FreeTube – privacy-based YouTube app

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, and that your watching history is tracked. Fortunately, some funky developers have created applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube.

FreeTube is a YouTube client that’s designed with privacy in mind. All of your user data is stored locally and never sent or published to the internet.


We tested FreeTube using Ubuntu 23.10. There are a few ways of installing FreeTube under Ubuntu.

The project provides official deb packages for Debian/Ubuntu. In addition, there’s an AppImage, as well as a snap. Generally speaking, we prefer installing using a deb package. The deb format ensures a seamless integration with the package management systems of Debian-derived operating systems, providing a standardized way to install, update, and remove software, Additionally, it uses a shared library approach to optimize space utilization.

Download the appropriate .deb package. In our case that’s the amd64.deb package (the project also provides packages for ARM64 and ARMv7 architectures). We then install the package using dpkg.

Installing FreeTube

This is cross-platform software. The project provides binaries for macOS and Windows. We only tested FreeTube under Linux.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction and Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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2 months ago

You guys just keep on turning up the best apps. I love this! I’m using the appImage for testing and it worked without a hitch. This feels like many steps up.

For the first time in what feels like hundreds of years (it seems), I even started adding subscriptions without the tracking, emailing normally tied to them. FreeTube makes YouTube fun again.