Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

I was trying to download a video from YouTube using youtube-dl, but I got the sig error, so I tried to update youtube-dl to the latest version and it wasn't working. I'm sorry, I don't remember what the error was or what it said in the terminal when I tried to update. So I tried uninstalling and then reinstalling youtube-dl. The uninstalling part worked fine, it's the installing part that I need help with now.

I tried typing sudo apt-get install youtube-dl and I get this:

Reading package lists... Done  
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done  
youtube-dl is already the newest version.  
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.  

So, I assumed that that meant that I had it installed, but when I tried to use it, nothing happens, or rather I just get this:

root@chaaaaaaarlie3:~# youtube-dl

and the video obviously doesn't download.

I have been trying to fix this problem for a while now and I have no idea what to do. I also have almost no knowledge of how to use terminals/Ubuntu/computers/things of that sort, so if you could be very specific when helping me, I'd appreciate it. (Okay, I'm not COMPLETELY stupid, but I really don't know much. Let's just say that youtube-dl is the ONLY thing that I use the terminal for >.> )

I'm not sure if this would be what's messing up my attempts to use youtube-dl, but I think I uninstalled youtube-dl and it's dependencies and I may have purged my local/config files for youtube-dl too. I can't really remember all that I did last night when I was trying to fix this...

share|improve this question
I got the same error when I tried to download that video so I think there might be a problem with downloading that particular video. To test if youtube-dl is working try downloading this 5-second video: youtube-dl -f 18 For an explanation of the most commonly used commands for youtube-dl see this answer:… – karel Jun 24 '14 at 1:35
Unfortunately, Youtube-dl isn't downloading ANYTHING anymore, not just that video. – user297261 Jun 24 '14 at 1:40
Try updating youtube-dl to that latest version by running the command: sudo youtube-dl -U and then try to download the 5-second video in the link in the previous comment again. – karel Jun 24 '14 at 1:42
I have tried updating it, and nothing happens. It's supposed to say something after you type "sudo youtube-dl -U" and then hit enter, right? For me, it just does what it did when I tried downloading the video. And, I tried again just to see if anything would happen, and still nothing happened when I tried to download that 5 second video :/ – user297261 Jun 24 '14 at 1:46

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are using Ubuntu 12.10 which is an End of Life release. I know this from your terminal output about Setting up 2014.06.02-1~webupd8~quantal from this PPA: ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 which is found at this webpage. That's why you can't update youtube-dl. Your version of youtube-dl is out of date and Google has changed the code required to download a YouTube video since Ubuntu 12.10 was released. That is why you can't download any video. Try installing the latest version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 14.04, which is a Long Term Support release that is supported by updates until April, 2019, and youtube-dl will work the way it's supposed to.

Then try to download a 5-second test video to check if youtube-dl is working:

youtube-dl -f 5
share|improve this answer
Oh, alright then. I'll have to wait until the next time I see my brother-in-law to update my OS, because he's my computer expert and I know nothing about how to update my OS myself.... (Yes, I really am THAT stupid when it comes to computers) But thank you for your help!! :) – user297261 Jun 24 '14 at 3:57

You don't have to upgrade the system. Update youtube-dl by adding this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

Then you may download any video as usual. For example:

share|improve this answer

For the Videos that do not seem to download via URL, try right clicking on the video and clicking on "get video URL", a box should pop up with the URL for that video which you can use with youtube-dl. However, the URL may be different; example may be: .

share|improve this answer

Possibly the easiest way to install and setup youtube-dl is to use the following two commands suggested by the youtube-dl developers:

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

And to subsequently update youtube-dl simply run the following:

sudo youtube-dl --update

Best to update at regular intervals as youtube-dl is updated often to match changes at the You Tube end...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.