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A few years back, Linux users had to put extra effort by installing outdated HAL libraries.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.
In the Settings, search for DRM. Make sure to enable DRM content here.
Now restart Firefox browser and enjoy 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)”
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.