Ok so I found this answer to someones question about how to download youtube videos via youtube-dl. It had all of the information that I needed, except how to open the video.

Here is what I have so far:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
youtube-dl youtube-video-link

It downloads ok, I just don't know how to open it. Again, thanks for your help.

  • 1
    Double click over file?
    – Lucio
    May 4, 2014 at 23:36
  • No it is not a link, it is a terminal program. May 4, 2014 at 23:38
  • So you do youtube-dl URL, where URL is the URL of the video.
    – Nattgew
    May 4, 2014 at 23:39
  • Yes I did this too, all it says is the video has already been downloaded. What I am wondering is how to open the downloaded video. May 4, 2014 at 23:42
  • "I found this answer to someones question" Could you give the link? This answer is what you are looking for.
    – Lucio
    May 4, 2014 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


You can specify the directory where the video will be saved using the -o option.


youtube-dl -o "/home/<User>/Downloads/%(title)s" {URL}

The syntax to open any file in its default application is:

xdg-open $file

If you are using VLC player, you can use so:

cd /path/videos
vlc "Videoname.avi"

If VLC Player is not installed, you can install it so:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc

Ok I found the answer. As Lucio stated, you double click on the file, I just didn't know where to find it to do this, and it is in the home folder.


Perhaps the best way to set the location of all of your downloaded files is to set this from within youtube-dl's configuration file which can be located as $HOME/.config/youtube-dl.conf. Syntax is:

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

and of course change the path to suit your needs (and the extension template details if you wish). Otherwise youtube-dl will simply download the requested file in the working directory. This will only work with relatively recent versions of youtube-dl so it would be best to update your copy before trying this with the following command:

sudo youtube-dl --update

Now you will be able to easily find your downloaded files and play them back with VLC, SMPlayer or whatever your favoured media playback application is :)

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