From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to:navigation Jump to:search

Streamlink is a command-line utility that can extract video streams and pipe them into a video player. The main purpose of streamlink, according to the official documentation, is to "allow the user to avoid buggy and CPU heavy flash plugins but still be able to enjoy various streamed content." Streamlink was forked from livestreamer, is written in Python, and works with various media players such as mpv, mplayer, and vlc.


root #emerge --ask net-misc/streamlink


Streamlink is a fairly simple program run from the command line with various options:

user $streamlink --player <video-player> <stream-url> <stream-quality>
  • <video-player> is the desired video player. The default player is vlc but mplayer and mpv are also available.
  • <stream-url> is the location of the stream. While the full list of supported plugins is extensive, some popular supported streams are Dailymotion, Livestream, Twitch, UStream, and YouTube. For the full list, see the list of supported plugins.
  • <stream-quality> is the available quality of the stream. The options allow either a specific quality, such as 720p, or a more vague quality such as high or low. Further, streamlink allows best or worst as alternatives.

For example:

user $streamlink --player mpv best

Or, alternatively:

user $streamlink --player mpv 720p


A configuration file can be used with streamlink to avoid typing all the options for every extracted stream. Streamlink will look for the configuration file in either $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/streamlink/config or ~/.streamlinkrc. The file is a text file with one command-line option per line:


The example listed on the official documentation is:

FILE ~/.streamlinkrc
# Player options
player=mpv --cache=2048

# Authentication with Twitch

Authentication with Twitch

Streamlink allows the creation of an auth token that can be used to access a specific Twitch account. The following command can be run to obtain a token:

user $streamlink --twitch-oauth-authenticate

The command will open a web browser pointed at Twitch. Simply login and streamlink will request access to the account and provide instructions on how to use the token. It is a good idea to save the token in the configuration file as demonstrated above. If the token is not saved in the configuration file, it will have to be manually added at the start of each twitch stream as streamlink will not save it.

Authentication with Crunchyroll

In order to enjoy premium content on Crunchyroll, authentication with a premium account is required. Unlike Twitch, there is no way to obtain a token. Instead, logging in is done with:

user $streamlink --crunchyroll-username=user-name --crunchyroll-password=password

After logging in, streamlink will save the name and password for that session. However, sessions do expire so it is a good idea to save the user name and password in the configuration file as demonstrated above.

See also

  • VLC — a wildly popular, cross platform video player and streamer.
  • mplayer — a powerful command-line media player
  • mpv — a free and open source command-line media player.