Skip to content
Alternative UI for subscribing to and watching Youtube channel content.
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


notube: youtube without you

There is a lot of Great Content™ on Youtube, but the "youtube dot com experience" is steadily worsening. This project is an attempt to build an alternative to the Youtube web property, while also allowing you to archive the content you watch, and do so privately without Google watching you in return.


You'll need:

  • Reasonably up-to-date Ruby
  • bundler
  • Reasonably up-to-date youtube-dl

Then you can install dependencies:

$ bundle install

Before you can run anything else, you'll need to configure the app:

$ cp config.yml.example config.yml

... and fill out an API key and list of channel URLs.

API Keys can be generated for free through the Google Developer Console, and only need access to the "Youtube Data v3 API". You get a large number of requests per day for free, so that should be good for most.

Then just fill out a list of URLs to Youtube channels. Both the "raw" channel URLs (with the unreadable garbage ID) and the "pretty" usernames (for that Brand Recognition) are supported.

To start the app, just run:

$ bundle exec rackup

The app will create and setup the database for you on-boot, and will listen on


There is an automated test suite included. Simply invoke rspec:

$ bundle exec rspec


Notube provides no authentication and no security guarantees of any sort, so it is recommended to only run it within a trusted network -- for example, on your NAS at home behind a firewall, or on a machine only accessible over a VPN.

To deploy Notube, first download the latest release tarball and extract it to your target server (we recommend /srv/notube).

Once extracted, just upload or copy in your config.yml with an API key and list of subscribed channels.

Your server will need the Ruby runtime, bundler gem, SQLite headers, a C/C++ compiler toolchain and youtube-dl. We recommend installing the latest versions of each of these.

On Ubuntu 18.04, for example:

$ sudo apt-get install ruby ruby-dev ruby-bundler libsqlite3-dev build-essential youtube-dl

On Enterprise Linux distributions, you may need to compile Ruby from source, or find a third-party repository, as the version shipped with EL7 is quite old.

Quick Install

All of the steps in the "Installing Manually" section can be automated for you by running the bin/install script as root on your target server.

# cd /srv/notube
# bin/install

Installing Manually

It is recommended to run notube as an unprivileged user (by default, notube).

$ useradd notube
$ chown -R notube /srv/notube

Then you can install dependencies (ensure this is done as the unprivileged user we just created):

notube@localhost: $ cd /srv/notube
notube@localhost: $ bundle install --path vendor/bundle

A systemd unit file example is included for convenience.

  1. Copy notube.service to /etc/systemd/system/notube.service
  2. Make sure to edit WorkingDirectory if you didn't extract notube to /srv/notube.
  3. Run systemctl daemon-reload to make sure it picks up the new service.

Then you can manage notube as a regular system service:

$ systemctl enable notube
$ systemctl start notube

Exposing on a web port

You can use a reverse proxy server such as nginx to expose notube on a standard web port. For example,

# /etc/nginx/conf.d/notube.conf
server {
  listen 80;
  listen [::]:80;

  location / {
    proxy_buffering off;

  location ~ ^/data/ {
    expires 1w;
    add_header Cache-Control public;

    root /srv/notube/static;

Note: for Enterprise Linux or other systems using SELinux, the ./static directory and its children will need to have a SELinux context type of httpd_sys_content_t to be allowed to be served by a web server.

You can’t perform that action at this time.