Today I stumble upon a bug in the Kdenlive 0.7.8 running on my Kubuntu 10.10: the crop filter was messing with the display ratio of my video clips. Digging the web I found a bug report that was really close to my problem. According to the comments, this issue was fixed in the upcoming version of MLT. Is that bug the one I encountered? The only way to find out was to install the development version of MLT. Here is how I did it…

First, make sure to use the latest stable Kdenlive stack for you system. For me, the Sunab’s alternative repository for Kubuntu 10.10 was the ultimate source:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kdenlive

The idea is to keep the version of Kdenlive installed above, and replace the pre-packaged MLT on our system with a custom development version of our choice.

But first, we’ll install all the libraries required to build MLT from sources:

$ sudo apt-get install libavdevice-dev libswscale-dev libvorbis-dev libsox-dev libsamplerate-dev frei0r-plugins-dev libdv-dev libavformat-dev libquicktime-dev libxml2-dev libsdl-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev

Let’s now remove the installed MLT. If we use apt-get or KPackageKit, this will remove Kdenlive. So we’ll use the following command to remove MLT while ignoring all the dependencies:

$ sudo dpkg --remove --force-depends libmlt2 libmlt++3 libmlt-data melt

At this point, and every time we try to use it, apt will complain of broken Kdenlive dependencies, and will try to remove it. This mean we can’t upgrade other packages on the system.

To avoid this issue, I tried to freeze the state in which Kdenlive and MLT are, by setting the hold flag on kdenlive , kdenlive-data , libmlt2 , libmlt++3 , libmlt-data and melt packages. I tried with both dpkg and aptitude , but unfortunately it doesn’t work as expected. So we’ll continue our hack anyway…

Let’s get MLT sources:

$ git clone git://

The command above will give you the latest development version. But if you target a particular revision (like commit 21a3f68 in my case), you have to use this additional command:

$ git checkout 21a3f68

We can now follow the procedure detailed in the Kdenlive manual  :

$ cd mlt
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-gpl
$ make clean
$ make
$ sudo make install

That’s it! Now you can launch Kdenlive, and if you run the wizard, you’ll see that the MLT version on your system is the latest:

Oh, and by the way, it fixed my problem with the crop filter ! :)

Finally, if you want to revert the mess we created on the system, you have to remove the MLT we built in place:

$ sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/libmlt*
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/mlt*
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/pkgconfig/mlt*
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/include/mlt*
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/share/mlt*

I came with the list above by searching my system with the following command:

$ sudo find / -path "/home" -prune -or -iname "*mlt*" -print -or -iname "*melt*" -print

Then, we can let apt handle Kdenlive and MLT properly and get back to the pre-packaged binaries:

$ sudo apt-get remove kdenlive && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kdenlive