Minitube – A Lightweight Youtube Desktop Client

With its slogan being “there’s life outside the browser”, Minitube is a lightweight desktop client for accessing Youtube videos. Its main interface is similar to Google in that it only has a big search box where you type in a term for your video and it do the searching for you. 
Alternatively, you can also enter the name of a channel in the box to start watching its videos. Minitube is also capable of showing videos with resolutions from 360p to 1080p. Not relying on Flash, it leaves a low footprint on system resources.
You can also download videos in MP4 file format using Minitube. Aiming to be a TV more than just an interface, Minitube is a must have app if you are a huge consumer of Youtube videos (and who’s not anyway?). 
Minitube is already available in the Ubuntu repos, but is outdated. You can get the latest version, 1.4 by

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neversfelde/minitube
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install minitube

How to download a video from YouTube on Ubuntu

If you ever find yourself stuck with a slow Internet connection or capped bandwidth and a YouTube video you just want to watch again and again, then downloading the YouTube video is tempting. Well good news, now you can!The software is called youtube-dl and runs from the command line. Unfortunately, the version found in the Ubuntu Karmic (and previous) repositories is out-of-date and broken due to modifications to the YouTube API.But despair not, the issue is fixed in the most recent release of youtube-dl. Better yet youtube-dl consists of a single Python script and is easy to install from source. Here’s how.First make sure you have Python and Mercurial installed. Open a terminal and typesudo aptitude install mercurial python
Also make sure that the outdated version of youtube-dl is removed if previously installed.
sudo aptitude remove youtube-dl
Now fetch the youtube-dl source from the web. hg clone
Enter the source directory
cd youtube-dl
and copy the Python script to a location where the system can find it
sudo cp youtube-dl /usr/local/bin/
And that’s it! In order to download a video from YouTube you must start watching the video on Then copy the URL of the video to the clipboard and type in a terminal
youtube-dl url-on-youtube-dot-com
where url-on-youtube-dot-com is the URL you copied from YouTube. The video should now start downloading. The downloaded video will be in Flash Video format (.flv) and can be viewed using e.g. vlc.