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
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 14:14
  • I added the outputs to the question. It should be all standard. Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 17:29

11 Answers 11


First, uninstall the apt version.

sudo apt-get remove youtube-dl

Then, install youtube-dl with pip.

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
pip3 install --user youtube-dl

To update it afterwards, 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
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 9:33
  • pip3 install --upgrade youtube-dl for Ubuntju 20.04
    – chovy
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 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
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 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 Commented Aug 22, 2020 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
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 14:42

I installed youtube-dl following the official homepage instructions: https://ytdl-org.github.io/youtube-dl/download.html because youtube-dl installed via sudo apt-get install didn't allow sudo youtube-dl -U.

To get youtube-dl from source:

sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

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

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

$ youtube-dl --version

There you'll also find alternatives using wget, pip3 or Homebrew.

  • 1
    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. Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 18:03
  • What about when you're not using sudo?
    – Anthony
    Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 21:38
  • @Anthony If you can't use sudo you have the pip3 and the brew way. I would alowys stick to the official way for installing and updating Commented Jan 22, 2022 at 23:51

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. Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 16:57
  • Sorry, it was not apparent to me.
    – hytromo
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 17:04
  • This is the way
    – capdragon
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 22:26
  • Doesn't work when it's installed with apt. Gives the error: youtube-dl: error: youtube-dl's self-update mechanism is disabled on Debian.
    – synkro
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 2:35

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

When using Gydl, you have the option to download your YouTube video as a Video or Audio.

enter image description here


Update: use yt-dlp instead of youtube-dl! It's a fork off of youtube-dl and is much better-maintained and works much better!

These steps also solve this error:

WARNING: unable to download video info webpage: HTTP Error 410: Gone

From the top of my answer here: How to select video quality from youtube-dl?:

How to install the latest version of youtube-dl


  1. https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/#installation
  2. https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/#how-do-i-update-youtube-dl

Run these commands:

# On Linux Ubuntu:

# 1. Check your current version
youtube-dl --version

# 2.Uninstall your current version, if necessary
sudo apt remove -y youtube-dl

# 3. Now, install the latest version
sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

# 4. Check your current version to ensure it updated
youtube-dl --version

Now use it to download a video:

youtube-dl -f best 'https://youtu.be/FWGC9SqA3J0'

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.


Since youtube-dl autoupdate is disabled, try

sudo apt upgrade youtube-dl

I had issues downloading youtube videos using the latest version of youtube-dl on Ubuntu 22.04. The youtube-dl version being 2021-12-17 from the Ubuntu repository using the apt package manager. This is the latest version of youtube-dl and is upto date on the Ubuntu repository.

To solve the problem I installed yt-dlp (a fork of youtube-dl), using

sudo curl -L https://github.com/yt-dlp/yt-dlp/releases/latest/download/yt-dlp -o /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/yt-dlp  # Make executable

However, I had this error message when I ran

yt-dlp --version

it gave me

/usr/bin/env: ‘python’: No such file or directory

To solve this I had to create a symlink to python3 after locating it using the whereis command.

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/python

After doing this I am able to download youtube videos again without any issues using yt-dlp. Thank you devs for youtube-dl and yt-dlp.


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.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .