Ever tried to watch Netflix in Ubuntu in your web browser? I bet if you tried, you must have faced a “system requirement” error page like this:
You can always try to install Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu but it involves Wine which is not favored by everyone and doesn’t work for everyone as well.
Thanks to Google Chrome version 37 and HTML 5, now you can get native viewing experience of Netflix in Linux directly in your Chrome web browser.In this tutorial, we shall see
In this tutorial, we shall see how to watch Netflix in Ubuntu without Wine. I have written this tutorial for Ubuntu 14.04. But this should also applicable to Linux Mint 17 and other Linux distributions.
- Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 14.10 beta
- Google Chrome version 37 at least.
- An active Netflix account.
If you have all of the three above, let’s see how to watch Netflix in Ubuntu in native way.
How to watch Netflix in Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17
The whole tutorial is divided in three parts. Which is to enable HTML5 viewing in Netflix, installing a new library and installing a user agent switcher in Google Chrome. Let’s see how to do it.
Part 1: Install libnss3
You can skip this part if you are running Ubuntu 14.10 as it already has the latest version for libnss (Network Security Services). For Ubuntu 14.04 install libnss3 via an unofficial PPA. Open a terminal and use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:leonbo/nss sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libnss3 libnss3-1d libnss3-nssdb sudo apt-get upgrade
Restart your system once you are done with these commands.
Part 2: Install user agent switcher extension for Chrome The next step is that we fool Netflix and let it believe that we are NOT accessing it from Linux but Windows. Each time you connect to any server, some information about your OS, browser etc is received by the server. A user agent switcher comes handy in such case as it changes this information. Get the user agent extension from the link below: Once you have installed the User-Agent Switcher extension, from the top right, right click on this extension and choose Options: In the Options, you have to add a new user agent with the following information: New User-agent name: Netflix Linux New User-Agent 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: (It will be filled in automatically) Append?: Choose ‘Replace’ Flag: IE So in the end when it looks like the screenshot below, click on add to add a new user agent: This way you can just click on the user agent switcher extension and choose Netflix Linux from under Chrome option to watch Netflix account. Alternatively, you can add a permanent spoof on Netflx.com so that you won’t have to manually switch the user agent. For Netflix website, this user agent will automatically take in to effect. In the same Options, add the permanent spoof in the following manner:
Part 3: Enable HTML5 playback in Netflix We are almost there. All we need to do now is to enable HTML5 viewing in Netflix. This will be done when you are logged in your Netflix account. Go to your account settings and look for Playback Settings there: Make sure that you have HTML5 viewing option checked: Okay! So we are all set to go. Open Netflix in Google Chrome, log in. If you have not set permanent spoof or if it is not working, switch to Netflix Linux under Chrome by clicking on user agent extension. Here is a screenshot of Netflix running in my Ubuntu system in Chrome browser:
If you want to watch Netflix outside US, you can use a premium DNS service like Unlocator to access it in any part of the world. In case you don’t have a legal or moral obligation against piracy, you can install Popcorn Time in Ubuntu. Popcorn Time is a torrent based streaming service that has Netflix like interface.
I hope this tutorial helped you to use Netflix in Ubuntu 14.04 in a native way. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.