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Download videos from YouTube.com in Linux

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youtube-dl is a small command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com.

Install youtube-dl in Ubuntu

sudo aptitude install youtube-dl

This will complete the installation.

Using youtube-dl

Usage instructions are easy. Use youtube-dl followed by a video URL or identifier.

youtube-dl Example

youtube-dl “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foobar”

The video will be saved to the file foobar.flv in that example. As YouTube.com videos are in Flash Video format, their extension should be flv.Check this simple guide to convert .flv files to .mpg

More usage tips

You can change the file name of the video using the -o option, like in

youtube-dl -o vid.flv “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foobar”.

Some videos require an account to be downloaded, mostly because they’re flagged as mature content. You can pass the program a username and password for a YouTube.com account with the -u and -p options, like

youtube-dl -u myusername -p mypassword “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foobar”.

The account data can also be read from the user .netrc file by indicating the -n or –netrc option. The machine name is youtube in that case.

The simulate mode (activated with -s or –simulate) can be used to just get the real video URL and use it with a download manager if you prefer that option.

The quiet mode (activated with -q or –quiet) can be used to supress all output messages. This allows, in systems featuring /dev/stdout and other similar special files, outputting the video data to standard output in order to pipe it to another program without interferences.

The program can be told to simply print the final video URL to standard output using the -g or –get-url option.

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About Nguyen Vu Ngoc Tung

I love making new professional acquaintances. Don't hesitate to contact me via nguyenvungoctung@gmail.com if you want to talk about information technology, education, and research on complex networks analysis (i.e., metabolic networks analysis), data analysis, and applications of graph theory. Specialties: researching and proposing innovative business approaches to organizations, evaluating and consulting about usability engineering, training and employee development, web technologies, software architecture.