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    Wouldn’t a title like “Backing up YouTube for Offline Viewing” be more descriptive of the post content? It seems that the main inspiration for the post is the closing down of Invidious (it looks like a peertube instance?) that inspired OP to download YouTube videos to watch later. While I get that OP is replacing youtube’s front-end with a local player, I was expecting a replacement for the backend from the original title. Arguably, Invidious’ closing down might show why replacing YouTube is so difficult, as there is much more to the service as the front-facing viewer interface.

    Great youtube-dl setup and walk-through, by the way.

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      If it was about backing up YouTube for offline viewing, certainly. However, it’s more about using YouTube in a privacy-friendly manner. A better title would likely have just been “Replacing Invidious”. It’s late and I was more focused on the content haha.

      No, Invidious isn’t a PeerTube instance. As the repo says, it’s “an alternative front-end to YouTube”. Invidious is much lighter and has no JS or tracking elements.


      I ran it for some time but had so many users that there weren’t enough resources for my other services.

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      I systematically track the channels/users that I want to follow quite anonymously by using my own feed aggregator, Crossbow , and invoking youtube-dl from it. For those who are interested, here’s a cookbook manpage including instructions on how to handle youtube:


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        youtube-dl is amaze. Having the file local makes seeking much less of a pain.

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          I am amazed at just how much non-youtube stuff I’ve managed to download with it.

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            It works on p-hub.

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          I don’t know about the invidious community, but are people are going to self-host it, or is the project dead now?

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            I think the concern is that there’s this game of cat/mouse where google, intentionally or not, breaks the parsing stuff used by invidious because their UI changes, etc. Without the project being actively maintained, self-hosted instances won’t get any updates to fix the inevitable issues google will introduce.