Downloading YouTube videos using Debian or Ubuntu

Okay, this is a very short blogpost that will show you how to download videos from YouTube, using a command line tool found on debian and ubuntu. The program I'm talking about is youtube-dl and to install it, you should open a terminal window and type in the following:

sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

When youtube-dl is installed, you need to find the video on YouTube that you would like to download. Copy the URL of that video and type the following in a terminal youtube-dl URL, where URL is the URL of the video.

An example

I would very much like to download a video of a Mercedes Unimog, climbing over a wall.

The url for that video is So, to download the video to my harddrive, I start up a terminal and type:


Now the video will be saved into the current folder.
youtube-dl have got some flags you can set, like this:

youtube-dl -b -o unimog.mp4

which will get me the best quality of video (-b) and save it to the file unimog.mp4.

Written by Jannich Brendle ons 17 februar 2010 In How to

tags: command line toolsdebianhowtolinuxubuntuxubuntuyoutube

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