I downloaded youtube-dl using pip on CrunchBang (a Debian Wheezy distro). When I run

youtube-dl {video URL}

I get

zsh: no matches found: {video URL}

I guess it has something to do with zsh, because I found some users on Arch forums complaining about it. When I switched to bash it worked.


3 Answers 3


Try quoting the URL, e.g.

youtube-dl '{video URL}'

in your notation, to avoid possible interpretation of special characters in the string.

  • why no one mention that? it works, i will accept it in 6 minutes, the system doesn't let me accept it right away
    – Lynob
    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:31
  • 3
    @Fischer By the way: my Zsh (on OS X in iTerm2 with oh-my-zsh) automatically escapes shell-specific characters like & and !, so there might be an option to configure that.
    – slhck
    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:49
  • @slhck i just tried it on xterm doesn't work, i don't have xterm2, i'm using oh-my-zsh too.. yes i guess i have to configure my zsh for that, i guess bash does it by default because i haven't configured it, still using the default configuration
    – Lynob
    Sep 24, 2013 at 16:59
  • 2
    @Fischer: You'll need to load the url-quote-magic funtion to get special shellcharacters to be quotes automatically in URLs: autoload -Uz url-quote-magic; zle -N self-insert url-quote-magic
    – mpy
    Oct 3, 2013 at 9:48
  • 3
    Quotes. I feel like an idiot..
    – myol
    Jun 22, 2016 at 18:03

This was already mentioned in the comments, but it deserves its own answer:

autoload -Uz bracketed-paste-magic
zle -N bracketed-paste bracketed-paste-magic

autoload -Uz url-quote-magic
zle -N self-insert url-quote-magic

This causes pasted URLs to be automatically quoted, without needing to disable globbing.

Place the above snippet in your ~/.zshrc file to persist this setting for future terminal sessions.


You can disable globbing for all commands with:

unsetopt nomatch

You can put it in ~/.zshrc.

  • Shouldn't that be setopt nomatch?
    – Tom Hale
    Sep 28, 2020 at 5:30
  • @TomHale no, because nomatch is the setting that causes errors on unmatched patterns. Disabling it can also be done with no_nomatch.
    – detuur
    Nov 10, 2021 at 16:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.