Download Youtube Videos on Linux With YT-DLP

Download Youtube Videos on Linux With YT-DLP

YouTube is the world’s largest store of streamable material, with tens of billions of videos online and hundreds of thousands more added daily. While you may download YouTube videos using browser extensions or online services, it’s typically faster, simpler, and safer to utilize a simple terminal program on Linux.

What Exactly are YT-DLP Download Youtube Videos?

YouTube is the keeper of its online videos, and it doesn’t like it when individuals download them in ways beyond the company’s control. The YouTube app allows you to save videos to your smartphone to view them offline, but they remain within the app and cannot be played with other applications. This is frequently problematic since you may wish to view or alter the file on other devices or add the YouTube video to your private collection permanently.

We’ve already discussed the best browser extensions for downloading YouTube videos. Still, Chrome extensions are frequently a security problem since they have full access to any data that comes through your browser. Extensions may change ownership, giving unscrupulous actors access to your online life, and in rare situations, they can even be used to install malware onto your computer.

yt-dlp is a derivative of youtube-dl, a frequently updated open-source program for downloading videos from your terminal. While downloading a video, you may pick the file format, resolution, and other options.

Although yt-dlp and its predecessor are intended for YouTube videos, the program works with hundreds of other video streaming sites, including a wide range of specialized NSFW platforms. A list of sites supported by yt-dlp may be found on its GitHub page.

Installing YT-DLP on Linux To Download Youtube Videos

Installing YT-DLP on Linux To Download Youtube Videos

Yt-dlp can be installed by downloading the binaries, piping, or third-party package management. Binaries are the simplest and most extensively used approach. This technique is compatible with all Unix-like operating systems, including Linux and macOS.

The following command will download youtube videos and copy the most recent yt-dlp release to your local path:

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp

Make it executable now by adding:

sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp

How To Use yt-dlp to Download YouTube Videos on Linux?

To begin, navigate to the YouTube video you wish to download using your desktop browser. Next, highlight the URL of the video you wish to download in the browser bar and copy it to your clipboard.

We chose “Glyn Moody: Walled Culture—A Journey Behind the Copyright Bricks” as our example film. This film is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed). This is a CC BY 3.0 license, which permits you to expressly alter, distribute, or reproduce the work as long as you acknowledge the original author and give a link to the license.

Open a terminal window and type yt-dlp, followed by the URL you copied. In our situation, we’d type:


When you press the Enter key, yt-dlp will save the movie to your current directory with the default parameters. This will be enough for the vast majority of folks.

Advanced yt-dlp Application

While the default yt-dlp command works well in many cases, hundreds of tweaking options are available to guarantee you exactly what you need. Here are a few of the most helpful.

Download YouTube Videos in a Specific Format

The above command will default download youtube videos as a 1280×720 WEBM file. This is only sometimes the case, as the default format is usually an MP4 or 3GP file with any resolution. The —list-formats flag displays all of the formats available for download and the resolutions, file sizes, and codecs utilized. In addition to downloading the entire broadcast, you may simply choose to download the video or audio stream.

yt-dlp –list-formats

Choose the format you wish to download, then use the -f parameter to specify the ID. For example, if you only want to download youtube videos with an average bit rate of 129k, you should type:

yt-dlp -f 140

When you press Enter, the file will begin to download. Alternatively, if you only want the finest available audio and video combined into a single file:

yt-dlp -f ‘bv*+ba’ -o ‘%(id)s.%(ext)s’

Download a Complete YouTube Playlist as MP3 Files

YouTube videos are frequently organized into playlists, and yt-dlp makes it simple to download youtube videos. Simply enter a playlist URL instead of an individual video URL to download a YouTube playlist on Linux using the default settings.

Instead of a slew of music videos, you’re more likely to want the audio outputted as MP3 files. In this scenario, you must provide the audio format with extra arguments: —extract-audio extracts audio from videos, —audio-format specifies the format of the downloaded audio, and —audio-quality specifies the bitrate.

yt-dlp –format bestaudio –extract-audio –audio-format mp3 –audio-quality 160K –output “%(title)s.%(ext)s” –yes-playlist ‘

Downloading YouTube videos with yt-dlp will undoubtedly violate the terms of service, but the legality of it is debatable. Under US law, any work is automatically copyrighted the moment it is created; nevertheless, authors sometimes relinquish their rights, license their works under Creative Commons conditions, or give a copyleft license.

Alternatively, some individuals and organizations, such as the United States Government, make their work available in the public domain, which means that anybody can use it for any reason.

Another sometimes neglected feature is that the DMCA prohibits the circumvention of copy-protection measures, essentially making copyright exceptions for practically any modern digital work hard to obtain. Glyn Moody’s “Walled Culture” is a comprehensive overview of copyright law in the United States and worldwide.

EndNote: How To Download Youtube Videos On Linux

yt-dlp is one of our favorite tools for downloading YouTube videos and music, but remember that you should only use it to download anything with a license that allows you to do so.

Public domain works are always free to use as you choose, although Creative Commons licenses vary by category. It’s worthwhile to investigate what Creative Commons and copyleft licenses enable you to accomplish.

Also read: How To Convert Photos To PDF On iPhone

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