How to Download a YouTube Video in Linux

by Abraham Hovey

There is no official way to download YouTube videos because they are embedded in a Flash player on the site. While it is illegal to download copyrighted materials, many YouTube videos are legal to posses if you can find a way to save it to your computer. Fortunately, if you're running a distribution of Linux you can download YouTube videos from the command shell.

Open a command shell. This is a utility used for communicating directly with your operating system using commands, allowing you to download, install and configure a number of applications and system utilities.

Type "sudo aptitude install youtube-dl" into the command shell to download a YouTube video downloader. This program is run directly from the command line and downloads content into your Home folder.

Open an Internet browser and go to the URL of a YouTube video you want to download. Right-click the address and select "Copy."

Type "youtube-dl "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example,"" replacing the address with the one you copied in Step 3. This saves the video, this one being "example.flv," to your computer. The video file takes the name of the last word or number in the YouTube address.

About the Author

Abraham Hovey is a poet and songwriter living in Madison, Wis. He has been a working musician since 1997 and holds a bachelor's degree in history from Western Michigan University.

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