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GNU/Linux, Terminal, Ubuntu

How to Download YouTube Videos in Linux ~~The Geek Way~~

Geeks have a passion or call it there signature move to do most of the activities via terminal ..So today i will show you how to download videos from YouTube  using CLI ..

Believe me this process is much easier than using any GUI to download videos from YouTube…But if u feel GUI is the way for u then read this post

Step 1 : Open Firefox ,Go to YouTube and Open the video which you want to download.

Step 2 : Allow the whole video to buffer ..It does not matter whether you play the video or not.Do not close the YouTube window till the whole  download process is complete .

Step 3 : Now that the whole video is loaded ..go to terminal and issue the following command.

$ lsof | grep -i flash

let me explain more about the command

‘ lsof ‘ is a acronym for “list open files” .This command lists the files that are open in the system and also the processes that have opened them .

‘ grep ‘ is a acronym for “Generalized Regular Expression Parser” .This is a very frequently used command .In simple terms this command searches .

So the combination of lsof and grep along with a pipe ‘ | ‘ lists the files that are open with the name flash ..This can be seen in the pic given below .

The file which we can see in the /tmp folder is the one which we require (The flash player stores the stream files in /tmp folder)

Step 4 : Now that we have found the file which we want lets copy it to a proper destination along with a proper name (Here i have copied it to the desktop).

$ cp /tmp/FlashXXrSKOe6 /home/suhas/Desktop/MogginaManasu.flv

Here ‘ /tmp/FlashXXrSKOe6 ‘ is the source file and  ‘ /home/suhas/Desktop/MogginaManasu.flv ‘ is the destination along with the file name and format .

This is picture of the downloaded video playing.Enjoy 🙂 🙂

If u feel the pictures are not clearly visible just click on them to get a bigger and better pic.


The information found at n00bsys0p was very helpful in publishing this post.


About Suhas Dwarakanath

Embedded Engineer interested in Electronics and GNU/Linux


One thought on “How to Download YouTube Videos in Linux ~~The Geek Way~~

  1. What version of Ubuntu are you using and what is that interface?

    Posted by Alex | January 3, 2012, 12:50 am

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