How to Install Lastest youtube-dl on Ubuntu Linux

This article describe how to install youtube-dl . It runs on Terminal so it is very light weight and easy to use. One of the most popular websites on the internet is YouTube is a platform where people can upload and share videos that can range from anything from funny to informative.

Because of its great features to handle related video tasks, youtube-dl many integrated in other application and can run under Windows and Mac too.

Youtube-DL on Linux

With this software you can save audio and video in any format only using Terminal, the software called youtube-dl . By using URL or address of the site video you can save them easily. One of the best features of this apps is that will help you decide and choose the best video quality in case multiple options are available.

Estimating Video Size Using youtube-dl

You can try this command to know the estimated transfer size of the video : youtube-dl -F URL

For example you can run:

youtube-dl -F

The output is:

youtube-dl for linux

From the picture above, this app give estimated size when you choose a video format. When you not select the format you will get the best available format from the video you want to save.

We will you the usage of the format code above. Say you want to save the video as mp4 with 1280×720 resolution and 950k (see line 3 from bottom), it has format code as 136, then you have to save using command as below:

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youtube-dl -f 136

Also when you want to save the audio m4a (see format code 140) then you have to execute these command on Terminal:

youtube-dl -f 140

How to Install youtube-dl

You can work with this youtube-dl for video related task for linux which is available in the repository so that you can install it directly from your Terminal by executing these:

sudo apt install youtube-dl

Insert your Linux login password when needed, wait installation process and youtube-dl is ready to go.

How to Use youtube-dl

The youtube-dl has a manual page that you can read and practice. This this application by executing command with format:

youtube-dl URL

Or multiple video simply add the URL twice, the format become like this:

youtube-dl URL URL

Change the URL by using video URL, for example:


Managing Video Subtitle

This application packed with capability to save the video subtitle if the subtitle is available on the video. To do so you can add parameter as follow:

youtube-dl –write-description –write-info-json –write-annotations –write-sub –write-thumbnail URL

Just something like that and you have best available format of the files.

How to Update/ Upgrade youtube-dl

If you installed youtube-dl from repository then you will receive update from the system update or update manager. Please note that distribution packages are often outdated, so when needed you may install the update by hour hand directly without waiting the repository to update. For youtube-dl update you can check their website and check your installed version then compare to website version.

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To check version installed simply execute youtube-dl –version
This will return the installed version such as 2020.03.24

The mechanism to update you need to uninstall it, get the latest version from the official website, then reinstall again. In short, below command will do the task:

sudo apt remove youtube-dl
sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
hash -r
sudo youtube-dl -U

youtube-dl Review

Youtube-dl is an open-source command line tool for transferring videos from many platforms. It offers a simple interface for selecting a video and all the other options you need to get the video down to your HDD or mobile device quickly. We prefer using youtube-dl because it is very simple and can resume video transfer when connection fail or you interrupt the transfer process. By default youtube-dl tries to recover the best available quality, i.e. if you want the best quality you don’t need to pass any special options, youtube-dl will guess it for you by default. But sometimes you may want to have the video in a different format, for example when you are on a slow or intermittent connection.