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503 error from Youtube

See original GitHub issue

Every time I try to watch a youtube video the following message appears:

breadmaker@hostname:~$ livestreamer best
[cli][info] Found matching plugin youtube for URL
error: Unable to open URL: (503 Server Error: Service Unavailable for url:

For the record, the video can be watched via broswer without problems.

Using livestreamer 1.12.2 with Debian 3.16.7-ckt25-2 (2016-04-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Issue Analytics

  • State:open
  • Created 7 years ago
  • Reactions:3
  • Comments:44

github_iconTop GitHub Comments

ghostcommented, Apr 15, 2016

If use proper user-agent string, then it is accepted and working again!

Save to your livestream plugin folder

Is it a profit or law issue??

[Edited] For guy who is unfamiliar with python, there is pre-built one at (Python 2.7/Windows x64)

saucecodecommented, Apr 28, 2016

Quicker solution: Run as: livestreamer --http-header "User-Agent"="UA"

Where UA is a user agent string, such as that which appears at

This error comes because YouTube treats livestreamer’s HTTP requests as bot requests. The address that comes out with the error is a redirect to a captcha page. As far as I know there is no way for livestreamer to prompt a user to solve the captcha. Using a recognised user agent solves this problem.

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