Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:47

Hello, YouTubers! Here is a new YouTube called PeerTube. It is originated from alternative world: the free software community, a society that cares about software freedom and computer user's privacy. PeerTube brings new concepts called federation and instance you didn't find at your previous video sharing. And because you are interested to it, here is the friendly user guide to share videos on PeerTube step by step. As example so you can learn more easily, here I practice using my PeerTube account registered at Libre.Video instance with 1GB upload quota. Happy watching!

(A beautiful video published at PeerTube from a computing community, the KDE Project)

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  • Basic knowledge
  • What you can do
  • What you cannot
  • Supported format
  • Signup to PeerTube
  • Upload a video
  • Edit video description
  • Import video from YouTube
  • Import video from torrent
  • Publish video
  • Create channel
  • Create playlist
  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe across instances
  • Explore across instances
  • Delete video
  • Delete account
  • Miscellaneous
  • About PeerTube
  • About this article

Basic knowledge

PeerTube is unique with several concepts perhaps you haven't heard of:
  • diversity - there are instances of PeerTube, you sign up to one;
  • connectivity - an instance follows other instances, the more it follows the more videos you can search for;
  • independence - instances have different terms of services;
  • free software - if you have a server computer, imagine you can create your own YouTube, as PeerTube is actually free software installable to server.
( is its official website featuring its logo and its project | There is an official video that explains PeerTube excellently in brief)

What you can do

  • sign up in an instance that suits you (*)
  • upload videos
  • download videos (*)
  • import videos from youtube etc. (*)
  • import videos from torrents (*)
  • edit descriptions of them
  • create channels
  • create playlists
  • like 
  • dislike
  • comment
  • subscribe 
  • subscribe with fediverse account (*)
  • subscribe with RSS Feed
  • receive comments from fediverse users (*)
  • share your video
  • embed it on websites 
  • donate to peertube (*)

(*) features YouTube do not have.

What you cannot do

  • closed sign up - you cannot register new account in an instance that closed its registration.
  • adsense - there is no integrated monetization system unless you make it yourself.
  • size limit - you cannot upload more than allowed size in your instance.
  • terms violation - you cannot do things that your instance does not allow such as uploading a copyrighted nonfree-licensed video.
  • user manual - unfortunately you still cannot find a complete Help Documentation like what you find with YouTube in PeerTube at this day.

Supported Video formats

Below are formats that PeerTube allows:
  • mp4
  • ogv
  • webm
  • flv
  • mov
  • avi
  • mkv
  • mp3
  • ogg
  • flac

1. Sign up to PeerTube

(PeerTube's instance finder helps you create new account)
The first thing to do is to have a PeerTube account. Registration requires email (*) address and do not require phone number. Unlike YouTube, on PeerTube you create an account in an instance. There is instance finder easy to use for you. You can make as many account as you want even in multiple instances. Please note that every instance may closed registration or shut down at any time - so make sure you choose the long living instance. Here is my instance recommendation as per May 2020:
  1. LibreVideo instance - 1GB capacity, good website name. I use this.
  2. LinuxRocks instance - 5GB capacity, very friendly to GNU/Linux user groups.
  3. DevTube instance - unlimited.
(Picture 1.2: PeerTube registration: an instance you can register will look like this)

Your PeerTube user profile will look like this:

(Picture 1.3: User Profile: my PeerTube account is and yours will be similar)

(*) If you do not have email yet, I suggest you to register freely at ProtonMail or Disroot Mail.

2. Upload a video

  • Click Upload button.
  • Click Select File button > browse folders > select video you want to upload > OK.
  • Edit the description (see next section).
  • Select channel among channels you have. If you have only one, skip this.
  • Select public / private whether you want this to be seen by others or only by you.
  • Click Submit button.
  • Video uploaded. 
(Picture 2.1: Upload Page: in this example I am uploading a video into my UbuntuBuzz channel with Private choice so only me could watch it - I do that as exercise before I actually change it to Public)
(Picture 2.1: once uploaded, your video will be listed among your other videos under My Library > Videos page)

3. Edit Description

Video description can be changed at any time as much as you want:
(Alternative way to edit a video)
  • Fill Title: this displayed on the video, for example My Delicious Cookie Recipe for your cooking video.
  • Fill Tags: type a word and press enter, type another word and press enter again, limited to 5 tags. These helps people to search for your video. Tags example are "cooking - cookie - baking - recipe" for your cooking video.
  • Fill Description: type some words that explains your video. You can also write your website address or social networks or donation links. PeerTube supports markdown text formatting.
  • Fill Channel: select a channel among channels you have. | Fill Category: select a category among categories provided by PeerTube. | Fill License: select a license among licenses(*) so your viewers can share video following license terms you decided. | Fill Privacy: select public if you want world to see, but select private if you want only you can see the video. The private choice is useful for you to exercise before go serious!
  • Click Update button.
  • Description updated. 
(Picture 3.1: Basic Info: this is the description editor page in PeerTube)
(*) Licenses you may choose:
(Eigth license choices in PeerTube)
  1. No license - default choice, if you do not know what to choose.
  2. Attribution -  if you want people can do anything with your video but they must give you credit. (CC BY)
  3. Attribution - Share Alike - if you want people can do anything but they must give credit and share with same license you chose. (CC BY-SA)
  4. Attribution - No Commercial - if you do not want people to make money out of your video or simply wait for people asking for commercial cooperation. (CC BY-NC)
  5. Attribution - No Derivative - if your video content is something like laws or official statements which should not change even when published. (CC BY-ND)
  6. Attribution - No Commercial - Share Alike - if you want people to share but give you credit, to not make money out of, and must share with same license. (CC BY-NC-SA)
  7. Attribution - No Commercial - No Derivative - if you want people to share but give you credit, not to make money out of, and not to modify. (CC BY-NC-ND)
  8. Public Domain Dedication - if you don't mind anyone do anything to your video or you simply do not want to be bothered about licensing. (CC0)

4. Import Video from YouTube

Surprise! Yes, PeerTube is powered by magic called youtube-dl which is capable of downloading (transferring) video from YouTube. That's why you can copy any YouTube video into your PeerTube. Here's how to do that:
  • Click Upload button.
  • View Import with URL tab.
  • Paste a youtube URL address.
  • Select channel.
  • Make it private if you do not want this viewed by others, but you can change this later.
  • Click Import button.
  • Video imported.
(Picture 4.1: Import with URL: this is the PeerTube page to remote transfer videos from torrents)

The best way to try this feature is by exercising. Here are several videos worth to import from YouTube but make them private so it will not be viewed by others:
  • KDE Plasma 5.12: link
  • GNOME 3.30 Almeria: link
  • Inkscape 1.0: link

Surprise! Thanks to the magic mentioned, not only YouTube, but thousands other video websites are also supported such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, and still counting. Learn more here.

5. Import Video from Torrent

Surprise again! PeerTube is also capable to download videos from torrents. It supports magnet links too. This way you can move videos from Internet Archive, PirateBay, or anywhere to your PeerTube (*).  When I first saw this feature, I instantly thought this is amazing. Here is how to do:
  • Download a .torrent file that points to a video. 
  • Alternatively, copy a magnet link/
  • Click Upload button.
  • Go to Import from Torrent tab.
  • Open the .torrent file or paste the magnet link.
  • Click Import button.
  • Edit the description first such as making it private etc.
  • Click Update button.
  • Video imported.

(*) Please note that this feature works if the torrent file only have one content that is the video and no other file. Please note also as many torrents are huge you should be aware about your account limits e.g. Libre.Video instance allows max 1GB so obviously at there I cannot import more than that.

6. Publish Video

Give the video address to your friends to watch. You can share on social networks too like Facebook, Twitter, Mastodon, and others. You can email it. You can Telegram it. Up to you.

(Picture 6.1: published video will look like this to viewers; this is my yesterday video titled Ubuntu For Teachers And Students featured on my last post)

To embed video into a web page or blog post:
(Embed code location of a PeerTube video)
  • Click Share button.
  • Open Embed Code tab.
  • Copy the code.
  • Paste into HTML Editor of your website. Both Blogspot and WordPress have such feature for example.
  • Video appears on your preview.
  • Publish it.
  • Video published on your web page. See the beginning of this post for example.
  • Share you web page to your readers.

7. Create Channel

You can make channels as many as you want. Here is how to do that:
  • Click your username.
  • Go to My Videos > My Library > My Channels.
  • Click Create new channel button.
  • Type name of the channel. This will be the URL.
  • Type display name. This will be the actual title.
  • Type your donation address if you have. Such as Patreon etc.
  • Click Create button.
  • Channel created. To change the avatar, just click Edit, Upload logo picture.
(Picture 7.1: Channel List: this is my channel page that shows my channels from UbuntuBuzz to LXDE Review)
Your PeerTube channel presentation will look like this:

(Picture 7.2: Channel: this is the official channel of The KDE Community already mentioned previously)

8. Create Playlist

You can make playlists of PeerTube videos you love as many as you want. Here is how to do:
(Adding a video to playlist)
  • Click your account username.
  • Go to My Library > My Playlists.
  • Create new playlist.
  • Name it and describe as you like.
  • Make it private if you just want to try out, and you can change this later.
  • Create.
  • Play a video on PeerTube, like this one.
  • Click Save button > select your playlist name.
  • Video added to playlist. Do the same for other videos.


9. Subscribe

PeerTube gives you abilities to subscribe like YouTube. Aside from that, it gives you ability to subscribe PeerTube with your Mastodon account, and ability to subscribe via RSS Feed instead. This is today only, as in the future we may see more integrations such as to Pixelfed, to Diaspora, and other social networks that linked to Mastodon (ActivityPub). If you know these, you know that PeerTube is a real potential video sharing platform right now. 

  • Click Subscribe button.

Subscribe with Mastodon:
  • Click down arrow beside Subscribe button.
  • Type your Mastodon username.
  • Click Remote Subscribe button.  
  • Subscribed.

Subscribe with RSS: 
  • Click down arrow beside Subscribe button.
  • Right-click Subscribe Via RSS.
  • Copy link location. 
  • Paste it in your favorite RSS Feed Reader program e.g. Liferea or Akregator.
  • Enjoy following videos from within reader instead of browser.

10. Subscribe Across Instances

You may find subscribing to same PeerTube but different instance (with browser) not as easy as you think. That's okay, anyway there is alternative way on next section. What you need to do is to copy and paste the channel URL into your instance's search box and then click Subscribe button. As example, here is my account and here is channel I wish to subscribe Notice both instance addresses are different. I use Mozilla Firefox browser to do this. Here is how to subscribe:
  • I browse Linuxrocks.Online instance.
  • I find a nice channel talking about things I love, it is KVB channel.
  • I cannot simply click Subscribe on its webpage. So...
  • I copy the URL of the channel.
  • I open my instance website: Libre.Video.
  • I paste the URL into my instance search box. It works!
  • I click the Subscribe button.
  • Subscribed to channel from other instance. Do the same to other channels.
(Picture 10.1: Subscribe Socially: see search box above containing the URL of a channel from foreign Linuxrocks instance done in my Libre.Video instance where I belong; you can see an orange Subscribe button beside the channel name)

11. Explore Across Instances

Surprise! This is the ultimate feature of PeerTube which makes social networks social hence you can search within your own instance and beyond. This is the alternative way mentioned in previous section. By this, you can find channels from other instances and instantly subscribe to them. Here is how to do that:
  • Login to your instance. I logged in to Libre.Video.
  • Search anything you like. I searched between ubuntu, linux, etc.
  • You found videos and many of them are from other instances. In my search, I found videos from,, etc. Please see last section for explanation.
  • Click Subscribe button on every channel you want.
  • Subscribed.
  • Click a video first, and then you can...
  • Click Subscribe.
  • Click Thumbs Up to like. Or Thumbs Down to dislike.
  • Click Share button to share video further.
  • Comment.
(Picture 11.1: Exploration: searching for thing I like on my instance Libre.Video is like googling: it can return videos and channels from other instances worldwide such as Linuxrocks, Mastohost, Peersocial, etc.)
(Think about it again, this is like, imagine you search in YouTube and can find videos from it, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and others)

12. Make Comment, Like, Share

  • Go to a video, for example this one.
  • See if Comments on the bottom available to fill.
  • Fill the text box with your comment. It supports markdown text formatting.
  • Click Post Comment button.
(Picture 12.1: Comment: this is how to write comment at PeerTube and it supports markdown text formatting.)

(Social buttons available on every video)
  • To like or dislike a video, click Thumb Up/Down button.
  • To share a video, click Share button, then select among URL, HTML code, or QR code.
  • To donate to the PeerTuber, click Support (Heart) button, and follow further instructions. Some PeerTuber uses Paypal, some other uses Liberapay, and so on. This button only appears if the PeerTuber set it out.

10. Delete Video

  • Go to My Videos.
  • See which one you want to delete.
  • Click Delete button.
  • Alternatively, you can select multiple videos first and click Delete button then.
  • Confirm.
  • Video deleted.

11. Delete Account

Deleting account erases your presence on the PeerTube as well as your uploaded videos and information you have there. Once deleted, you cannot get your data back. Please perform this with concern carefully.
  • On PeerTube, click your account name.
  • You see settings page.
  • Scroll down until you see "danger zone".
  • Click Delete Account button.
  • Confirm.
  • Account deleted.


This is about two things, domain names and PeerTube stats.

Here are internet domain names we already are familiar with [ .com .net .org .info ] and in fact there are new names we perhaps are not familiar with yet [ .xyz .social .online ]. What I need to say is that in PeerTube you will see the latter many times. You will find a PeerTube server with strange name, such as,, that it is actually not too different to So don't worry and keep going.

Interestingly, we can see statistics of PeerTube such as how many users joined, how much GigaByte server space used, how many comments made, how many other PeerTube instances connected, and so on.

About PeerTube

If your friend ask, say that PeerTube is like YouTube but better. PeerTube is a software which when installed to a server computer it works like YouTube. See PeerTube at But unlike YouTube, PeerTube is free/libre open source software and works in federation. That means everybody capable could make their own "YouTube" and be interconnected to each other with lesser resource requirements. As a result, users can enjoy watching & sharing videos everywhere and be social with PeerTube from other social networks such as Mastodon. PeerTube is created and funded by a prestigious French non-profit organization called Framasoft - same organization that launched Degooglify Internet movement worldwide. PeerTube source code is developed online and you can help the development by donation. Learn more about PeerTube at the Official Website, Framasoft, Wikipedia, and Free Software Foundation.

About This Article

Up to these days, talking about PeerTube is similar to talking about Gogs/Gitea, I should admit they lack user guides. That is why I made the latter articles few month ago and now I make this article. PeerTube is very potential and already used by The KDE Project which I think it's just about time for other big players to adopt it soon. Thank you KDE for being the first example for others. Thank you Framasoft for creating the amazing PeerTube. I am glad I made this article. Hope this helps you all!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.