Linux Tactic

6 Must-Try YouTube Alternative Desktop Players for Linux Users

YouTube Alternative Desktop Players for Linux: A Comprehensive Guide

With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is undoubtedly the largest video-sharing platform. However, for Linux users who want to use a desktop player instead of accessing YouTube through a browser, there are some excellent alternatives available.

In this article, we will highlight a few of the top YouTube alternative desktop players for Linux, along with their pros and cons. Minitube: Simple, Lightweight, and Intuitive

Minitube is an open-source, lightweight, and ad-free YouTube desktop player thats easy to use.

It can be used to watch any YouTube video without the need for a Google account, and features a search bar that filters results based on relevance, upload date, and popularity. Minitube also offers channels subscriptions for users to stay updated with their favorite content creators.


– Lightweight and easy to use. – A powerful search engine that filters search results based on relevance, upload date, and popularity.

– Clutter-free interface with no ads. Cons:

– Does not support video downloading.

– Streaming quality is limited to 1080p. Gtk-Youtube-Viewer: A Command-Line Interface Player

Gtk-Youtube-Viewer is a YouTube desktop player that allows users to browse and play YouTube videos using the command-line interface.

It features a search function, which is helpful for finding specific videos, and allows users to download videos in various formats and qualities. Pros:

– Cross-platform, supports Linux, Windows, and macOS.

– Allows users to download videos in various formats and qualities. – Helpful filters and search function.


– User interface not intuitive, requires some amount of command-line knowledge. – Video playback quality is limited to 720p.

MotionBox: A Media Player with Torrents Support

MotionBox is a sleek, simple, and ad-free media player that can not only play YouTube videos but also supports streaming from other online video sources like Vimeo, Twitch, and Dailymotion. In addition, MotionBox supports torrent streaming, so users can watch their favorite movies and TV shows with ease.


– Multiple video tabs for multitasking. – Torrents support for easy streaming.

– Offers 4K video streaming quality. Cons:

– None reported yet.

Mps-youtube: A Terminal-Based Media Player

Mps-youtube is a terminal-based YouTube player that enables users to enjoy YouTube videos via the command-line interface. It features a robust search engine, customizable options, and both audio and video playback.

This player is suitable for experienced Linux users who prefer the command line over a graphical user interface. Pros:

– Supports audio and video playback.

– Fully customizable options. – Minimalist and lightweight.


– Not beginner-friendly. – Limited video playback quality to 720p.

FreeTube: A Privacy-Centric Open-Source Media Player

Freetube is a privacy-centric open-source media player that’s ad-free and doesn’t track user data. It’s built using electron and offers a mini-player mode, allowing users to watch videos while multitasking.


– Minimalistic, open-source, and free from ads. – No tracking.

– Offers a mini player, so users can watch videos while working on other tasks. Cons:

– Currently in beta mode, so bugs and crashes may occur.

Kaku: A Media Player with DJ Mode

Kaku is a cross-platform media player that looks and behaves like a macOS app. Its unique DJ mode feature allows users to re-arrange and play video playlists easily.


– Simple to use. – Offers DJ mode, which is helpful for music enthusiasts.

– Supports video playlists from multiple sources. Cons:

– Does not support native theming on Linux.


Linux users have several YouTube alternative desktop players to choose from based on their varying preferences. Whether its a command-line interface or a graphical user interface, a lightweight player or one with additional features like torrent streaming or DJ mode, theres something for everyone.

We hope that this guide helps you choose the right player for your needs.

Additional Features of YouTube Alternative Desktop Players on Linux

While all YouTube alternative desktop players offer basic playback functions, many of them provide additional features that enhance the user experience. In this section, we will examine these additional features in more detail for each player.

Minitube: A TV-Like Experience and Content Filtering

Minitube offers users a TV-like experience, allowing them to watch content without the distraction of ads. It also has a built-in feature that helps filter out inappropriate content, making it safe for all ages.

Furthermore, Minitube provides a playlist creation function, allowing users to make a video playlist and watch it later. Another unique feature is that it automatically fetches the highest available quality for the video in question and plays it back instantly.

Minitube’s search engine is another beneficial aspect of the desktop player, enabling users to filter videos based on upload date, view count, and rating. Gtk-Youtube-Viewer: Typical Filters and Display of Metadata

Gtk-Youtube-Viewer is a command-line YouTube player that provides typical filters for searching videos.

It also displays metadata such as likes, dislikes, and the upload date of videos. It includes options to display video thumbnails, video descriptions, and video information in summary form.

Additionally, Gtk-Youtube-Viewer provides a friendly user interface, making it easy to navigate and operate the player with simple commands. It also allows for video downloading in different formats and qualities, making it a beneficial feature for users who prefer offline playback.

MotionBox: DuckDuckGo Search API, Dark Mode, and Audio-Only Mode

MotionBox features the DuckDuckGo search API, which enables users to search for videos directly from DuckDuckGo. It also provides a dark mode, which is easier on the eyes when watching videos in low-light conditions. MotionBox’s audio-only mode allows users to listen to videos without the visual distractions.

Finally, MotionBox provides support for subtitles, making it easier for non-native English speakers to enjoy YouTube videos. Mps-youtube: Playlist Import, Downloading Videos/Audio, Showing Video Comments, and Converting Video Formats

Mps-youtube offers a wide range of additional features that include the ability to import YouTube playlists from a user’s account.

The player also allows for video/audio downloading in different formats, including 4K and 60fps. Users can also view and contribute to video comments, making it a great feature for users who want to communicate with the YouTube community.

Finally, Mps-youtube offers video conversion, allowing users to convert video formats to suit their preferences. FreeTube: Channel Subscription without an Account, Watch History, and Mini Player

One of FreeTube’s most notable features is the ability for users to subscribe to channels without the need for a YouTube account.

It also provides a built-in watch history that helps users keep track of their previously watched videos. Finally, FreeTube offers a mini player that allows users to watch videos while continuing on with other tasks.

This feature is especially helpful for users who want to multitask on their desktop. Kaku: DJ Mode, Local Watch History, Play Queue, and Region Selection

Kaku is a media player with several unique features that include DJ mode, where users can quickly and easily create video playlists.

Kaku also provides a local watch history within the player, allowing users to track previously watched videos offline. Additionally, Kaku features a play queue, allowing users to add their preferred videos to a queue to watch later.

Finally, Kaku allows for region selection, making it easy for users to watch region-specific content that may not be accessible in their own country. Personal Recommendation: Minitube

While there are many great YouTube alternative desktop players available for Linux, my personal recommendation is Minitube.

Its simple and easy to use, which is perfect for users who prefer a no-fuss media player. Minitube offers a TV-like experience, making it a pleasure to watch videos without the distraction of ads.

Its built-in content filtering also makes it a safe environment for users of all ages. Finally, the playlist creation function and the powerful search engine make it fully functional for all user needs.

In summary, Linux users have a variety of YouTube alternative desktop players to choose from, including Minitube, Gtk-Youtube-Viewer, MotionBox, Mps-youtube, FreeTube, and Kaku. Each player offers unique features and pros and cons, making it essential for users to decide which player suits their needs.

While some players offer a simple and easy interface for novice users, others offer advanced features for experienced users. In conclusion, Linux users can enhance their experience by using the right desktop player, and we hope this guide helps them make a well-informed decision.

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