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Command-line YouTube client

Project description

yt: a command-line YouTube client

yt is a command-line front-end to YouTube which allows you to browse YouTube videos and play them directly from the command-line. It uses youtube-dl and mplayer or omxplayer to actually play the videos.

The combination of a text based interface and omxplayer makes yt a great YouTube client for the Raspberry Pi.


  1. Install setup tools. Eg. on a Debian based distro sudo apt-get install python-setuptools.

  2. From top level directory run python install.


usage: yt [-h] [--player {mplayer,omxplayer}]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --player {mplayer,omxplayer}
                        specifies what program to use to play videos (default:


  • youtube-dl

  • mplayer or omxplayer

Common problems

Videos don’t play when selected in interface

Make sure you have the latest version of youtube-dl. The latest version in a package repository may lag significantly behind ongoing changes to YouTube. You can get the latest version by downloading youtube-dl directly from the GitHub repository.

Quick install instructions:

chmod +x youtube-dl
sudo mv youtube-dl /usr/bin/youtube

Omxplayer starts and terminates without playing video

For high quality videos the default memory allocation on the Raspberry Pi doesn’t provide enough memory to the GPU.

The default 192M ARM, 64M GPU split can be changed to a 128M ARM, 128M GPU split by swapping the GPU firmware images.

sudo cp /boot/arm128_start.elf /boot/start.elf.

See for more information.

Getting more help

See and for more detailed help.




Release date: 29-Oct-2012

  • Allow command-line configuration of media player (Calum Eadie)


Release date: 29-Feb-2012

  • Initial version

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