From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Screenshot of youtube-dl downloading Big Buck Bunny
Screenshot of youtube-dl downloading Big Buck Bunny
Developer(s) Ricardo Garcia Gonzalez, Philipp Hagemeister, Filippo Valsorda, Jaime Marquínez Ferrándiz, Yen Chi Hsuan, Remita Amine, Sergey M., Naglis Jonaitis, pulpe.[1]
Initial release 2006; 12 years ago (2006)
Stable release
2018.06.25 (June 25, 2018; 51 days ago (2018-06-25)[2]) [±]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in Python
Operating system Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, BSD
Licence Public Domain (Unlicense)[3]

youtube-dl is a command-line utility for downloading videos or extracting audio files from streaming websites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. The software is written using Python. youtube-dl is public domain software under the Unlicense license and waiver.[4]


youtube-dl is executed through a command-line interface, although several graphical user interface (GUI) front-ends exist. The minimal amount of information required is a supported URL to a video on YouTube or various other sites, from which youtube-dl will automatically download the file:

youtube-dl [OPTIONS] URL [URL...]

Many optional parameters can be specified.[5] For example, entire playlists or an entire YouTube channel's content can be downloaded, with filtering rules, in a single command.[6]


It requires the Python interpreter, version 2.5 or higher, so it is portable to Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems.[7] youtube-dl is dependent on several other command-line tools. For post-processing and merge operations it uses either FFmpeg or avconv. For extracting media from a Macromedia RTMP stream it uses RTMPDump. These utilities are not included with youtube-dl, and need to be downloaded separately.

Windows users will need to download executable builds from their respective webpages and placed in the same folder as youtube-dl. MacOS users can install dependencies through Homebrew with brew install [DEPENDENCYNAME].

Detailed instructions for installing are written, with the source code, at the official web page[8].

GNU/Linux & Unix[edit]

Youtube-dl is available in the official repositories of most GNU/Linux distributions.[9][10][11][12][13]


Command-line autoupdate for youtube-dl software.

This software, considering that distribution packages are often outdated, has an option for updating that overrides the defaults repositories where it is installed: youtube-dl --update or youtube-dl -U, short form. This command-line option will make the software look at its own repository[14]; however, the authors always recommend using the standard system update mechanism to update[15].

Supported sites[edit]

The following is a list of noteworthy websites supported by youtube-dl.[16]


  1. ^ "youtube-dl Authors". youtube-dl. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Releases - rg3/youtube-dl". Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via GitHub. 
  3. ^ "youtube-dl GitHub page". GitHub. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  4. ^ license on youtube-dl/blob/master/LICENSE
  5. ^ "GitHub Readme". GitHub. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Using youtube-dl to download entire youtube channel?". Ask Ubuntu. 4 December 2016. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017. This answer won't work on older versions of youtube-dl. You need to update youtube-dl to the latest version. 
  7. ^ WikiHow community question and answers (15 September 2012). "wikiHow to Install YouTube to Download YouTube Videos to Your PC". wikiHow. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017. This article will cover the installation of the youtube-dl python script on Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu operating system. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Latest youtube-dl downloads
  15. ^ . Bolton, Daniel (20 October 2017). "How do I update youtube-dl?". GitHub. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017. If you have installed youtube-dl using a package manager like apt-get or yum, use the standard system update mechanism to update. Note that distribution packages are often outdated. As a rule of thumb, youtube-dl releases at least once a month, and often weekly or even daily. Simply go to to find out the current version. 
  16. ^ "youtube-dl: Supported sites". Retrieved 21 September 2016. 

External links[edit]