Home Command line utilities Streamlink – A Command line Utility To Watch Online Video Streams In Linux, Unix And Windows

Streamlink – A Command line Utility To Watch Online Video Streams In Linux, Unix And Windows

By sk
6,676 Views

Streamlink is a command line streaming utility that allows you to watch online video streams in popular media players, such as VLC, MPlayer, MPlayer2, MPC-HC, mpv, Daum Pot Player, QuickTime, and OMXPlayer etc.

It extracts the videos from various online services and pipes them into a media player of your choice. Streamlink currently supports popular live video streaming services, such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Livestream, Twitch, UStream, and more. Streamlink is built upon a plugin system which allows support for new services to be easily added. 

Streamlink is an open source program written using Python programming language. It is forked from LiveStreamer, which is no longer maintained. Streamlink supports GNU/Linux, *BSDs, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X.

Streamlink is available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions.

Arch Linux, EndeavourOS, Manjaro Linux:

$ sudo pacman -S streamlink

Also, you can install it from AUR using AUR helpers such as Paru or Yay.

$ paru -S streamlink

Or,

$ yay -S streamlink

Debian:

$ echo "deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-backports main" | sudo tee "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/streamlink.list"
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt -t buster-backports install streamlink

Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install streamlink

Gentoo:

$ sudo emerge net-misc/streamlink

Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop OS:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install streamlink

NixOS:

$ nix-env -iA nixos.streamlink

openSUSE:

$ sudo zypper install streamlink

Solus:

$ sudo eopkg install streamlink

Void Linux:

$ sudo xbps-install streamlink

Since Streamlink is written using Python, we can easily install it Pip - a python package manager. If your system doesn't have pip, install it as shown below depending upon the distribution you use.

To install PIP on Arch Linux and its derivatives, run:

$ sudo pacman -S python-pip

On RHEL, Fedora, CentOS:

$ sudo yum install epel-release
$ sudo yum install python-pip

Or,

$ sudo dnf install epel-release
$ sudo dnf install python-pip

On Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip

Once PIP installed, run the following command to install Streamlink.

$ sudo pip install streamlink

Streamlink is also available in a standalone AppImage format. Download the latest Streamlinkx AppImage from releases page.

$ wget https://github.com/streamlink/streamlink-appimage/releases/download/2.4.0-1/streamlink-2.4.0-1-cp39-cp39-manylinux2014_x86_64.AppImage

Make it executable:

$ chmod +x streamlink-2.4.0-1-cp39-cp39-manylinux2014_x86_64.AppImage 

To launch Streamlink, go to the location where you downloaded the AppImage file and run it like below:

$ ./streamlink-2.4.0-1-cp39-cp39-manylinux2014_x86_64.AppImage

The typical usage of Streamlink is:

$ streamlink [OPTIONS] <URL> [STREAM]

Here, URL indicates the online video stream URL. It could be any YouTube or Dailymotion video link. STREAM indicates the video quality. You can use “best” or “worst” for highest or lowest quality available. And also, you can specify fallback streams using a comma-separated list as shown below:

"720p,480p,best"

If no stream is specified and --default-stream is not used then a list of available streams will be printed.

Streamlink will play video streams in your default video player i.e VLC in most cases.

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE best

Once you run this command, Streamlink extracts online video stream from the specified URL and pipes it into the default or any video player of your choice in highest available quality.

Sample output:

[cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE
[cli][info] Available streams: audio_mp4, audio_webm, 144p (worst), 240p, 360p, 720p (best)
[cli][info] Opening stream: 720p (http)
[cli][info] Starting player: /usr/bin/vlc

Here is the sample playback output in my Linux desktop.

Watch online video streams using Streamlink with best quality
Watch online video streams using Streamlink with best quality

To play the above video stream in lowest quality, use "worst" at the end.

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE worst

This command will play the online video in lowest available quality i.e 144p.

Watch online video streams using Streamlink with lowest quality
Watch online video streams using Streamlink with lowest quality

List available streams

To view the list of available streams, don't specify STREAM value (i.e. best or worst).

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE

Sample output:

[cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE
Available streams: audio_mp4, audio_webm, 144p (worst), 240p, 360p, 720p (best)

As you see in the above output, the available streams are audio_mp4, audio_webm, 144p (worst quality), 240p, 260p, and 720p (Best quality).

Play videos in specific quality

To play a video in a specific stream quality, for example 360p, run:

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE 360p

Play audio only

If you just want to listen to it, use “audio_mp4” or "audio_webm" instead of “best” as shown below.

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE audio_mp4

The above command will play only the audio stream in your default player.

Play media with different player

If you want to play the video streams with different video player, you can specify it with --player option as shown below.

$ streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NPllzkFhE 720p --player mplayer

This command will play the given video stream in 720p quality using MPlayer.

Play media with MPlayer
Play media with MPlayer

Watch Twitch TV

Similarly, you can watch twitch.tv and other popular video streaming services.

$ streamlink twitch.tv/sscait best

You can also watch other online streaming services via plugins. A full list of plugins currently included can be found on the Plugins page.

You can also list the plugins using command:

$ streamlink --plugins

For more details, refer the man pages.

$ man streamlink

Please note that Streamlink will not play the video streams if there isn't any media players available on your system. So, just make sure you have installed a media player on your system. Streamlink works well with VLC and mpv.

Resources:

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More