Packaging Request #2919

[youtube-dlc] Replacement for youtube-dl

sdfoijsaodif - about 3 years ago - . Updated about 3 years ago.

% Done:



youtube-dl repository was recently taken down by RIAA censorship.

I request to package youtube-dlc fork [] because it looks like youtube-dl is not under active development due to lack of repository known by everyone to continue it.

This repository might be taken down as well in the future.



Updated by freemor about 3 years ago

  • Priority changed from bug to wish

iIMHO it is too soon for such action.

  • is still up and offering source downloads.
  • Just because their public git instance is gone doesn't necessarily mean development has stopped
  • youtube-dl currently functions fine so no need to rush a replacement into place.
  • Youtube-dl might not be a great fit for Parabola. There have been discussions on and off about dropping it
  • There are many alternatives hlsdl, ffmpeg (which actualli does a lot of the actual fetching for youtube-dl), Etc.

I think that rather than rush a replacement in, this would be an excellent opportunity to consider what would be the best option. Which IMHO must inclused considering dropping youtube-dl.


Updated by bill-auger about 3 years ago

this program does not need a new replacement - it would be very
difficult to argue that it provides any important functionality,
which would be missing from parabola otherwise

but for the sake of argument, lets assume that this is important
functionality to preserve - there are two web browsers in the
parabola repos which can search for and playback videos from
youtube; and there are multiple programs in the repos, such as
minitube and totem, which can do the same without using a web
browser - AFAIK, the only difference is that minitube and totem
use the proper API mechanism, in accordance with the TOS of the


Updated by Anonymous about 3 years ago

I do agree with freemor, it’s too soon to look at a replacement, and it seems to be unnecessary at the moment.

Nevertheless, I’d like to respond to bill-auger last post about the importance of this software. I speak only for myself, but other Parabola users might be in the same situation.

I use a ‘fully-free’, or RYF-approved, computer with Libreboot and Parabola. However, the hardware is getting old (2008), especially the GPU, which was pretty bad at the time already. Hence, any graphic task, including watching videos, is demanding for the CPU, even though I use mainly CLI programs and rely on GUIs only when necessary. youtube-dl is a fantastic piece of software that allows to watch videos from different platforms (not only YouTube) without running non-free JavaScript and without requiring too much resources from the system. I personally use it with mpv to stream videos from the terminal, as it is the most efficient way to watch videos on such old hardware (even going through Invidious with Iceweasel is too much sometimes). It can also be piped through different programs and follows the KISS philosophy. I’m not aware of any other similar programs for that matter.

My point is, in the scenario where replacing youtube-dl in the repos becomes necessary (I hope it won’t come to that), the functionality and conviviality of youtube-dl aren’t that trivial, and proper discussions would have to take place.


Updated by oaken-source about 3 years ago

  • Status changed from open to wont-fix

youtube-dl is in the [community] repo. Unless there arise defects in the functionality in the package, that are not addressed by upstream arch, or arch decides to remove the package from their repos completely, there is no reason to discuss a replacement.

As there's currently nothing to do here, I'm closing this as wont-fix. However, If any action becomes necessary in the future, we will address this in a new ticket. (and can of course refer back to this one here.)

It should be noted that if we (or arch) would receive the same takedown request as github did, on the same legal basis, then we would have no choice but to comply with it and take the package down until the youtube-dl authors successfully file a counter-claim. In that case, any discussion of re-packaging a fork would probably be moot.


Updated by freemor about 3 years ago

@rfb I agree with you about the versitility of Youtube-dl. Living in the CLI myself it does come in handy. It should be noted tho that for a large precentage of sites it just locates the .m3u8 and hands it off to ffmpeg. If you:

  ps aufx | grep ffmpeg

While it is running you'll seee something like:

ffmpeg -y -headers User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3704.2 Safari/537.36? Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7? Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8? Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate? Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5? X-Forwarded-For:  -i <URL of .m38u> -c copy -f mp4 file:<Output File Name>

Persons that rely on youtube-dl and are worried it may disappear may wish to study the revelant ffmpeg commands for sites they frequent so that they can just write a function/alias/script that calls ffmpeg directly thus removing much of the "magic" of youtube-dl and reliance upon it.

Updated by bill-auger about 3 years ago

  • Subject changed from [youtube-dlc] Replacement for youtube-dl before RIAA censorship will be circumvented by active contributors to [youtube-dlc] Replacement for youtube-dl

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