How to save YouTube videos with YouTube-DL GUI on Linux

YouTube-DL GUI is a front-end application for the command-line tool YouTube-DL. The program is designed to take the complexity out of using YouTube-DL from the command line and make it much easier to save save YouTube videos on Linux offline.

The application has a very simple, straightforward UI, with quick-change settings, and supports multiple video and audio formats, making it the perfect drop-in replacement for any other YouTube video saving the app on Linux today.

Install YouTube-Dl GUI

Installing the YouTube-DL GUI application can be done in a couple of different ways. Officially, the developer supports a PPA for Ubuntu, downloadable DEB packages for Debian, an Arch AUR package and a Python package.

To get this application up and running on your Linux operating system, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T and follow the instructions below that correspond with your distribution.


The developer of the YouTubeDL GUI application allows Ubuntu Linux users to quickly install the program with a third-party PPA. To get it working, open up a terminal window and use the add-apt-repository command.

Note: the PPA currently supports Ubuntu releases 18.04 LTS and 18.10. It does not yet support 19.04. To get it working on this release, try following the Debian instructions.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

With the new PPA set up on your Ubuntu Linux system, run the update command.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, you can grab the latest release of the YouTubeDL GUI package.

sudo apt install youtube-dlg


Debian users should have no issue downloading the YouTubeDL GUI DEB package to their computers and installing it through dpkg. On Debian 10, users should download the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic release. Debian 9 users should grab the 16.04 Xenial one.

Note: Debian 8 currently cannot work with any packages available in the YouTubeDL GUI repo. Before continuing, please upgrade to Debian 9 or 10.

Debian 10

sudo dpkg -i youtube-dlg_0.4-1~webupd8~bionic9_all.deb
sudo apt-get install -f

Debian 9

sudo dpkg -i youtube-dlg_0.4-1~webupd8~xenial4_all.deb
sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

There’s an AUR package of YouTubeDL GUI available to Arch Linux users, so if you don’t want to use the Flatpak or Snap release, install this version instead.

To start the AUR installation, use the Pacman command and grab the Git and Base-devel packages.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

Next, use the Git program to download the Trizen AUR helper. With this app, getting the dependencies necessary is much quicker.

git clone
cd trizen
makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen application to install the YouTubeDL GUI app on your Arch Linux PC.

trizen -S youtube-dl-gui-git


Fedora Linux weirdly doesn’t have any support from the developers of the YouTubeDL GUI app. Instead, if you want to make use of it, you must grab it through Python’s package installer.

To get the Python package working, open up a terminal and do the following.

Note: you must have Python Pip on Fedora for this to work. More info here.

pip install youtube-dlg==0.4


YouTubeDL GUI is up on the OpenSUSE software store, so it’s easy to get the program working on every relevant release of SUSE.

Head over to the OBS page for YouTubeDL GUI, scroll down and find your version of OpenSUSE, and click on the “1-Click install” button to get going!

Save YouTube videos as Mp3 with YouTube-DL GUI

One of the most common reasons users want to save YouTube videos is that they want to convert a video into a music file for their collection. With YouTube-DL, this process is done with a long and sometimes confusing command-line argument. In contrast, YouTubeDL GUI offers up an easy to understand “Audio” tab.

how to save youtube videos with youtube dl gui on How to save YouTube videos with YouTube-DL GUI on Linux

To save your favorite YouTube video on your Linux PC as a song, do the following.

Step 1: Go to and find your favorite music video, song video, etc. and copy it to the clipboard.

Step 2: Open up the YouTubeDL GUI application on your Linux desktop.

Step 3: Paste the URL of the YouTube video in the box under the text that says “Enter URLs below.”

Step 4: Find the drop-down menu on the right and set it to “MP3”. Then, click “Add”.

Step 5: Click the cloud button at the bottom right to start the encoding. When the process is done, your newly created MP3 file will be in /home/username/.

Save YouTube videos as Mp4 with YouTube-DL GUI

Many people choose to save YouTube videos as MP4 files for offline viewing due to slow, or intermittent network connections. With YouTube-DL, users need to specify codec arguments, etc manually. In contrast, the YouTube-DL GUI makes it as easy as clicking an option in a menu.

how to save youtube videos with youtube dl gui on linux 1 How to save YouTube videos with YouTube-DL GUI on Linux

To save a YouTube video as an MP4 on your Linux desktop, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Go to, find a video you’d like to save as an MP4 file on your computer, and copy the URL to your clipboard.

Step 2: Open up the YouTubeDL GUI tool and paste the URL into the box that says “Enter URLs below”.

Step 3: Look for the drop-down box on the right and set it to “MP4”. Then click “Add”.

Step 4: Click the cloud button on the bottom right to start the encoding. When the video is down saving, it’ll be watchable at /home/username/ on your computer.

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