Download Video (URL Helper)

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This provides two functions for video downloading:

1. an URL helper so you can choose to open any http/https URL with the Video Downloader

2. *NEW* a little App which allows you to paste such an URL from the Clipboard and trigger the Downloader from there. This is similar in purpose to Vodman, which is a  mature app with more/different features. You might want to check that one out too.

After installing you have to enable and configure it in the Settings app.

This little thing will:

  • install the Clipboard Downloader in the App drawer
  • create a System Settings page to enable/disable
  • when enabled, cause apps trying to open a link to offer a "Download Video" option
  • use youtube-dl to download the video to `~/Videos/youtube-dl` (subfolder configurable)
  • once finished, will open the video with the default app for that media type (configurable)
  • it will only work on URLs supported by youtube-dl, not just any ole website url

NOTE: if enabled, this will call youtube-dl with the -exec xdg-open file parameter. There may be a security risk involved, if a Bad Person crafts the URL in a way that the resulting file can do Bad Things on your system.

Download responsibly.


- add option to clear settings - fix invoker type in .desktop file - fix netrc setting, value was not stored. - translation updates


Historyscholar's picture

How to translate it to other languages?

nephros's picture

I honestly don't know.

Well, the QML part certainly can be translated, using the qsTr() strings.

The other part, notification messages sent via script are also possible, I'd have to react to the LANG environment or another setting.

I will incorporate any patches/merge requests on the repo mentioned above if anyone is interested in doing the work.

Please look at these files:

  • files/youtube-dl-open-helper.i18n
  • files/youtube-dl-open-url.desktop
  • files/youtube-dl-open-clipboard.desktop
  • qml/youtube-dl-settings-*.ts
  •  qml/youtube-dl-open-clipboard-*.ts
ichthyosaurus's picture

This looks really nice, thank you! Do you have a repo for it?

nephros's picture

Thanks! :) It's useful.

At the moment I manage it together with the youtube-dl package at:

Relevant files live in the files/ and qml/ directories.


It's quite the Rube Goldberg contraption, what with adding a settings page, then using dbus to call a systemd service which launches a script which places (or removes) a .desktop file. Terrible, but there are reasons. Mainly that I don't code, and I have not found a reliable way to make it work otherwise.