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Downloading courses from Linux Academy youtube-dl is a phenomenal tool Using youtube-dl to pull Linux Academy courses for offline viewing 2019-10-19T01:35:00-0400 /assets/pngs/youtube-dl.png [Technology] [youtube-dl Linux Academy Training] true


Every month, Linux Academy releases courses for free. I'm a very busy college student and don't have time to whirl through everything I want to before it goes behind their paywall again so I figured out how to download a course or two every month using youtube-dl.


  • Install youtube-dl
  • Make sure you have a browser handy
  • Create a community account on Linux Academy
  • Get some food
  • Maybe a drink
  • Sit back down in your chair
  • Spin around a bit
  • Read on


  • Log into your account
  • Pick the course you want
  • Open the developer console and go to Network (Ctrl+Shift+E in Firefox)
  • You'll want to select Media as shown in the screenshot below

  • Click the video you want to start with
  • Watch the network logs
  • You'll see an entry that starts with playlist (screenshot below)

  • Right click it
  • Copy the URL
  • Paste it after youtube-dl in a terminal:
amolith@poseidon:~ $ youtube-dl
  • Press enter
  • Watch the magic unfold

At a high level, youtube-dl is acting like your browser and following the m3u playlist to download chunks of the file. After it fetches them all, it runs them through ffmpeg to stitch them together into a single video!

I found it useful to open a text editor and script downloading a whole course at a time. All you have to do is type youtube-dl -o and copy/paste it however many times there are videos. Then, copy and paste the video title in quotes after -o and add .mp4 to the end (command example below). After that, paste the URL. Do that with every video in the series, save the script, run chmod +x <script>, then ./<script> and (after a bit) you'll have an entire course you can watch at your leasure!

amolith@poseidon:~ $ youtube-dl -o "04 - Conclusion and Next Steps.mp4"

NOTE: You may want to set up your directory structure beforehand so it's easier to script the process. Here's an example of one of mine:

amolith@poseidon:~/Videos/Courses/Ansible - Playbooks Deep Dive $ tree
├── 01 - Course Overview
   ├── 01 - About the Course.mp4
   ├── 02 - About the Training Architect.mp4
   ├── 03 - Course Features and Tools.mp4
   ├── 04 - About Ansible Playbooks.mp4
   └── 05 - Advanced Inventory Configuration.mp4
├── 02 - Playbook Basics
   ├── 01 - Using YAML for Ansible Playbooks.mp4
   ├── 02 - Creating an Ansible Play.mp4
   ├── 03 - The ansible-playbook Command.mp4
   └── 04 - Understanding Playbook Tasks.mp4
├── 03 - Essential Playbook Syntax
   ├── 01 - Using Variables in Playbooks.mp4
   ├── 02 - Working with Templates.mp4
   ├── 03 - Using Ansible Facts.mp4
   ├── 04 - Conditional Execution in Playbooks.mp4
   ├── 05 - Using Loops in Ansible.mp4
   └── 06 - Working with Handlers in Ansible.mp4
├── 04 - Advanced Playbook Syntax
   ├── 01 - Executing Selective Parts of a Playbook.mp4
   ├── 02 - Working with Sensitive Data Using Ansible Vault.mp4
   ├── 03 - Error Handling in a Playbook: limit, ignore_errors, changed_when, and failed_when.mp4
   ├── 04 - Error Handling in a Playbook: Block Groups and The Debug Module.mp4
   ├── 05 - Asynchronous Tasks within a Playbook.mp4
   ├── 06 - Delegating Playbook Execution with delegate_to and local_action.mp4
   ├── 07 - Parallelism in Playbooks.mp4
   ├── 08 - Using run_once.mp4
   ├── 09 - Overview of Ansible Roles.mp4
   └── 10 - Ansible Role Demo.mp4
└── 05 - Conclusion and Next Steps.mp4

4 directories, 26 files
amolith@poseidon:~/Videos/Courses/Ansible - Playbooks Deep Dive $