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I am running 12.04 Ubuntu os, I have downloaded the app and the download is complete but when I search from dash neither is the file nor the folder of youtube-dl turns up. Can anyone help?

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Have you tried downloading the videos in the "/home/user/Videos" folder, I think dash can be configured to check it out. Maybe it won't appear in Dash until you actually play it once. – userDepth May 4 at 1:15

There are really 2 questions here:

1. Why does youtube-dl not feature in Dash?

This is because youtube-dl is run from a Terminal and does not come with icons, desktop files and the like. It is simply run from any Terminal as follows:

youtube-dl [options] url [url...]

Details of the commandline options can be easily seen by running:

youtube-dl -h

in any Terminal. Experiment a little to make youtube-dl work as you wish.

2. Where does Youtube-dl download YouTube files?

By default youtube-dl will download the files in the working directory of the Terminal that you have opened. Usually this is your $HOME environment, but not always. This behavior can be modified either of 2 ways:

  1. Use the -o option with youtube-dl to manually give a location for the downloaded files:

    youtube-dl -o ~/Desktop/%(title)s.%(ext)s 'youtube file url'

    and of course substitute your actual url for 'youtube file url'. This example sends the completed download to your Desktop.

  2. Set a path in the youtube-dl configuration file ~/.config/youtube-dl.conf as follows:

    --output "~/Desktop/%(title)s.%(ext)s"

    and then all downloaded files will automatically go to your Desktop.


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By default youtube-dl downloads files in the same directory from where you run the command. Mostly it's your home directory. If your name is Tom, then it is /home/Tom. To force it to download elsewhere you should use -o option; and to select quality of video, there is -f option. But how would you know the variety of quality of files. That is achieved by -F option. So combine all these in one shell script, make it executable and put it in a bin directory. And life becomes easy going.

I have written one script for my own use. It works fine. You don't have to worry where all those downloaded files are going. I've chosen ~/Videos directory for downloading YT videos; you can choose any other. Also replace 'Tom' by your name. Here is the script:

tput clear
tput cup 05 10
echo "Give the YouTube URL: \c"
# Here you paste the YT-video-URL by ctrl+shift+V
read answer
# The follwing command will display a list of video quality options to choose from
youtube-dl -F $answer
# Here you give the number shown in first column as per your choice
echo "Select Quality (Choose a number): \c"
read qual
# If you don't want to download and quit the shell, give 99
if [ $qual -ne 99 ]
youtube-dl -f $qual -o "/home/Tom/Videos/%(title)s.%(ext)s" $answer
exit 0
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If you run youtube-dl like this:

youtube-dl -o "/home/vasa1/Downloads/%(title)s"

The video should be in /home/vasa1/Downloads. Of course you need to put your username in place of vasa1.

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by default youtube-dl downloads it's files on your home directory to access your downloaded filed please open the terminal change the directory to your home directory user:~$ cd /home/user Notice: user is your user name

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Ubuntu 14 fix of official installation procedure

Create directory here:

sudo mkdir /opt/youtube-dl

Move youtube-dl from installation place:

sudo mv /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl /opt/youtube-dl

Make symlink:

pushd /usr/local/bin/ && sudo ln -s /opt/youtube-dl/youtube-dl

Test symlink:

ls -la youtube-dl 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 26 Oct 16 20:41 youtube-dl -> /opt/youtube-dl/youtube-dl


Test file:

ls -la /opt/youtube-dl/youtube-dl

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 639567 Oct 15 12:42 /opt/youtube-dl/youtube-dl

Fix permissions:

sudo chmod 755 /opt/youtube-dl/youtube-dl

Remove old cache:

sudo rm -r /home/<user>/.cache/youtube-dl/

e'voila! youtube-dl without having a need for a sudo in front of it

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