9 Best Free and Open Source Graphical YouTube Tools Bypassing the Web-Only Barrier

YouTube is a video-sharing website, created in February 2005, and purchased by Google in November 2006. The web service lets billions of people find, watch, and share originally-created videos. It displays a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. It also offers a forum for people to communicate with others around the world, and acts as a distribution platform.

A common complaint about YouTube is that to watch the material you need to use a web browser. Fortunately, some funky developers have created applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube. The software allows users to access YouTube in a different way, creating a TV-like experience.

This article focuses on the finest graphical tools. All of the tools are free and open source software.

Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-ratings chart.

Ratings chart

YouTube Tools
FreeTubePrivacy-based YouTube app
Media DownloaderFrontend for youtube-dl, gallery-dl, Lux, you-get, svtplay-dl, aria2c, ...
pipe-viewerLightweight YouTube client without requiring an API key
PipedUses NewPipe Extractor, a library for extracting
ClipGrabDownloader for YouTube and other sites
MinitubeApplication for watching YouTube without using Flash
SMTubeSearch, play and download YouTube videos
MellowPlayerMulti-platform cloud music integration
Video DownloaderTool which lets you download videos from YouTube and other websites

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2 months ago

FreeTube is really hot. I love it.

2 months ago
Reply to  Craig

I agree, I would give it a 9.5 score. It’s a great way of feeding my YouTube habit while maintaining my privacy.

Ben Emmerich
Ben Emmerich
2 months ago

I’m impressed by the thoroughness and quality of your work.