YouTube downloader with GUI on Linux

YouTube is home to most of the world’s video content these days. The YouTube website does not give users an easy way to download videos, since its in their best interest that users continually return to the site any time they want to watch a video. However, it is sometimes better to download videos for offline use, so users can archive content that is at risk of disappearing from online, or just so they can continue watching without an internet connection.

Tools like youtube-dl and yt-dlp make it easy for users to download YouTube videos to their Linux system. However, these are command line tools, and some users may find them cumbersome to use if they are not already very familiar on working with Linux commands.

We can address these concerns by downloading a GUI frontend for our preferred YouTube downloader tool, yt-dlp. In this tutorial, we will show how to install a graphical frontend for the yt-dlp YouTube downloader, and show you how to get started with using it to download your favorite videos.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install yt-dlp on major Linux distros
  • How to install the yt-dlp-gui graphical frontend
  • How to use YouTube GUI downloader to retrieve videos
YouTube downloader with GUI on Linux
YouTube downloader with GUI on Linux
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distro
Software yt-dlp, yt-dlp-gui
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to install yt-dlp

First, you will need to have yt-dlp installed on your system. This is the command line YouTube downloader for Linux. It will work as the backend component to the graphical program that we can install afterwards.

Some Linux distributions may have the yt-dlp package available for installation directly from the system package manager. If not, we can install the latest version by downloading the executable directly from the project’s GitHub page.

$ sudo curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp

Then, give the binary file executable permissions:

$ sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp

How to install yt-dlp-gui

After the installation of yt-dlp, we can install the graphical frontend for the program. There may be various projects that work for this purpose, but the one we will be covering is yt-dlp-gui. They have a well maintained GitHub page that tracks the ongoing project.

This program relies on Python. You will need to install Python and install pip to proceed with the installation instructions below.
  1. First, download all the yt-dlp-gui files from GitHub. This is easiest to do by using the following git command.

    $ git clone
  2. Next, install all of the dependencies via pip:
    $ cd yt-dlp-gui
    $ pip install -r requirements.txt
  3. Then, compile the program with the pyinstaller command:
    $ cd app
    $ pyinstaller --name=yt-dlp-gui --clean -y
  4. Finally, we can open the YouTube downloader graphical frontend by running:
    $ ./dist/yt-dlp-gui/yt-dlp-gui

Using YouTube Downloader GUI

Now that we have everything installed, let’s see how to use the YouTube Downloader GUI.

  1. Get started by copying the YouTube link of the video that you want to download. Then, paste it into the Link box in the yt-dlp GUI. Just below that, you can choose the path where you want the downloaded file to be saved.
    Paste your YouTube link and choose the save path
    Paste your YouTube link and choose the save path
  2. On the right side of the window, you can select the file naming format, and optionally metadata, thumbnails, and subtitles. The arrows in the screenshot above also indicate the ‘add to queue’ button and the ‘download’ button.
  3. After adding one or more YouTube links to the download queue, click on the download button to begin downloading each one. You will see the current progress of the download, as well as the entire queue, in the graphical panel.
    Our YouTube video is currently being downloaded
    Our YouTube video is currently being downloaded

Afterwards, simply browse to the directory where you chose to save your videos, and use your favorite media player to open them.

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to use a YouTube downloader with GUI on a Linux system. One of the best solutions for this is yt-dlp-gui, which is efficient and works well with queueing up tons of YouTube videos or those from various other media websites.

Comments and Discussions
Linux Forum