HOWTO: Run OpenShot on Microsoft Windows

Created by Jonathan Thomas on
microsoft windows port
Last updated by:
Jonathan Thomas on

Currently, OpenShot only works on Linux. However, here are some notes on Windows support for OpenShot.

OpenShot is programmed in Python, which is a cross-platform programming language. Linux, Mac, and Windows can run Python programs. We use GTK for our widget toolkit (dialogs, buttons, drop-downs, etc...), which is also cross-platform. In fact, early in OpenShot's development, I had it working on both Windows and Linux (before the program really did much).

However, we have one library which does not support Windows (yet), which is the MLT Framework ( For OpenShot to run on Microsoft Windows, MLT needs to be compiled for Windows, and the swig Python bindings need to be generated for Windows. More information (such as build tips and installation guides) can be found on the MLT website:

UPDATE: MLT now supports Windows, although not much testing has been done. For build instructions, read the following website:

Once MLT and the Swig-based Python bindings are working on Windows, you should be able to run this simple test:

1) Launch Python
    (from the command window, type 'python')

2) Import the MLT library
    >> import mlt

3) If no errors are encountered, this command should work:
    >> f = mlt.Factory()

So, if someone can get over that hurdle, and get this simple test to work, the next steps are to extract the OpenShot tarball (available at, and launch it using "python openshot/openshot/". There are probably many tweaks to the OpenShot code-base needed to fully support Windows, such as file path conversions, folder paths, etc... So expect many errors at this point.

Finally, once OpenShot is patched to support the correct file paths, thumbnail paths, drag n drop paths, etc... It should work just fine. =)

Good luck to anyone willing to accept the challenge.