


MOV movie files (MJPEG) from digital stills cameras edit smoothly in OpenShot on a modern PC, even HD size (720 lines). It's not quite so good for me with AVCHD Lite clips (MTS files containing 264 video) from my Panasonic camera, as the complex container format makes it struggle somewhat. The clips play OK in OpenShot and can be edited successfully, but 'scrubbing' - moving the play position manually around the clip - results in staggered playback in the preview window and choppy results during transitions.

I usually have to (even in Windows video editors) convert to AVI files containg the same 264 video in a more ordered format (sometimes 'de-shaking' the footage during the conversion) in order to have clips that work well in editing. These AVI files play a little better than the original MTS files in OpenShot's timeline on USB Puppy - but not as smoothly as the simple (but larger & less compressed) MJPEG video format.

Overall I'm rather happy with OpenShot 1.3 for now. This is the first time I've had success in a Linux or Windows video editor with MTS clips, being able to join them together, edit reasonably well without crashing, and save the final movie montage still in HD at the right frame rate. Other video editors like the XP version of Windows Movie Maker or VideoPad have their own advantages and disadvantages in certain areas, but no one editor ever has it all in one perfect package. You have to settle for whatever fits your needs best. Sometimes titles are much easier to work with, sometimes the timeline basics are easier, sometimes there is more control of the audio waveform volume envelope. But sometimes you can only work with WMV files, sometimes it doesn't work with MTS files, sometimes it's a buggy editor that crashes, sometimes what you think is an unlimited trial version starts nagging about registration and payment for an upgrade, you just can't win! In contrast, Open Source projects are just a wonderful gift from the generous developers, usually with phenomenal amounts of help available online compared to commercial software.

I have followed OpenShot since the early days when it was just a few announcements on Mr J.T.'s blog, and I had faith that he sounded like he knew what he was doing. I'm glad to report that my belief in his capabilities and aims was well founded and that progress has been very impressive. There's not much I can do to help OpenShot's development, so this tutorial is my way of thanking all the developers that brought us to this point (Linux in general and OpenShot) by trying to encourage more users to give it a try and join the community surrounding the project. The more the merrier.

I await even more development with hopeful anticipation, but for now, v1.3 seems stable and will be perfectly usable for many users.

Go on, try it!

I'm sure that's all the help you'll need for now - give it a try if you want a free video editor that's going places, still being actively developed at a fast pace - it's not hard to get it running - you really can do it!
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Cenwen » Sun May 08, 2011 9:44 pm

Thanks a lot for this long article. ;)
Just one point -that I have not well understand is the pet package done by a deb package. He is transformed by a drag 'n drop ?
Anyway, the development will soon re-start and you can help us, same if you are not a developer, here or in Launchpad searching and taking our place here helping people who have some problems. Obviously, you help will be welcome and will give us more time for working on others features (new or not). :o
Like this you can help us and more than you can imagine. :lol:
Le jour où j'ai découvert le libre, j'ai su que je ne reviendrai jamais en arrière
Mon blog sur le multimédia, la photo et Openshot : http://linuxevolution.wordpress.com/
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/111472725110173916234/posts
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Mon May 09, 2011 3:49 pm

Thank you.

I wrote the tutorial as a challenge to see if I could come up with a readable way to inspire a few people to try it out. I tend to get very pleased with new things that impress me, and while I'm all 'fired up' I can go to extraordinary lengths to write about it and try to spread the word.

Unfortunately, I'm a bit bored of making videos at the moment - I don't have the time to go out filming anything that anyone might want to see, and I don't like to feel I'm wasting my time producing YouTube videos that only a few people will be interested in. My best as had over 5000 views, my worst under a 100.

So, while I'm sure OpenShot will suit a lot of people, I won't be using it much for the time being - and that means I probably won't have the enthusiasm to hang around the forum. Especially as I really should be studying things relevant to my career, as and when I have free time!

I hope this thread does tempt some people to try out what I've written about, and if so I'd really appreciate hearing from them here.

(P.S. I know very little about Puppy other than what I've already written - it works, and that's enough for me!)


All the best.
8-)
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby techtonik » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:06 am

Where all the pics gone?
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby steveosiris » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:02 pm

techtonik wrote:Where all the pics gone?

Does anyone have the links for the pics? Also, any suggestions regarding hosting would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
-Steve
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Andy » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:25 pm

They were lost when the forum was hacked some time ago. I've pasted the original images below, which I retrieved from a backup.
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby baklazanek » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:25 pm

Diode wrote:STEP 5 - simple installation of OpenShot itself

When you're online from Puppy Linux (try the Browse icon and install Firefox to satisfy yourself how wonderful it all is), you can then install the 'pet' packages from your choice of a number of websites listed for you (I had no luck with the first on the list, but the second worked ok) :
* firstly install Python (needed for OpenShot to run),
* and then OpenShot itself.

(in Linux-Land software is most easily downloaded from online 'repositories' of software provided by the 'disto' maintainers themselves, in packages called 'pets' for Puppy as opposed to 'deb' packages for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint, or 'rpm' for Red Hat etc. - you don't just download exe files from anywhere - with security risks - and run them like you do in Windows. It's more of a 'walled garden' that Linux users sometimes criticise Apple for with their iPads!)

install.gif
:geek: Puppy Package Manager showing Firefox, Python and OpenShot installed, and what it looks like shortly before installing another pet package (Audacity in this case).


STEP 5b


Run OpenShot from the Multimedia menu, and be amazed :)

oshot.gif
:geek: Openshot in action, paused on a wipe dissolve between two AVCHD Lite clips, with a title on top for good measure. If it looks different to any other screenshots you've seen, it's because I went into Preferences and changed the 'theme' to a 'blue slim' one. There are many options for changing the look of OpenShot, you can have a dark background instead of white if you like.


Is this file corrupted? :evil:
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Re: OpenShot on any PC with Puppy Linux on a stick

Postby Diode » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:00 am

I've restored the pics, as I've just returned after a long absence and was surprised to see them missing.
I know it's all probably a bit out of date, but hey :D

Nice to see the project is still going very well, as I suspected it would all along.... well done guys!
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