Undoubtedly, YouTube has woven itself into the fabric of our digital existence, serving as an inexhaustible source of entertainment, learning resources, and so much more.

Nevertheless, there are occasions when you may want to download a video for offline consumption, be it to circumvent buffering issues or to ensure access during periods of internet unavailability.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps for downloading YouTube videos using the Linux command line with the help of the robust and adaptable tool known as youtube-dl.

What is youtube-dl?

youtube-dl is a Python-based command-line utility designed to facilitate video downloads from YouTube and various other platforms.

As an open-source program, it accommodates an extensive array of formats, resolutions, and output preferences.

Its ease of use, coupled with features such as batch downloading, automatic retry mechanisms, and rate limiting, has made it a preferred choice for numerous Linux enthusiasts.

Capabilities of the youtube-dl command in Linux

It’s no overstatement to deem youtube-dl as the premier YouTube downloader for Linux, given its extensive array of features.

  1. Downloads videos from a variety of platforms: Aside from YouTube, youtube-dl is compatible with other popular video websites, including Dailymotion, Facebook, and more.
  2. Supports multiple video formats: The tool accommodates several video formats, such as MP4 and WebM, enabling users to download content as per their preferences.
  3. Offers adjustable video quality: Users can select their desired video quality for downloads, with options ranging from 4K to 1080p and 720p, provided the source video supports it.
  4. Automatic pause and resume functionality: youtube-dl ensures seamless video downloads by automatically pausing and resuming the process as needed.
  5. Bypasses YouTube’s geo-restrictions: The tool empowers users to overcome regional limitations imposed by YouTube, granting access to otherwise inaccessible content.

Step by Step: Downloading YouTube in Linux with youtube-dl

Step 1: Installing youtube-dl

Before you can start downloading videos, you need to install youtube-dl on your Linux system. Follow these steps to get it up and running:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Install youtube-dl using the package manager for your Linux distribution. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, run the following command:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

For Fedora, use:

sudo dnf install youtube-dl

And for Arch Linux, use:

sudo pacman -S youtube-dl

3. Once the installation is complete, verify it by running:

youtube-dl --version

This command should display the version number of the installed youtube-dl.

Step 2: Basic Usage

Downloading a video using youtube-dl is as simple as providing the video URL as an argument. For example:

youtube-dl "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID"

Replace VIDEO_ID with the actual ID of the video you want to download.

Step 3: Advanced Options

youtube-dl offers several advanced options to customize your downloads. Some of the most useful ones include:

  1. Downloading videos in a specific format:

Use the -F option to list available formats, and then use the -f option followed by the format code to download in your desired format.

youtube-dl -F "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID"
youtube-dl -f FORMAT_CODE "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID"

  1. Downloading only the audio:

To download only the audio of a video, use the --extract-audio option along with the --audio-format option to specify the output format (e.g., mp3, aac, or flac).

youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID"

  1. Downloading a playlist:

To download an entire playlist, provide the playlist URL instead of a single video URL.

youtube-dl "https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAYLIST_ID"

  1. Limiting download speed:

To avoid consuming all your bandwidth, you can limit the download speed with the --limit-rate option followed by the speed limit (e.g., 500K or 2M).

youtube-dl --limit-rate 500K "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID"

Summary: Youtube -dl in Linux:

youtube-dl is a powerful and versatile tool for downloading YouTube videos on Linux systems.

With a few simple commands and options, you can easily download videos in Youtube

Read also:

How to optimize Linux for low-powered devices

Running Kali Linux in the Cloud: A Step-by-Step Guide for Secure and Scalable Computing

Categories: LinuxBlog

James R. Kinley - It Admin

James R. Kindly

My Name is James R. Kindly i am the founder and primary author of Storaclix, a website dedicated to providing valuable resources and insights on Linux administration, Oracle administration, and Storage. With over 20 years of experience as a Linux and Oracle database administrator, i have accumulated extensive knowledge and expertise in managing complex IT infrastructures and databases.

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