What is the best way to watch YouTube on my Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is an affordable small-sized microcomputer for all budgets that the Raspberry Pi Foundation designed several years ago so that we can use it in different uses, practically what we want. We only have to connect a screen or peripherals to use it as a computer and in different projects depending on your model. You can also access content such as YouTube videos , that’s why we tell you the different ways you can do it so that you find the most suitable one.

Access YouTube from the browser

Considering that YouTube is a web service, you can access it from a compatible browser. If you are using Raspbian, the Debian-based operating system that has been designed for your Raspberry Pi that comes with a lot of pre-installed software, you will find that you can use the Chromium browser for this purpose, although you can also resort to other browsers if you like more. or they are easier for you to use.

Therefore, the easiest way to access the contents of the Google video service is this, being Chromium one of the preferred ones for this because in addition to being installed already in many cases it is one of the best experience they offer you in this type content and many others. It is very easy to use and complete. For this reason, we will tell you how you can access the Google video service step by step with this or other browsers.

What to keep in mind? Requirements and browsers

In order to access YouTube from your Raspberry, in many cases you only need to access a compatible browser . Therefore, you can do it from Chromium or Firefox. For it to work properly, you need to have the plugins you need and they are up to date, as is the case with Adobe Flash Player.

One of the most common uses of the Raspberry Pi is to surf the internet, so you will need a web browser that works under the ARM architecture, which is the one used by the microcomputer. You can have one by default, like Chromium, or use one of the compatible ones for it. These are Chromium, Firefox, Kweb, Vivaldi, Puffin, Konqueror, GNOME web, Dillo, Midori, NetSurf, Pale Moon, and Luakit, among others.

The first one comes by default and offers good performance , although not so much on heavy websites and may not look smooth enough in some HD and Full HD videos. The best options are then, in this order, Chromium and Firefox , since others may provide lower performance, and in the case of Konqueror it is not even compatible, although you can try the one that interests you if you have another installed to see how it goes. With Kweb, for example, you can play videos with OMXplayer.

How to do it step by step

To be able to enjoy your content, you just have to open your browser and start using YouTube. We are going to tell you step by step what you should do to make the most of the audiovisual experience by accessing its contents with a web browser.

In order to start browsing the contents of your Raspberry Pi, the first thing you need is a good operating system. In this case, we can start with Raspbian. You can update it, in addition to updating or installing the web browser. To be able to handle it, it is necessary that you have a keyboard, mouse and a monitor or television , depending on where you want to view the content. The first step is to install the peripherals to later access the content that interests you from wherever you want.

You can access Chromium , the pre-installed browser, and type the address YouTube.com to choose the videos you want to watch, or you have the option of installing another compatible browser. You can also help yourself as players, as we will tell you later. You could already see your contents from there easily.

But this is something that sometimes does not work as we would like. Although YouTube videos do not have DRM (digital rights management) issues like other services, they can sometimes be slow and drop frames when played in full screen at any resolution. If you run into these problems, you can fix them with a specialized version of Chromium that comes from the Chrome OS source code.

You just have to enter these commands to make it work better or correctly:

  • curl -fsSL https://pi.vpetkov.net -o ventz-media-pi
  • sh ventz-media-pi

You will see a text that says “Your Pi is now ready for all media.” You will have to restart, open Chromium Media Edition from the internet menu and you will be able to enjoy YouTube videos much more.

You can also install epiphany-browser in the standard repositories and tell YouTube to use the HTML5 player. To do this, type $ sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser Accept and choose the corresponding button and then you can browse the selected videos, although there are some that may not be compatible with HTML5.

If you have Firefox on your operating system it may be another solution. If not, you can install it on Raspbian with this command sudo apt-get install Firefox. You can also get it from the official Mozilla repositories.

Access from Kodi

If your browser gives problems, you see the slow service or this does not convince you, or it simply seems more comfortable to use a multimedia player, you can turn to Kodi to turn your Raspberry Pi into a multimedia center where you will enjoy the best movies, series and of course YouTube videos. You can install it from the official repositories with the command sudo apt install kodi.

There are several ways in which you can access Kodi from your microcomputer, so we are going to discuss the easiest to use and optimized for this purpose. With LibreElec and OSMC you can easily access this service and enjoy your musical content whenever you need it. It is also found in OpenELEC and XBian.

With LibreElec

LibreELEC is a version of Linux designed to allow you to run Kodi, a multimedia player that turns your operating system into a multimedia center, allowing you to watch a large amount of content, including YouTube videos.

It has a modular system of addons and plugins and allows you to play any audio, video or image file, with which you can access not only the contents of the YouTube video service but also many others and televisions around the world. You also have a large number of applications that you can add to it.

You can download LibreELEC from its official website or in the Downloads section of the Raspberry Pi website. Remember to download the latest stable version. After downloading it, you will have to unzip it and save it to your microSD. To burn the card with the distribution image you will use Win32DiskImager in Windows or Apple Pi Baker in mac OS X. It is recorded and can be used on the Raspberry.

You just have to remove the card on which you have created LibreElec, as well as the television, monitor or keyboard that you are going to use to manage Kodi and start the program, which you will configure to your liking and with which you will already have Kodi. You can also do it from NOOBS. Then you will have to go to Add-ons , install from repository and if you look for the video you will find YouTube. The installation will take a few minutes.


For its part, OSMC (Open Source Media Player) is a free, simple, independent and open source operating system that allows you to play any multimedia format, so you can watch YouTube videos from its modern, easily customizable interface. If you are interested in managing multimedia content, this will be one of your preferred operating systems.

What you have to do in this case is to download the correct image from the OSCM website, save it to a micro SD card and insert the card into your Raspberry Pi and restart it. Records the OSMC image to a blank micro SD card. Insert the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi (plus keyboard, mouse and monitor or TV) and restart it. It will start the installation with a few very simple steps and finally it will ask you what interface you want for Kodi. In the add-ons manager you can add YouTube easily and in a few minutes. In the Kodi OSMC installation you can customize your installation with My OSMC, so it may be interesting for you to try it if you are interested.

Other options

The pre-installed Chromium browser is one of the best options for watching YouTube videos and it usually works well, in fact, it is the first option we recommend. However, if you experience heating problems or see that it does not work as it should in a full screen or good quality video playback , you should know that this is usually due to the browser not being hardware accelerated by the GPU, for what this creates the necessity in many cases to accelerate the hardware to see multimedia contents with the use of external players. We are going to discuss some alternative options to those that we have discussed previously:

  • With YouTube-DL . With this tool you will be able to obtain the link of a video from your browser without downloading it. You have to install it with the following commands to start using it. «$ Sudo -s # curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o / usr / local / bin / youtube-dl # chmod a + rx / usr / # local / bin / youtube-dl and exit.
  • With OMXPlayer. This application is installed on Raspbian by default. It is a multimedia player that runs from a terminal and can be controlled with an ssg connection. It allows to play the video in real time without problems, since it is accelerated by hardware. You just have to look for it, as it should be installed by default. If not, the commands are: $ sudo -s # apt update # apt install omxplayer # exit.
  • With QMMP . QMMP is a specialized multimedia player compatible with the main audio formats and with an equalizer that allows you to adjust the type of reproduction you want, as well as visual effects that you can see while listening to music. You can install it with the command sudo apt install qmmp. On the other hand, if you are interested, QMMP YouTube plugin is a QMMP (Qt-based media player) plugin that has been designed to search and play music directly from YouTube. This requires PythonQt, YouTube-dl, and QJson. When you have installed it, you will activate the plugin for YouTube in the main menu, settings and plugins. You must activate YouTube and YouTubeUI.
  • Directly from the mobile with Raspicast. You can also send the content from your mobile to Raspbian with an app called Raspicast. You configure it with your network data and share the video from the player for Raspicast (Cast). In Raspbian you would get to have the OMXplayer player. Remember to use the same Wifi network. You look for the video in the app, click on it, give it to share and select the icon that says Cast and that’s it.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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