August 23, 2014

Netflix in Linux Using Chrome

Netflix Logo

Update 01.01.2015 - I have some awesome news! It is now unnecessary to use the "User Agent Extension" for Google Chrome in order to watch Netflix online. Simply remove the agent then relaunch the video that you want to watch and it should work!

The World Wide Web Consortium or W3C has made a push for protected media content to be streamed using HTML5 media playback through the Encrypted Media Extension specifications. Watching Netflix natively in Linux has been made possible in Beta versions of Google Chrome using an extension. You will no longer have to use a funky wine/silverlight work around any longer as long as you use the Beta version of Google Chrome!
By spoofing the user agent of an official supported EME platform (e.g., Windows 8.1) in Chrome for Linux we can get fuss-free totally native playback of movies and TV shows — for now, at least.
It does take a bit of tweaking to get it up and running, but once you do, it plays much nicer than the wine configurations from earlier days.

Requirements for this install:
  • Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 Alpha
  • Google Chrome Beta or Dev version v37 or greater 
  • A Netflix subscription 
  • Have Prefer HTML5 selected in Netflix Account Playback
You can install Google Chrome Beta by using the following command inside of a terminal window.

sudo apt-get install google-chrome-beta

After all of those things have been completed you will need to update your Ubuntu 14.04 LTS install to the latest version of libnss3. If you have some trouble getting this to work try running an update on your system. This should install all of the latest updates for libnss3. There may be some dependencies that Ubuntu is unable to resolve, but if you run the following command, it should fix any dependency issues:

sudo aptitude upgrade --full-resolver

Next, you will need to install the "User Agent Extension". You can find it in the Chrome Store or by going to the link below:

User Agent Extension for Chrome

After the extension is installed, there should be a new extension icon at the top right of the Chrome browser. Right-click on the extension and select options. In the Custom User-Agent section input the following information:

  • Name: Netflix Linux
  • String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36
  • Group: (is filled in automatically)
  • Append?: Select ‘Replace’
  • Flag: IE
When the information has been added, press the "Add" button. Then, navigate to Netflix.com in Google Chrome Beta, click on the user agent extension, select "Chrome". Then, under Chrome select the "Netflix Linux" agent that was just created. After that, you should be in business. 




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Twitter: @Th3MattWilson