Difference between revisions of "Youtube-dl"

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m (Extract audio: exp)
(Extract audio: I see the point, rm Youtube, that seems obvious given the package name.)
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=== Extract audio ===
=== Extract audio ===
Use {{ic|-x}} for audio-only downloads (mainly for YouTube, requires [[FFmpeg]]).
Use {{ic|-x}} for audio-only downloads (requires [[FFmpeg]]):
  $ youtube-dl -x -f bestaudio ''URL''
  $ youtube-dl -x -f bestaudio ''URL''

Revision as of 00:46, 4 December 2018

youtube-dl is a command-line program that lets you easily download videos and audio from more than a thousand websites. See the list of supported sites.


Install the youtube-dl package, or youtube-dl-gitAUR for the development version. It is recommended to also install FFmpeg as it is used for muxing for some sites.


The system-wide configuration file is /etc/youtube-dl.conf and the user-specific configuration file is ~/.config/youtube-dl/config. The syntax is simply one command-line option per line. Example configuration:


# Save in ~/Videos
-o ~/Videos/%(title)s.%(ext)s

# Prefer 1080p or lower resolutions
-f bestvideo[ext=mp4][height<1200]+bestaudio[ext=m4a]/bestvideo[ext=webm][height<1200]+bestaudio[ext=webm]/bestvideo[height<1200]+bestaudio/best[height<1200]/best

See [1] for more information.


See youtube-dl(1).

$ youtube-dl [OPTIONS] URL
Tip: In some cases (like YouTube) URL can be substituted with the video ID.

Format selection

In cases where multiple formats of a video are available, youtube-dl will download the best ones by default.

To select a specific one to download, first get a list of the available formats:

$ youtube-dl -F URL

Note the code of the format you want, then run:

$ youtube-dl -f format URL

Extract audio

Use -x for audio-only downloads (requires FFmpeg):

$ youtube-dl -x -f bestaudio URL

Depending on the available source streams, this will often correct the audio-only container.


To see which languages are available:

$ youtube-dl --list-subs URL

To download a video with selected subtitles (comma separated):

$ youtube-dl --write-sub --sub-lang LANG URL

Tips and tricks

Faster downloads

Some websites throttle transfer speeds. You can often get around this by using Aria2, an external downloader which supports multi-connection downloads. For example:

$ youtube-dl --external-downloader aria2c --external-downloader-args '-c -j 3 -x 3 -s 3 -k 1M' URL

Trim (partial download)

Parts of videos can be downloaded by using the output of youtube-dl -g -f format URL as ffmpeg input with the -ss, -t and -c copy options.

URL from clipboard

A shell alias, a desktop launcher or a keyboard shortcut can be set to download a video (or audio) of a selected (or copied) URL by outputting it from the X selection. See Clipboard#Tools.

See also