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How to extract individual frames from videos on Linux

Do you have a video file on your Linux desktop you want to save an image from? Don’t try to screenshot it with your Linux desktop environment’s screenshot tool. Instead, follow along with our guide to learn how to extract individual frames from videos on Linux!

Installing Kdenlive on Linux

Before we can go over how to extract individual frames from videos on Linux, we must go over how to install the Kdenlive video editor. Why? It’s the best tool for editing and modifying video files. As such, it has an incredible frame extractor feature we will cover in this guide.

The Kdenlive video editor is part of the KDE suite of tools. Since it is part of KDE, it is incredibly easy to install on virtually every Linux distribution out there. It’s even supported by both Snap and Flathub. To start the installation, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, from there, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, installing the Kdenlive video editor is as easy as entering the following Apt command.

sudo apt install kdenlive

Debian

On Debian Linux? You’ll be able to install Kdenlive fairly easily with the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

Arch Linux

Those on Arch Linux can get Kdenlive set up with the following Pacman command.

sudo pacman -S kdenlive

Fedora

Are you using Fedora Linux? Get the Kdenlive app working with the Dnf command.

sudo dnf install kdenlive

OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE Linux users will be able to get Kdenlive up and running with the following Zypper command.

sudo zypper install kdenlive

Flatpak

The Kdenlive video editor is on the Flathub app store as a Flatpak! To get the app working as a Flatpak, start out by installing the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC by following our guide on the subject. After that, add the Flathub app store to the system with the command below.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Once the Flathub app store is added, the installation of Kdenlive via Flatpak can begin. Using the command below, install the Kdenlive app.

flatpak install flathub org.kde.kdenlive

Snap package

Kdenlive is available as a Snap package in the Snap App Store. To get it working as a Snap, start out by enabling the Snapd runtime on your Linux system. Then, once it is enabled, make use of the snap install command below.

sudo snap install kdenlive

How to extract individual frames

To extract individual frames from a video file, start by opening up the Kdenlive application on your Linux desktop by searching for it in the app menu. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Locate the “Project” button, and click on it with the mouse to access Kdenlive’s “Project” menu. This menu has all of the clip-related options necessary to import a video file into the Kdenlive project.

Step 2: Inside of the “Project” menu, locate the “+ Add Clip or Folder” and click on it with the mouse. Selecting this option will allow you to import a video file into Kdenlive.

Step 3: Upon adding a video file into Kdenlive, it will not appear in the timeline. Instead, you will see it show up in the “Project Bin” area. Click on it with the mouse and drag it to the timeline.

Once the clip is in the Kdenlive timeline, you will be able to see the entirety of the video file and its waveforms rendered. From here, click on the video clip with the mouse, and press the Spacebar on the keyboard to begin playback.

Step 4: Allow the video to play through Kdenlive. Then, when you make it to the portion of the video file which you want to extract a frame from, hit the Spacebar once again to pause it.

When the video file is paused, make your way to the “Project Monitor.” Can’t find the “Project Monitor?” It’s the video box that displays your video clip as it plays in the Kdenlive editor.

Step 5: In the Kdenlive “Project Monitor,” right-click with the mouse. By right-clicking, you will reveal Kdenlive’s Project Monitor right-click menu. Look through the right-click menu for the “Extract frame” option, and click on it with the mouse.

By clicking on the “Extract frame” button, you will tell Kdenlive to take the exact frame that the “Project Monitor” is paused on and save it to a file.

Step 6: Upon clicking on “Extract Frame,” a pop-up window will appear. Use this pop-up window to save your newly extracted frame to the location of your choice on your Linux PC.

Feel free to repeat this process as many times as needed to extract multiple frames from the video file.

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