5 Best Graphical YouTube Apps for Linux Desktop

Looking for YouTube apps for your Linux desktop? Here are the best ones you should try out!

YouTube-dl is the most popular command line tool for downloading video and audio from YouTube. But for graphical, there are quite a few apps that work on Linux. And, here I’m going to show you the top popular ones.

1. Minitube:

To watch YouTube videos, with TV-like experience, Minitube is the best choice!

It’s a free open-source app works on Linux, Windows, and macOS. Though, paid versions are also available with email support and free update forever.

By consuming less CPU and less memory than web browser, Minitube provides a modern user interface to watch YouTube videos. Just search for something, it plays videos automatically one after another.

Minitube features:

  • Channel subscriptions without YouTube account.
  • Compact mode and full-screen mode.
  • Editable playlist.
  • Take screenshots in full resolution.
  • Copy YouTube link to clipboard
  • Share on Facebook, Twitter or via email

Get Minitube for Linux:

The app package is available in most Linux repositories. For Ubuntu, Debian, and their based systems, it offers the latest official package in its website:

It’s also available in Flathub.org as the universal Flatpak package.

2. SF Tube (FluTube):

SF Tube, formerly FluTube, is a new YouTube client with a sleek UI.

It’s a free open-source app using Google’s Flutter to build its beautiful user interface. It can be used as a YouTube downloader, though it’s working on the video playback support!

SF Tube features:

  • Lightweight and fast
  • No Login Required
  • Keep your liked videos and comments
  • Playlists support
  • Download videos, audios and thumbnails

Install SF Tube:

The app so far provides packages for Android, Linux, and Windows. Grab & install the .deb for Debian/Ubuntu, or use non-install .Appimage for all Linux.

3. FreeTube:

FreeTube, a free open-source YouTube player built with privacy in mind.

It’s an Electron app allows to watch YouTube videos without ads and prevents Google from tracking you using cookies and JavaScript.

FreeTube features:

  • Two extractor APIs to choose from (Built in or Invidious)
  • Subscribe to channels without an account
  • Organize your subscriptions into “Profiles” to create a more focused feed
  • Export & import subscriptions
  • Mini Player
  • Full Theme support

Get FreeTube:

The software offers official Linux portable tarball, non-install Appimage, deb package for Debian and Ubuntu, and rpm package for Fedora based systems.

It’s also available as universal Linux Flatpak package hosted in flathub.org.

4. Clipgrab

This was my favorite YouTube video downloading app until I met SF Tube.

It’s a graphical front end for YouTube-dl, allows to download and convert videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and many other online video sites.

Clipgrab features:

  • A video search box.
  • Convert video to MPEG4, MP3 or other formats in just one easy step.
  • Support downloading directly via YouTube url.
  • Clipboard detection and proxy support.

The app is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. For Linux, it’s an universal Appimage package.

5. SMTube

Browser YouTube videos, but play with real media player in your system with better performance, particularly for HD content playback.

SMTube is a Qt app for searching and browsing YouTube and/or Tonvid.com videos. By clicking on a video will open real media player for the playback. It defaults to SMPlayer, though it also works with VLC, mpv, Totem and other players.

Summary:

In this tutorial I introduced 5 Linux applications for either watching or downloading YouTube videos. They are Minitube, SF Tube, FreeTube, Clipgrab and SMTube. There may be other good YouTube apps that I may not know. Please tell me if you got one by leaving a comment below.

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.