I am using an old Raspberry Pi 1 (Model B, 256MB Ram) with Raspbian 2012-8-16 version. I bought it in August 2012 and leave it unused for some time. Recently, I set it up again and try to view YouTube videos using the web browser (Midori 0.4.3). However, I find that the browser seems having a problem in streaming YouTube videos, I could only see a black box in the video area inside the browser.

From this link, it shows that a Raspberry Pi Model B (512mb) could view video smoothly.

It seems that the free memory left in my Pi is only 10K. The output from the free command is:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        188112     177128      10984          0       3668      29908
-/+ buffers/cache:     143552      44560
Swap:       102396         92     102304

Is lack of memory a key problem for my Raspberry Pi to view videos?

Does anyone have experience in using a Raspberry Pi Model B (256MB Ram) to view YouTube videos? Is this task possible? If yes, what OS (and version) and what application(s) should I use?

1 Answer 1


I have a first generation model B (256MB ram) that I watch YouTube videos on all the time. From my experience there are a couple of things that will effect playback:

  1. Your network connection, if you have a slow or flaky connection you will encounter issues.
  2. choice of OS, I had issues trying to use various browsers on Raspbian.
  3. Power supply, I had issues with the system freezing after several hours; these were eventually tracked down to a weak power supply.

Assuming that number one is not an issue (I don't know a way around this other than downloading the videos first - a quick google search will turn up several ways to do this). besides replacing the power supply, I installed raspbmc (now super-seeded by OSMC), this is a dedicated media center distribution, and the YouTube plugin. This has the advantage that it is optimized for playing video. I have also added an IR remote control and the raspbmc app to my tablet to control the media center.

  • 1
    Thanks for your sharing. Sorry for a late lookup of your answer. Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 10:25
  • Could you provide a link for the YouTube plugin that you have described. Is it a plugin for a web browser or for the raspbmc OS. Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 10:34
  • I think my problem may be due to my midori web browser which may not have a flash plugin. Yesterday I have tried the "omxplayer" program in a most recent version of Raspbian. I find that a downloaded mp4 video could be viewed smoothly in my 256MB ram Raspberry Pi. That means that the 256MB ram Raspberry Pi has the capability of showing video smoothly. Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 10:45
  • Nevertheless, my internet connection may be not fast enough and/or the 256MB ram Raspberry Pi seems handle desktop windows not fast enough. Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 10:47
  • The youtube plugin is for raspbmc (osmc) Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 11:25

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