How to search for YouTube videos on Ubuntu Desktop

When you want to search and play YouTube videos, every time you will need to open a web browser, open YouTube website then search for videos. What if you have the option to search and play YouTube videos without the hassle of using a web browser? Gnome Shell includes a YouTube Search Provider extension that let you search and play YouTube videos in your Ubuntu OS. The best thing about this extension is that you can search YouTube videos directly from the Applications window and play them in your desktop video player like VLC, SM Player, etc. You will just need to hit the windows key, type any video name, and then click on the results to start playing the video on your video player. It is really perfect and useful for those who want to search and play for YouTube videos without using a web browser and a YouTube website.

In this article, we will take a look at how to search for YouTube videos on Ubuntu OS using an extension. This extension supports only some video players like VLC, SMPlayer, UMplayer, Totem, Miro, mpv. In case you do not have a compatible video player, the extension will play the selected video in the default web browser.

I will use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for describing the procedure mentioned in this article.

Installing YouTube Search Provider extension

We will install the YouTube Search Provider extension by using the Ubuntu Software application. To launch it, press Windows key on your keyboard to open Ubuntu’s Dash menu. Then type ubuntu software. From the results, click on Ubuntu Software.

Installing YouTube Search Provider extension

Then in the search bar of Ubuntu software, type youtube search provider. When the results appear, click on the extension.

Click on the Install button to install the youtube search provider extension.

youtube search provider

Again, click on the Install button.

Install software

When the installation is finished, you can search and play YouTube videos directly from your application’s window. Now click on the Activities tab on the top left corner of your desktop or press Window key to open Ubuntu’s Dash menu. Then search for YouTube video by typing its name. Then from the search results, select the video by clicking on it.

Using Ubuntu Youtube search extension

It will launch the video on your default video player.

Launch in Video Player

If you have a video player other than from the supported video players of this extension like discussed above, it will then open the video in your default web browser.

Open Video in web browser

GNOME Youtube Extension Settings

You can change the default behavior of extension by modifying its settings. Navigate to Software Center installed tab, then scroll down to open the YouTube Search Provider extension. Then click on Extension Settings.

Extension settings

Viewer options

In the Extension Settings Viewer options, You can choose which video player to play videos in. You can choose from VLC (the default option), SMPlayer, UMplayer, Totem, Miro, and mpv.

Viewer options

Search options

In the Extension setting search options, you can:

  1. Select the method that will be used to order the results based on view count, upload date, rating, title, video count,)
  2. Search for videos newer than a particular time and date
  3. Enable or disable safe search depending upon whether you want restricted content or not
  4. Can filter videos depending upon whether they have captions
  5. Search for standard definition or High Definition videos,
  6. Filter videos depending upon video duration
  7. Can search for only 2D or 3D videos
  8. Filter videos based on Particular license
  9. Restrict the search to a specific type of videos like movies or episodes

Installing YouTube Search Provider extension

So that is how you can install YouTube Search Provider extension in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using which you can easily search and play YouTube videos in your video players without needing to open a web browser.