Download videos from Youtube, Google Video and others using Linux [Update]

Many online video sites such as Youtube, Google Video, Dailymotion, Metacafe, and others only provide limited or inconvenient access to the videos; either they require you to install the proprietary Flash player (and I surely won't do that), and/or you can only view them online (but not download them).

There are some solutions, each with advantages and disadvantages:

  • youtube-dl, a command line script to download Youtube videos.
  • metacafe-dl, same as above but for Metacafe videos.
  • clive, a command line tool (with optional newt UI) for Youtube, Google Video (seems defunct at the moment) and Dailymotion.
  • VideoDownloader, a Firefox plugin which is supposed to work with more than 60 video sites (Youtube and Google Video are among them). The only disadvantage compared to the other solutions: you need to start Firefox + X11 (no pure command line usage).
  • UnPlug, a Firefox plugin similar to VideoDownloader, but with the advantage that it doesn't use the VideoDownloader web service (but rather figures out the video URLs itself).
  • Gnash, a free software Flash video player is another option, but AFAICS it's not yet ready for daily usage (but it's getting there).
  • swfdec, another Free Software Flash player, is actually working quite nice with Youtube already.

After the download, you can either view the videos using (e.g.) mplayer, or recode them into a more sane format. For all of the above programs there are Debian packages available, except for VideoDownloader/UnPlug (but you can easily install those from within Firefox).

Update 2007-07-26: Added UnPlug and swfdec (thanks Joe Buck and Josh Triplet for the comments).


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

ClipGrab - another solution.

The best solution I have used yet is ClipGrab. It offers complete control including choosing the video quality and format. There is also a search option, so you need not visit the youtube page as well.
ClipGrab to download youtube videos

You can try download Youtube

You can try download Youtube from this website:

copy and paste youtube video page URL and paste to the site,
it will generate download link for you (FLV, MP4-HD, 3GP).
Facebook, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Tudou...etc video download supported too.

You also can perform video search through the Tubekeeper Video Search Engine.

In my opinion is the best

In my opinion is the best youtube downloader tool available today, I recommned you all to use it

here you can find some instruction how to download youtube video to mp3 and how to download youtube videos to mp4


I recommend using this Video

I recommend using this Video Downloader, a free program for downloading and converting YouTube videos.
The program enables you to download a video from any site and convert it to any format, including MP3, Avi, QuickTime, iPod, iPhone, etc.

It is also recommended to visit
It's totally free and easy to use.
Or you can just add "want" in youtube URL to get videos!

another option

you can use to get the desired vds in .flv or .avl format


Download youtube videos

Download youtube videos easily

sometimes it just helps to

sometimes it just helps to look in the source-code of the page for "suspicious" links

Another option to download

Another option to download youtube video. it's easy and no installation needed.

Hi. I think that

I think that its ok for all.
Its simple cool

You can Save youtube, metacafe, google videos

no need any third party softwares to save or download youtube or metacafe videos just try this new method.

i think that is a great

i think that is a great Metacafe addon is one of the best to use

Just watching

I am new to Ubuntu (9.xx) and would just like to WATCH the videos. I can hear the sound but am unable to see the video... is there a Firefox plugin or some kind of extension that allows you to view?

I am frustrated since I am SUCKY at coding and all that but HATE Microsoft products like Windows!


Yes, but that method requires an installed Flash player, which is one of the main reasons why I'm using youtube-dl etc. I have no intentions to use a proprietary Flash player in a browser.

get-flash-videos is another

A new one that supports some more sites:

/tmp stores flash videos

Wow.. i never realized there were any programs for this. As long as I can remember firefox downloads most flash videos right to your /tmp folder upon viewing them (works with youtube, metacafe, etc.) no need for any special software, just copy and paste. But I have adobe's flash player installed, not sure if it works the same for gnash and such, but imagine it would.

Of course, Opera does the

Of course,
Opera does the same if cache is enabled. You already have them in the cache folder just write "opera:cache" in the address line and you get a list and copy them where you want.

universal method

the article explains how to do it the "universal way" without relying on any script, a kind of works for all the sites. I tried it even with less "catholic" sites, and it works.

I discovered another great YouTube video downloader

I like to use this

I like to use this one

It is easily possible make online file converter, youtube, metacafe and download

For who are interested take a look

Download youtube videos

Here is a great site to download videos from youtube , simply search videos and click on download button to download (FLV link to download low quality videos and MP4 link to download High Quality Videos), no need to copy and paste video urls, a great, simple and easy tool for video down loaders.

youtube download tool for Linux

If you're a linux user and prefer to use Graphical tools instead of the command line, then a new tool is available to allow users to download youtube video, storying them as: avi, mpeg, mp4, flv etc... and also allows the user to specify a preferred video directory to store videos. e.g. Allowing the user to specify the IPOD video directory, so that the videos are waiting to be saved to the IPOD on the next synchronization.

Check it here:

Great guide for save youtube videos

I recommed Youtube downloader,cause it can directly play flv flies after downloading.

hm, why download smth if you

hm, why download smth if you just can use online service like tubezoid or smth similar

Da ist mir das Usenet doch lieber...

Diese ganzen Tools kann man sich sparen. Das Usenet gibt es bereits seit Ende der 70er Jahre. Ursprünglich als Kommunikationsplatform gedacht mutiert dieses Relikt aus längst vergessen Tagen aber immer mehr zur Platform für den Austausch von Dateien.

Der Grund dafür ist relativ einfach ermittelt. P2P Tauschbörsen sind bereits seit Jahren unter Beschuss der Musikindustrie und ihrer Rechteverwerter. Oftmals wissen Nutzer von Tauschbörsen gar nicht, dass sie nach einem Download auch automatisch Inhalte anderen Nutzern zur Verfügung stellen. Im Usenet ist dies anders. Um Dateien herunterzuladen brauch man eben nicht eigene Dateien zum Tausch anbieten und begeht daher bei einer ordnungsgemäßen Nutzung ohne Zugriff auf geschütze Inhalte Dritter auch keinerlei Rechtsbruch. Hinzu kommt, dass man im Usenet Provider auch nicht durch die verwendete IP eindeutig zu identifizieren ist, denn die Struktur des Usenet unterscheidet sich erheblich von gängigen P2P-Börsen.

Die Usenet Anbieter besitzen verschiedene Serverfarmen, welche den Upload eines ihrer User auf Abruf an andere Usenet Anbieter weiterleiten. Jemand der Dateien aus dem Usenet herunterlädt muss sich daher in der Regel auf den sogenannten "Header" eines Usenet-Eintrags verlassen, in dem der ursprüngliche Uploader beschreibt, um was für einen Inhalt es sich überhaupt handelt.

Search and download YouTube, MetaCafe and Break videos

ExtractVideo allows you to download and save videos from YouTube, Metacafe and Break directly to your computer. Even more, you can search and download videos you like!

tcpdump'ing URL out

I was puzzled recently while attempting to download Portal game trailer.

clive (which I prefer to youtube-dl) didn't help, neither did gnash.

The brute-force approach succeeded after all: I've snarfed the traffic with tcpdump and found the .flv URL in it.


video download

if you are trying to download youtube videos you can also use its decent one

I use diwib

I use with multi download

Ook? Video Ook!

Here's another Firefox extension which I like because of its convenience. Lately downloading from youtube doesn't work anymore (this also happens with some other plugins) - but I guess this will be fixed soon.

"Ook? Video Ook! enables you to download embedded videos from several systems (such as YouTube, Google Video, Pornotube, Metacafe and many more)."

Love using Zillatube......

I'll just use Zillatube since it downloads videos easily and fast. Another feature is it can converts to windows videos that I can easily edit or watch. You can also get a copy, if you want it, at Zillatube website

You can also use this little

You can also use this little site.. Gives you a direct download link from youtube and google video servers, there are also support for other video resources.

Take this


I recommend UnPlug, rather than VideoDownloader. VideoDownloader makes use of the web service of the same name, and thus passes all your video download requests off to them. UnPlug runs directly in Firefox, and figures out video URLs itself. It can also do a reasonable job even on sites it doesn't already know about. It can *optionally* use VideoDownloader and other such services, but it does a good job on its own.


Nice, thanks! Added to the list.


google video

thanks for unplug using ubuntu,debian,suse.


What is this "Firefox" of which you speak?

Please tell me that's

Please tell me that's satire.

Other limitations

VideoDownload relies on an external site for extracting the video....


There is another free software Flash plugin, swfdec, which currently works better for YouTube than Gnash does.

TubeTilla is another free

TubeTilla is another free YouTube Downloader and converter, you can convert YouTube Videos to wmv, mp4 and mp3.

Is this for _linux_?????? r

Is this for _linux_?????? r u blind?


Indeed, swfdec works fine here for Youtube videos. Added to the list.

Thanks, Uwe.

Download videos from youtube

Hi guys
I use , very fast and simple

I use

I use because you can download in 3 different qualities!!!!