Download YouTube Videos from the Linux Terminal

Posted by jun auza On 1/15/2010
It's always comforting to know that I can do a lot of important things inside the Linux terminal. Even those stuff that I normally do using a GUI like posting Twitter updates, downloading torrent files and Instant Messaging (IM).

Today, let me show you how I was able to download a YouTube video from the Linux terminal. It's really very easy so you may want to try it immediately after the following instructions:

1. Using Ubuntu Linux, I downloaded the package youtube-dl with this command:

$ sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

2. After having successfully installed youtube-dl, open a web browser and go to to pick a video that you would like to download.

3. Copy the page URL/address of the Youtube video.

4. Go back to the Linux terminal and simply type: youtube-dl + URL/Address of the video

For example, I downloaded the current number one YouTube video clip of all time with this command:

$ youtube-dl

You can add the -b option to download the video in high quality, e.g.

$ youtube-dl -b

5. The downloaded video will be saved at /home/username by default. It will be in .flv format so be sure to have flash plugin installed before viewing the video.

That's about it. Enjoy!

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