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Command-line utility that extracts streams from various services and pipes them into a video player of choice.
Python NSIS Shell

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Livestreamer is a CLI program that launches live streams from various streaming services in a custom video player.

Currently supported sites are:

  • Ongamenet
  • SVTPlay
  • UStream
  • YouTube


Livestreamer and it's plugins currently depends on these software:

  • Python version >= 2.6 and >= 3.0 (currently CPython and PyPy is known to work)
  • python-setuptools or python-distribute
  • python-requests (at least version 0.12.1)
  • python-pbs
  • python-argparse (only needed for Python version < 2.7)

For RTMP based plugins:

  • librtmp/rtmpdump (git clone after 2011-07-31 is needed for Twitch/JustinTV plugin)

Installing (Linux, OS X etc)

Make sure you have at least Python and python-setuptools then run:

$ sudo python install

This should install any missing Python dependencies automatically if they are missing.

Installing (Windows installer)

  1. Download installer from downloads and run it
  2. Once installed, open %APPDATA%\livestreamer\livestreamerrc in a text editor and make sure everything is correct
  3. Use livestreamer from command prompt

Note! Installer has only been tested on Windows 7 (x64) as of now. Also, if you have previously installed manually you may need to remove livestreamer.exe from PYTHONPATH\Scripts.

Installing (Windows manual install)

  1. Install Python
  2. Install Python setuptools
  3. Get rtmpdump and unpack it somewhere ( from the downloads section should work)
  4. Add these paths to your Path environment variable:

    • PYTHONPATH\Scripts\
    • RTMPDUMPPATH\ (or specify full path with --rtmpdump option)
    • PLAYERPATH\ (or specify full path with --player option)
  5. Open a command prompt and change directory to livestreamer source, then run:

    python install

This should install any missing Python dependencies automatically if they are missing.


$ livestreamer --help

Plugin specific usage

Most plugins are straight-forward to use, just pass the URL to the stream and it will work. However, some plugins are using what could be called a "meta URL" to find the stream for you.

gomtv Passing the URL will make the plugin figure out what match is currently playing automatically.

ongamenet To use this plugin the URL must be passed.

Common issues

livestreamer errors with "Unable to read from stream" or "Error while executing subprocess" on Twitch/JustinTV streams.

When building rtmpdump from source it may link with a already existing (probably older) librtmp version instead of using it's own version. On Debian/Ubuntu it is recommended to use the official packages of librtmp0 and rtmpdump version 2.4+20111222.git4e06e21 or newer. This version contains the necessary code to play Twitch/JustinTV streams and avoids any conflicts. It should be available in the testing or unstable repositories if it's not available in stable yet.

VLC on Windows fails to play with a error message.

VLC version 2.0.1 and 2.0.2 contains a bug that prevents it from reading data from stdin. This has been fixed in version 2.0.3.

Own3d streams fail to play

Due to a flaw in Own3d's API livestreamer has no way of figuring out if these streams are online or offline before starting the stream, so if it does not play it's probably offline.

Saving arguments AKA config file

Livestreamer can read arguments from the file ~/.livestreamerrc (POSIX) or %APPDATA%\livestreamer\livestreamerrc (Windows). A example file:


Using livestreamer as a library

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