How to Watch Hulu on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Hulu is an increasingly popular streaming service in the USA. It has some good original content and it also provides option for live TV channels. You can use it for free with ads or buy a subscription for ad-free viewing experience.

Hulu does not support Linux officially. But don’t worry. You can still watch Hulu on Linux without much effort.

Watching Hulu on Linux

A few years back, Linux users had to put extra effort by installing outdated HAL libraries. Thankfully, those days are gone. Hulu now supports HTML 5 playback, which means you can watch it directly in a web browser.

Hulu just works on Google Chrome web browser in Linux. So install Chrome on Ubuntu or whichever distribution you are using and you should be able to watch it.

If you prefer Firefox, you’ll have to put a little extra effort.

Watch Hulu on Firefox in Linux

Unlike Chrome, Mozilla Firefox does not support DRM playback by default. You’ll have to enable it explicitly. That’s how you also watch Netflix on Linux.

Before you enable DRM, it would also be wise to install some media codecs so that it doesn’t complain.

On Ubuntu and Debian based distributions like Linux Mint, elementary etc, you can use this command:

sudo apt install libavcodec-extra ffmpeg

After that, open Firefox browser and click on the Hamburger menu. Here, go to Settings.

firefox settings
Go to Firefox Settings

In the Settings, search for DRM. Make sure to enable DRM content here.

drm firefox
Enable DRM playback

Now restart Firefox browser and enjoy Hulu on Linux.

Hulu after adding HAL in Ubuntu
Hulu on Linux
Playing Hulu on Linux with HAL (deprecated method for really old Linux versions)

5-6 years ago, Hulu relied on Adobe Flash for playing DRM-protected content. This completely messed up the things for Linux users because Adobe doesn’t support Flash on Linux for some years and Adobe Flash DRM requires HAL which is also removed from major Linux systems for years now.

And hence, when you tried playing Hulu on Linux, it showed error code 3336.

“There was a problem playing this protected content. (Error Code: 3336)”

Hulu not working in Linux

As explained earlier, we need HAL to be installed explicitly in Ubuntu. Thanks to this PPA, you can easily install HAL in Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Read this tutorial to watch Hulu in Arch Linux based distributions.

Open a terminal and use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install hal

Once you have installed HAL, just refresh the browser window. No need of a restart or log out. It will start working as previously. Here is a screenshot of Hulu running in Firefox in Ubuntu 15.04:

Just to add watching Hulu outside USA, can be easily done with DNS service. There was a free DNS unblocking service Tunlr but it got canned. Now I use Unblock Us which works great and requires no efforts in set up.

I hope this little tip helped you in enjoying Hulu on Linux.

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  • You can also use the hal-flash library. I think this is a better approach, as it reroutes hal calls to udev, rather than trying to keep hal staggering along. See https://github.com/cshorler/hal-flash

    Just a few commands: (on Linux Mint 17):

    sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev dbus libdbus-1-dev libtool automake autoconf checkinstall build-essential git

    git clone https://github.com/cshorler/hal-flash.git
    cd hal-flash/
    autoreconf -i
    ./configure –prefix=
    make
    sudo make install

    installs to /lib/libhal.so
    I didn’t even have to restart Firefox, hulu video immediately started working again.

  • Yeah! That fixed it. I had almost gave up hope. Thank-you! Can I share this to some of the other forums I’ve cruised?

  • How did you know I spent 17 hours last week trying to watch Lost in Space (old one). Certain commercials and other garbage would play, but when the show started, it would jones.