I always like to tell people how I use Linux as the main operating system for over ten years. I like Linux, I understand it, it’s free and most importantly, it adapts to my workflow in a Microsoft Windows way. (with all his kindness) probably never will be. It also means that I love and am a command line ninja, but I also know one thing, a lot of people fear and hate the command line.
Unfortunately, while there are many GUI tools in Linux for given tasks out of habit, the first tool you are likely to find will involve you using the command line. If you want to download videos from YouTube to Ubuntu eg youtube-dl (a script written in Python) is the preferred tool. It comes with a billion command line indicators that even confuse me sometimes.
There is always another way
Fortunately, in Linux there is almost always another way. If all you want to do is download and watch ad-free videos on your Ubuntu desktop, there is a nifty little tool called Ktube Media Downloader. Unlike the venerable Youtube-dl script, this is a full-fledged GUI tool that has buttons you can click and options you can select.
Installation of this tool is straightforward. As always, there are two ways to install it on your desktop:
- Using the command line, open a terminal and type the command sudo snap install ktube-media-downloader your system will download ktube and install it. You can then launch the GUI just like you would any other application.
- You can open Ubuntu Software Center and search for it, then click install
- You can also visit the app’s Snapcraft page and click the View in App Store link, then click Install.
NB Snaps is a file format developed by Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu as a universal application. They are larger than native apps and sometimes slower, but for the average user, the performance differences are barely noticeable.
Once you’ve downloaded Ktube, the first thing to do is show you a prompt that says it needs youtube-dl. It’s another thing for Linux and free software, never write code that you don’t need to write. This tool is just a GUI wrapper around youtube-dl! In fact, the entire desktop in Linux is just a fancy wrapper placed above the command shell. Type Ctrl + Alf + F1 and you will be presented with the black and white terminal.
Either way, you need to click yes and youtube-dl will be installed. This gives us the biggest downside to the app. This is free software and not exactly a free application. The developer charges you $ 5 which you have to pay through PayPal. If you don’t pay, you can only download about two videos per day. Personally, I don’t need more than that, but then again, I don’t really need Ktube either.
By default, videos are downloaded in MP4 and 1080p, although you can change that. Videos are saved in ~ / Downloads / Ktube (note that on Linux the file and directory names are case sensitive). Once a video is uploaded you can play it using any video player you want, I mean VLC of course.
NB You should never use these tools to infringe the copyrights of other people. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the right to upload or share a video.