I need to set up a computer to put video on several screens at the same time. To save as many resources as I can from the original computer (which is getting old), I have two questions:

  • Is it necessary to use a GUI to stream video from a Linux machine?
  • And, if isn't, how do you automate video streaming without a GUI (in Linux)?

I think the screens are gonna be connected to a computer, and playing the stream via YouTube, but is there a way to avoid using a GUI for all of this?

  • Do you mean the screens are all connected to a single machine running linux? vlc, mplayer and mpv can all play a youtube url directly from the command line.
    – Paul
    Apr 25, 2014 at 22:45
  • Please edit and clarify your question. If the screens are physically attached to the computer, you don't need any kind of "streaming". How did youtube get into this, are you going to play local files or youtube videos? Is your question "How can I play youtube videos without a GUI"?
    – terdon
    Apr 26, 2014 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


Install Streamlink:

sudo -H pip install streamlink

Send the stream to cvlc --fullscreen:

streamlink --player="cvlc --no-video" "https://www.youtube.com/freecodecamp/live" best

Personally what I was needing was just the audio, --no-video.

To save bandwidth you could use worst instead of best.

  • Great tip here. +1 Mar 10, 2019 at 5:16

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