How to watch YouTube videos in the Ubuntu Media Player

This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to search for and play YouTube videos from directly inside of the Ubuntu Totem Media Player. Also included are the steps required to watch the higher quality H264 videos that YouTube now includes.

  1. To get started, click Application -> Sound & Video -> Movie Player.

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  3. Select Edit -> Plugins…
  4. Place a check in the box labeled YouTube browser and click Close.

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  6. Select YouTube from the box in the upper-right corner of Totem. Now run a search, and Totem will search YouTube for your keyword or phrase. Double-click a video to watch it.

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  8. If you get an error similar to the one below (do not have the appropriate plugins to handle it), have no fear, this is easily resolved.

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  10. Lauch Synaptic (select System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. Run a search for gstreamer, and then locate gstreamerX-XX-plugins-bad. Mark it for installation and then intall it. If you need help using the Synaptic Package Manager, see this tutorial.

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  12. After all the software has installed, close down Totem Media Player and launch it again. Try running a search for YouTube videos, and double-click one to play it. AGAIN, you may need to install more software. This time just click the Install button.

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  14. When that software has finished installing, once again close Totem, re-launch it, search for a video and double-click it. This time, you should have no problems watching the video.

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  16. With a tiny bit of extra work – you can also get Totem to play the higher-quality h264 videos on YouTube as well. Download this file from When downloading the file, select Open with and make sure GDebi Package Installer (default) is selected. Click OK.

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  18. Now click Install Package.

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  20. When it’s done, close the Package Installer, and one more time, close and re-open Totem.

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  22. Go back to the Plugins page, and place a check in the box labled YouTube H264 browser. Click Close.

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  24. Now select YouTube H264 from the menu in the upper-right corner of the sidebar, and run a search. Double-click a result and this time you’ll be playing the H264 higher quality video. Choose Properties to confirm if you’d like.

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  26. Now you don’t need to open your browser to watch YouTube videos.
{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Jeff July 27, 2008, 8:43 am

    Great Help, Thanks very much!

  • jatinder August 12, 2008, 3:24 am

    hii this is a very cool software

  • migrating September 24, 2008, 2:02 am

    Hi, thanks for the tutorial. Now I am able to play YouTube Videos under Ubuntu.

  • N G J October 29, 2008, 5:46 pm

    That was perfectly helpful, much thanks!

  • Michelly March 11, 2009, 11:20 am

    Adoreiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!Muito legal me ajudou bastante!!!!!!

  • Andre March 24, 2009, 12:28 pm

    Thanks a lot.

  • amine March 27, 2009, 9:07 am

    Merci bcp pour totu c vraiment interssant.

  • SKII June 5, 2009, 3:13 am

    jit ei presentation si pei ho liao, jin gam xia lu ei sharing, jia you.

  • HappyFrustrated August 16, 2009, 1:28 pm

    Danke schön!

  • Ryan August 16, 2009, 3:20 pm

    Hey, that worked great, but i have NO sound from the videos… help please

  • Eric September 19, 2009, 11:57 am

    no matter what i do i get this:
    ” Could not open location: you might not have permission to open the file”

    any ideas?

  • fix4me October 5, 2009, 1:43 pm

    its dosnt work!!
    pleas help…
    ” Could not open location: you might not have permission to open the file”

  • Animas October 9, 2009, 9:23 pm

    ” Could not open location: you might not have permission to open the file”

    Same to me
    Searching the web for help but haven’t found any usable help
    Thanks for the tutorial anyway.

  • Animas October 9, 2009, 10:33 pm
  • Joey December 25, 2009, 9:06 am

    I got an error saying GStreamer encountered a general supporting library error. PLEASE HELP!

  • BMW April 30, 2010, 10:16 am

    I am very pleasure with ubuntu 10.4 64 bit
    but I have a few problem.
    1. you tube..I did all Your Tips but still not result
    2. I can not make any chatt java

  • technai May 19, 2010, 2:14 pm

    i have a same problem with permissions. Please help me. Thanks.

  • טכנאי מחשבים June 17, 2010, 3:13 am

    Does is allow to save the clip from youtube?

  • Mai Truong July 15, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Great!!!Thank you very much

  • טכנאי מחשבים August 8, 2010, 2:14 pm

    No, i didn’t find option to save videos in this player.

  • UbunAsk October 20, 2010, 11:51 pm

    Why is it good to play you tube in Ubuntu Media Player? Pros and Cons

  • vlad January 3, 2011, 5:41 pm

    i got the program and get some kinf of error in the libarey why???

  • טכנאי מחשבים August 5, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I can’t save the video from this player. is there any update or i am using the wrong version of player? :-\

  • San August 8, 2011, 12:01 pm

    good anser & good help

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