How to Watch Live Streams on Ubuntu via Your Favorite Video Player

Last updated: September 8, 2013

youtube ustream livestreamWant to watch live streams on Ubuntu via your favorite video player? Well, here’s how to do it using Livestreamer which supports most of the big streaming services such as Dailymotion, Livestream, Twitch/, YouTube Live, UStream.

Livestreamer is a Command Line Interface that pipes video streams from various services into a video player, such as VLC, Mplayer. The main purpose of Livestreamer is to allow the user to avoid buggy and CPU heavy flash plugins but still be able to enjoy various streamed content.

There is also an API available for developers who want access to the video stream data.

It’s very easy to use this tool. Let’s say you want to watch the stream located on, just run below command in terminal (press Ctrl+Alt+T to open it).


[cli][info] Found matching plugin justintv for URL
Found streams: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p (best), mobile_high, mobile_low (worst)

It will find out what streams are available and print them out for you to choose from. Simply give livestreamer the stream as the second argument and playback will start in your video player of choice.

In this case the best stream is a reference to the stream that is considered to be of highest quality, e.g 720p. The –player argument will specify the video player (It will open VLC as the default player if not specified).

livestreamer best --player mplayer

live streams ubuntu

Install Livestreamer in Ubuntu, Linux Mint

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens run below commands to install pip installer:

sudo apt-get install python-pip

Then install Livestreamer via pip:

sudo pip install livestreamer

This will work on all current supported Ubuntu releases, include Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 10.04 and their derivatives such as Linux Mint and Elementary OS.


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16 responses to How to Watch Live Streams on Ubuntu via Your Favorite Video Player

  1. Thanks a lot it works!!
    but how do i watch new “Source thing(on twitch)” ?
    but still thanks

  2. When I use the command

    livestreamer var jetpackLazyImagesL10n = {"loading_warning":"Images are still loading. Please cancel your print and try again."};