A few years back, it watching Netflix on Linux required tweaking your system, installing extra libraries, switching user agents in the web browser.
The good news is that Netflix is now completely supported on Linux. You don’t need to do any extra efforts to watch Netflix on Linux anymore. Well, mostly.
How to watch Netflix on Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution
Did I say Netflix is now completely supported on Linux? That’s only part true. Watching Netflix also depend on the choice of your web browser.
If you want to watch Netflix without any effort, simply use Google Chrome. Google Chrome is the one browser that supports Netflix without any additional requirement.
You install Google Chrome on Ubuntu or whichever Linux you are using, log into Netflix and start watching our favorite movie or web series. It’s been possible because Netflix now uses HTML5 playback by default.
What about watching Netflix on other web browsers?
You can watch Netflix on Linux using Mozilla Firefox as well. You’ll have to enable DRM content because Firefox doesn’t support it by default.
Other Google Chrome based web browsers should also support Netflix.
But watching Netflix on Chromium browser is altogether a different ball game. Chances are that despite your efforts, you might not able to run Netflix on Chromium.
Watching Netflix on older versions like Ubuntu 14.04
Running Netflix on Ubuntu 14.04 is the same. At best, make sure that you have libnss3 installed.
sudo apt install libnss3 libnss3-1d libnss3-nssdb
Cannot find libnss3 in Ubuntu 14.04?
Though libnss3 is already available in Ubuntu 14.04, if you cannot find it, you may use this unofficial PPA to install it.
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. You should also make sure that Netflix is using HTML5 playback. Expand the next section to learn how to enable HTML5 playback in Netflix.
Enable HTML5 playback 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:
That’s it. With nss3 and HTML5 playback, you should be able to see Netflix on Ubuntu 14.04 and other older versions.
Is there a Netflix desktop app for Ubuntu?
There used to be an unofficial Netflix desktop app for Ubuntu. This app ran Wine in the background so not really a native Linux desktop app.
This application has been discontinued and there is no other desktop app for Netflix anymore. The only way to watch Netflix on Linux is through the web browser.
If you want to watch US version of Netflix outside the 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. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.