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NodeTube is an open-source YouTube alt that offers video, audio and image uploads, livestreaming and built-in monetization

A live NodeTube instance is available to interact with at

You can join the open-source community actively developing NodeTube on Discord, and Reddit

Get Your Instance Running:

You can get an instance up instantly using one-click deployment with Heroku below:


Running On Your Local Computer

Required Software

See instructions on installing these prerequisites for both OS X and Linux. There are also Docker instructions if that's your thing.

Once Prerequisites Are Installed

Now that the prerequisites are ready to go it's a few simple commands to get your instance up and running.

# Get the latest version of NodeTube
git clone

# Enter the nodetube folder that was just created
cd nodetube

# Install Node modules
npm install

# Then simply start your app
npm start

#If you're developing locally, you can boot the app with nodemon with:
npm run dev

And that's it! Your first user registered will automatically be an admin user and you will be able to see the admin and moderation functionality. Each additional user will be a regular user and will be able to upload video, audio or images up to 500MB.

For ease of local development I recommend using Nodemon to automatically restart the app while working on backend code.

Using ngrok

NodeTube comes with ngrok preinstalled with the setting in .env.settings to run for new instances automatically. This means that when you boot the app you will see a log come through with a link where you can access the app from the ngrok subdomain. Great you're live on the internet, that was simple!

Technical Details

NodeTube is an Express application powered by NodeJS, with MongoDB as a database, with Redis for caching and ffmpeg for converting and compressing video content. It uses Pug as a templating engine and loads process variables through the .env.settings and .env.private files.

NodeTube uses resumable.js on the frontend as a library to allow stable and resumable uploads allowing for the upload process to not be broken during a system reboot.

NodeTube has the functionality to act as an authentication app for an nginx-rtmp server which allows NodeTube to facilitate livestreaming. NodeTube also has a built in livestreaming frontend with a live chat, live viewer count and which uses hls.js to stream the files being created by nginx-rtmp

[This section is being expanded rapidly so please Watch this repo so you can easily see when more documentation is available]

Reasons To Use NodeTube

Reasons to use NodeTube as an Instance Host:

  • Built in monetization for instance administrators: Users can optionally pay a monthly fee through Stripe to gain certain privileges which are able to be adjusted by the administrator but by default allow private and unlisted uploads, an increased maximum file-size limit from 500MB to 2GB, and livestreaming capabilities
  • You can run an instance either with a cloud provider, a VPS or dedicated server or even locally using a built-in ngrok integration.
  • Follow a few short steps and get setup on top of cloud providers and run for pennies a day with built-in Heroku and BackBlaze integrations, even with little technical knowledge
  • Own your own data: data is happier when it's not in the hands of a multi-billion dollar corporation and plus Google knows enough about us already
  • Built in features to get you started on Day 1 including moderation abilities, built-in analytics, administration interface, built-in reCAPTCHA
  • Support open-source software, help decentralize and open the internet.
  • Improve your software and server administration skills
  • Build and foster a community

Reasons to use NodeTube as a Free User:

  • No email necessary for registration. Optionally add an email to have password recovery functionality
  • No ads
  • Not tracked by a multibillion dollar corporation
  • Public IP stays private, unlike some other YouTube alts
  • Upload all forms of content (video, audio, image)
  • 500 MB max upload size
  • Able to load your account with credit and support creators directly [Note: This functionality exists in the NodeTube source tube but finding a payment processor to support this/legal implications are more difficult to pull off in practice.]
  • Support open-source software, help decentralize and open the internet.
  • Engage with and help grow a community

Reasons To Use NodeTube as a Paid User:

  • Ability to monetize your account and be paid directly by the instance users [Note: This functionality exists in the NodeTube source tube but finding a payment processor to support this/legal implications are more difficult to pull off in practice.]
  • Larger upload size, up to 2GB
  • Private and unlisted uploads
  • Livestreaming
  • Plus Badge to show your support
  • Support open-source software with your hard earned money, helping out in a big way to decentralize and open the internet
  • Allow others to receive the benefits of using NodeTube as a free user including not being tracked by a multibillion dollar corporation and receiving their media ad free

Additional Info

You may also be interested in videodownloader, a video downloader that supports 110 websites and is powered by Electron and youtube-dl.

Don't forget to join the open-source community developing NodeTube on Discord, and Reddit

Live NodeTube Instances

Domain Registrations Open Ratings Allowed Yes SFW Only Yes SFW/NSFW/Sensitive Yes SFW/NSFW/Sensitive


Licensed under the MIT License. © NodeTube Organization