How to download YouTube Live Stream videos using Streamlink

How to save / download live streaming videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, UStream, Twitch, Livestream? Streamlink is a CLI utility that can transfer Flash videos from online streaming services to various video players, such as VLC, mpv, MPlayer e.t.c. It aims to convert Flash plug-ins that consume a lot of CPU to a format that consumes less CPU.

Install FFmpgeg

Install FFmpeg on Ubuntu / Debian / Linux Mint:

To install FFmpeg on Ubuntu / Debian / Linux Mint, run:

sudo apt-get -y install ffmpeg

Install FFmpeg on Arch Linux:

Install FFmpeg on Arch Linux by running the following command:

sudo pacman -S ffmpeg

Install FFmpeg on Fedora:

For Fedora, use the following guidelines:

How to install FFmpeg on Fedora

Install FFmpeg on CentOS:

CentOS 8: Install FFmpeg on CentOS 8

For CentOS 7:

sudo yum -y install epel-release
sudo rpm -v --import http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/RPM-GPG-KEY-nux.ro
sudo rpm -Uvh http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el7/x86_64/nux-dextop-release-0-5.el7.nux.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel

Install Streamlink

Apple system

$ sudo easy_install -U streamlink
OR
$ brew install streamlink

Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S streamlink

Ubuntu:

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

Debian:

wget -qO- "https://bintray.com/user/downloadSubjectPublicKey?username=amurzeau" | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb https://dl.bintray.com/amurzeau/streamlink-debian stretch-backports main" | sudo tee "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/streamlink.list"
sudo apt update
sudo apt install streamlink

Fedora:

sudo dnf install streamlink

Solus:

sudo eopkg install streamlink

invalid:

sudo xbps-install streamlink

Download live streaming video with Streamlink

The way Streamlink works is that it is just a way to extract and transport the stream, and playback is done by an external video player. Streamlink works best with VLC Either mpvThey are also cross-platform, but other players may also be compatible.

Watch live with Streamlink

Assuming you want to watch the stream located at https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA, you would run:

$ streamlink https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA
[cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA
Available streams: 144p (worst), 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p (best)

The above command tells Streamlink to try to extract the stream from the specified URL, and if successful, it will print out a list of alternative streams.

You can choose from the available streams:

$ streamlink https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA best
cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA
[cli][info] Available streams: 144p (worst), 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p (best)
[cli][info] Opening stream: 1080p (hls)
[cli][info] Starting player: /usr/bin/vlc

It will use the installed default player, but you can also specify a player, see the full list of supported players.

$ streamlink --player=mpv https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA best
[cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA
[cli][info] Available streams: 144p (worst), 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p (best)
[cli][info] Opening stream: 1080p (hls)
[cli][info] Starting player: mpv

Downloading a live stream using Streamlink

You can also save the file for offline viewing, see the example below.

streamlink --hls-live-restart -o hot-pop.mp4 https://youtu.be/yixlb8qMTmA best

This will save the live stream to a file hot-pop.mp4.

See all available options by running:

$ streamlink --help

And man pages

$ man streamlink

Also visit the Streamlink Wiki page for more information.

Similar guide:

Download YouTube videos on Linux with Annie

How to download YouTube videos on Linux using ytdl-webserver

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