I use youtube-dl to download videos for watching later offline. Usually, it works fine. However, due to frequent changes on the video sites, it sometimes requires a quick update. It wasn't a problem before on 13.04 but after upgrading to 13.10, I get

# youtube-dl -U
It looks like you installed youtube-dl with a package manager, pip, setup.py or a tarball. Please use that to update.

I tried updating it via apt-get but there is no new package. So the app's update mechanism has been disabled and the maintainers aren't keeping up, what is the solution? How do I update it?

And why was it changed at all? It was updating a package manager version just fine in raring.

I'm already running into compatibility problems.

$ youtube-dl "http://vimeo.com/55784152"
[vimeo] 55784152: Downloading webpage
[vimeo] 55784152: Extracting information
ERROR: Unable to extract info section; please report this issue on https://yt-dl.org/bug . Be sure to call youtube-dl with the --verbose flag and include its complete output. Make sure you are using the latest version; type  youtube-dl -U  to update.


As requested,

# type youtube-dl
youtube-dl is hashed (/usr/bin/youtube-dl)

# apt-cache policy youtube-dl
  Installed: 2013.08.29-1
  Candidate: 2013.08.29-1
  Version table:
 *** 2013.08.29-1 0
        500 http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ saucy/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
  • What is the output of type youtube-dl? And apt-cache policy youtube-dl. – Braiam Nov 22 '13 at 14:14
  • I added the outputs to the question. It should be all standard. – Damn Terminal Nov 22 '13 at 17:29

For Ubuntu 20.04+ (Python 3 being the default Python) try:

pip3 install --upgrade youtube-dl

If you are using an older version of Ubuntu, or specifically want to use Python2, try:

pip install --upgrade youtube-dl

Note: this assumes you have pip or pip3 installed. Avoid using sudo pip3 (use virtualenv instead).

Using pip is a way to install youtube-dl, as reported on the official youtube-dl website, and the --upgrade option makes sure you end up with the latest available version installed.

To find out where youtube-dl has been installed, you can use the pip3 show youtube-dl command (see here and here).

  • If pip is not installed, you can install it by sudo apt install python-pip – Pandya May 7 '20 at 9:33
  • pip3 install --upgrade youtube-dl for Ubuntju 20.04 – chovy Jun 5 '20 at 3:21
  • This leaves me with two instances of youtube-dl. The older version apt-get installed. And the lastest version, which pip installed. But the one the runs when putting youtube-dl into the command line is the older one from apt-get. What's the way around this? – inspirednz Jun 29 '20 at 1:10
  • 1
    @inspirednz Remove the apt-get version, and reinstall the pip version, if it still does not show up when you call youtube-dl – Archisman Panigrahi Aug 22 '20 at 9:36
  • How can I start the pip version of yt dl? It is in dist-packages, easiest is python -m youtube-dl and set an alias to e. g. yt. – Timo Nov 1 '20 at 14:42

On 13.10, I installed youtube-dl from: http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/download.html because youtube-dl installed via sudo apt-get install didn't seem to allow sudo youtube-dl -U.

To get youtube-dl from source:

wget -O - https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl | sudo tee /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl >/dev/null
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Now, sudo youtube-dl -U works without problems and I currently see:

$ youtube-dl --version
  • Yeah, I ended up sticking the binary from their website in ~/bin. It works and will probably update itself fine (even without sudo/root) but I can't say that this is a satisfying solution. – Damn Terminal Nov 21 '13 at 18:03

Try ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8. I do get upgrades every couple of days and I think, according to the message You get, that it should solve/answer Your question. If You did an upgrade from 13.04 to 13.10 You might have forgot (I guess) to update sources-list.d folder, for example, if You used WebUpd8 before.

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

I had a similar problem with youtube-dl.

Using super user privileges in order to update it might solve your problem:

sudo youtube-dl -U
  • 2
    I'm running it as root. Note the # prompt. – Damn Terminal Nov 21 '13 at 16:57
  • Sorry, it was not apparent to me. – hytromo Nov 21 '13 at 17:04
  • This is the way – capdragon Mar 22 '20 at 22:26

try the following:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
sudo easy_install pip
sudo pip install --upgrade youtube-dl

then if you still get an error do this:

wget -O - https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl | sudo tee /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl >/dev/null
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Ubuntu 14.04 and later

The youtube-dl snap package (youtube-dl) is updated automatically in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu. To install it open the terminal and type:

sudo snap install youtube-dl # start with snap run youtube-dl 

Show the version of youtube-dl snap package with snap run youtube-dl --version

Gydl (Graphical Youtube-dl) is a GUI wrapper around the already existing youtube-dl program. To install Gydl in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu open the terminal and type:

sudo snap install gydl

To get the latest youtube-dl one can install GetDeb repository. For details about installing in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, see here.

To get the difference between getdeb and official Ubuntu versions of youtube-dl, consider this output (as of 23.09.2016):

$ apt-cache policy youtube-dl
  Installed: 1:2016.09.19-1~getdeb1
  Candidate: 1:2016.09.19-1~getdeb1
  Version table:
 *** 1:2016.09.19-1~getdeb1 500
       500 http://archive.getdeb.net/ubuntu xenial-getdeb/apps amd64 Packages
       500 http://archive.getdeb.net/ubuntu xenial-getdeb/apps i386 Packages
       100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     2016.02.22-1 500
       500 http://ubuntu.mirror.lrz.de/ubuntu xenial/universe amd64 Packages
       500 http://ubuntu.mirror.lrz.de/ubuntu xenial/universe i386 Packages

In above output, 2016.09.19-1 shows getdeb version and 2016.02.22-1 shows official Ubuntu version.


As of 2017-11-11, if you are using Ubuntu, it seems that precise and trusty have too old versions of youtube-dl .

However, using the version from Xenial works. Otherwise, I'd suggest to install the latest version manually, as suggested in other answers.


Since youtube-dl autoupdate is disabled, try

sudo apt upgrade youtube-dl

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