I have read this thread but please hear me out.

I use Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (32-bit) and I didn't bother to install the Flash plugin for Firefox as I am using a netbook and sometimes Flash caused firefox to crash. What I would like to ask is if I had the link to the video, is there some way I can download it and watch it offline (via VLC) so that I don't need to install Flash plugin? Command line or GUI techniques is welcome.

Based on what I have read, using the /tmp technique requires Flash plugin to be installed and the video to be loaded before I can go scavenge it in the said directory. Note that I also want to dload videos from site aside from youtube.


13 Answers 13


I would recommend ClipGrab, it downloads videos from many popular video sites including:

  • YouTube
  • Clipfish
  • College Humor
  • Daily Motion
  • MyVideo
  • MySpass
  • Sevenload
  • Tudou
  • Vimeo

It also allows you to transcode the video into multiple formats including audio formats such as mp3 and ogg vorbis.

alt text

You can install it from the ppa:clipgrab-team/ppa PPA.

  • I tried this and managed to download YouTube videos in Original format and Normal (360p) quality only. In my Ubuntu setup, when I dload it in HD (720p), when in the 75% during playback, the video becomes garbled/corrupted. Also when I tried to set the Format to MP3, parts of the song is skipped (or truncated). Perhaps it has something to do with ClipGrabs on-the-fly conversion?
    – baktin
    Nov 10 '10 at 15:10
  • 4
    and for redtube?
    – Alfredo
    Jul 24 '12 at 23:56
  • CAUTION! clipgrab was a malware ... I don't know if this recommendation is the same as the virus I installed (GUI looks the same)... Dec 19 '16 at 14:50

CClive is a command line application that downloads videos from a number of sites including youtube and dailymotion. If you run:

cclive url1 url2 url3 ...

cclive will download the videos to the current working directory.

See man cclive for details of more advanced options.

Abby is a GUI frontend for cclive. It seems from the google code page that the development is inactive and I can't get it to work in Maverick. I remember using it in Lucid and it worked OK.

alt text

I recall having problems with cclive and abby when I was using it on Lucid for downloading youtube videos. This is because youtube changed their implementation (probably to stop downloaders like cclive) and the version of cclive in the repositories wasn't up to date enough to work. There were similar problems with youtube-dl. A solution to this is to install a newer version from source or find a ppa of the newer version.


The commandline tool youtube-dl can download videos from YouTube, dailymotion and some other sites.

sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

There is also a Totem plugin to look at Youtube videos.


One of the better tools is the Firefox Add-On 1-Click YouTube Video Download. It gives you an easy right-clickable download link.

  • 1
    I agree that a browser-based solution is probably the easiest experience for this. Not only is it cross-platform (in most cases) but it means you don't have to load up another application just to get a download going. It's all on the page. There are dozens of alternatives to this one too, each with their own target sites.
    – Oli
    Nov 3 '10 at 18:07
  • Upon reading the add-on's site, I don't see any other video sites it is capable of downloading from except YouTube.
    – baktin
    Nov 10 '10 at 15:13

By far the best way to download flash videos from the internet is using the get_flash_videos tool from here http://code.google.com/p/get-flash-videos/ . From the description on the page:

Download videos from various Flash-based video hosting sites, without having to use the Flash player. Handy for saving videos for watching offline, and means you don't have to keep upgrading Flash for sites that insist on a newer version of the player.

Includes support for the following sites/players (and more!):

YouTube, eHow, Brightcove (used by many sites like Channel 4, Daily Telegraph ...), BBC (news, etc), Metacafe, 5min, Google, fliqz, nicovideo, vimeo, Blip, Break, Collegehumor, Muzu, Sevenload, Megavideo, Wat.tv. Also includes a 'generic' method which works on many other sites.

I would definitely recommend using this program.


CLI alternatives for downloading from YouTube or other flash video streaming sites:

Package: get-flash-videos


get_flash_videos [OPTION]... URL...

with specified URL of the video.

get_flash_videos [OPTION]... SEARCH

where SEARCH is the video-name/string to search for in Google Videos.

Supported sites:

Supports many video sites including

  • YouTube,
  • eHow,
  • Brightcove (used by many sites like Channel 4, Daily Telegraph ...),
  • BBC (news, etc),
  • Metacafe,
  • aol,
  • Google,
  • fliqz,
  • nicovideo,
  • vimeo,
  • Blip,
  • Break,
  • Collegehumor,
  • Sevenload,
  • Wat.tv

Package: youtube-dl


youtube-dl [options] url ...

Some of currently supported sites:

  • CollegeHumor,
  • Comedy Central,
  • Dailymotion,
  • Facebook,
  • Metacafe,
  • Photobucket,
  • The Escapist,
  • Vimeo,
  • Yahoo!,
  • YouTube,
  • blip.tv,
  • video.google.com,
  • Soundcloud,
  • InfoQ,
  • Mixcloud,
  • OpenClassRoom

Mozilla Firefox add-on:

Update: Merging my other answer for this post.

This one's been my favorite Firefox addon: Flash Video Downloader


Currently supported sites:

  • YouTube,
  • Google Video (video.google.com),
  • DailyMotion (dailymotion.com),
  • Metacafe (metacafe.com),
  • Break.com (break.com),
  • Blip.tv (blip.tv),
  • MyVideo.de (myvideo.de) and others.

Also allows for flash games download from:

  • gamespot.com,
  • community.games.com,
  • armorgames.com,
  • net-games.biz,
  • gamesvine.com,
  • zoopgames.com,
  • flashgames247.com and more.

You can use "Easy Youtube Video Downloader" extension in Firefox:
Easy YouTube Video Downloader Add-on

Easy YouTube Video Downloader -- from the Firefox Add-on page


I'm a big fan of jdownloader. It has plugins for most of the common video sites. You can choose at what definition you download from (on youtube at least, i'm not sure about other sites). It automatically runs url you copy for downloading, its a nice streamlined process. I suggest you try it out https://launchpad.net/~jd-team/+archive/jdownloader. Add the PPA from here and install "jdownloader" (by the way, its written in java, its only downfall)


I would recommend this extension for Chrome http://grabanymedia.altervista.org/ translated into English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese


If you only like to watch the youtube videos, you can with vlc. Only thing you need to copy the youtube URL and paste to the VLC main window and hit Play (enter). You also can drag and drop the URL from the browser to the vlc main window with mouse or touchpad. It even easier.


How about you-get? Details is at the Git repository and the application could simply installed by $ pip3 install you-get. I have seen this program downloaded from YouTube and Vimeo.


For the YouTube videos, I use the Greasemonkey script YouTube Video Download

YouTube Video Download


There are lots of websites that provides downloading streaming video . My favorite is keepvid. It will support downloading of videos from

  • YouTube
  • MegaVideo
  • Flickr
  • Dailymotion
  • Facebook
  • Vimeo
  • Metacafe
  • and so on

All you have to do is enter the link of the video to the 'URL' search box on the top of the site and click the 'DOWNLOAD' button. It will generate download links of the video in different quality and format. Just click on one of the link that you like to download. alt text

alt text

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