No doubt, Netflix is the world’s number one streaming site. For an affordable monthly subscription fee, Netflix allows users to catch up with the latest HD movies and TV shows. Netflix has been a lucrative platform for millions of users. Statistics show the total number of Netflix users goes far beyond 64 million. But, isn’t it absurd that as like Netflix on Chromecast – watching Netflix on Linux is still a hustle?
Netflix Linux Challenges
Well, Netflix Linux compatibility has been an issue for far too long. Netflix failed to impress on Linux for many reasons. For instance, the earlier versions of Ubuntu gave most users a headache.
Running Netflix on Ubuntu required special plugins installed, Microsoft Silverlight Plugin had DRM – not Adobe Flash. Now that Adobe –and not Microsoft powers the Silverlight plugin, watching Netflix on the Linux was difficult.
But, that was until the Mono Project came up with Moonlight – an efficient alternative to Silverlight. The plugin has direct support from Microsoft. The only challenge was that Moonlight could not play videos on Netflix because it missed the ‘PlayReady DRM’ requirement.
In short for you, DRM (Digital Rights Management) is the technology that prevents piracy across the internet. DRM requires the Network Security Services (NSS) to track the browser activities and protect patents. But, for an extended period, Ubuntu has failed to include the NSS. That is why watching Netflix on Linux has been a hustle, for many.
In what seems like throwing the white towel, Microsoft stopped venturing on Moonlight. Instead, they decided to pay more attention to Silverlight for Windows. Although they added many features to Silverlight, they later dumped it for HTML5.
Understanding the Netflix Video Technology
To unriddle the Netflix Linux puzzle and watch Netflix on Linux, it is important to know a few things about the technology used in Netflix videos. HTML5 video technology is the main modus operating for Netflix videos – it employs many platforms. Also, Netflix
Also, Netflix utilises the Encrypted Media Extensions technology. This technology demands installation of plugins to allow Netflix run on browsers. Also, most of the installed extensions help Netflix to manage and prevent piracy. To do this, Netflix accesses the Network Security Services (NSS) library suites.
Thus, browsers that support the Encrypted Media Extensions are ideal for watching Netflix. For a good bet, the question that follows is ‘Which browsers support Netflix?’. Well, the heartbreak goes to all lovers of Opera, Chromium or Mozilla Firefox.
Simply, few versions of these web browsers support the Encrypted Media Extensions. But, there are a couple of web browsers that do; Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer are some of them. But, Mozilla is working on making Firefox support Encrypted Media Extensions. The extensions will enable it to play Netflix. Soon, the company says, Firefox users will be able to access all action on Netflix!
Recommended Read: Netflix Free Trial Forever
Netflix App for Windows 10
Your case is simple if you are using Windows operating systems. In a blog post, Netflix has stated that it has a ready and convenient application for Windows 10. This app integrates well with literally any device that allows Windows 10. Users having Smartphones, Personal computers, and tablets can watch Netflix using this app. The app allows you to catch up with the action without too many adjustments.
Watch Netflix on Linux Mint
If your operating system is Linux Mint, you, too, are covered! You can watch Netflix right on your favourite distribution operating system. With the latest Chrome browsers, you will see that it is easy for you to catch up with the latest TV shows and movies! Read on to see how you can do this!
How to beat challenges and Watch Netflix on Linux
After understanding how Netflix runs on various web browsers, it is the time to watch it! Although the old versions of Linux made it hard for people to watch Netflix, the new Ubuntu 14.04 comes with improvements. But of course, having a Netflix subscription in the first place is a must – if you do not have already, get yourself Netflix account first and then move on.
So, with Network Security Services, you will have a chance to watch Netflix on 14.04! If you need this version, run the Update Manager and install the updates it prompts.
However, you need to ensure the system is up to date to make Linux Netflix watching a reality! So, here are the ways to watch Netflix on Linux.
1 – User Agent Switcher
In short, perform this hack and trick Netflix! Most Linux Netflix users have used this method before. It tricks the video streamers that you are on Windows and using Explorer web browser.
As an example of the User Agent Switchers, Chrome’s User Agent Switcher and Firefox’s UAControl make websites believe that you are on a different browser. This way, they allow you flip pages without them noticing it! And, not even Netflix is smart enough to know it!
2 – Netflix on Linux Using Chrome
To put it briefly, Linux Chrome is quite an easy thing. You will need to download the latest stable version of Google Chrome on your Linux PC. Sign into the browser using your Google account, if you ask me, I logged in using my Gmail credentials. If you do not have one yet, you can create it here.
After you are done with the Chrome configuration, it is the time to head on to the Netflix website. Sign in to the site and enjoy all your package can allow! Google Chrome supports Encrypted Media Extensions – thus, you can be sure of an easy time! The only problem is that Chrome slows down old hardware.
3 – Run the Linux Netflix App
A Linux app for your Ubuntu desktop is available. As long as you have the most recent Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS or later, all you need is follow the procedure below. Also, note that the installation is valid to watch Netflix on Linux Mint too.
Installing the Linux Netflix Streaming Client app
The process involves some typing on your Linux command prompt. So, after you have run it as an administrator, key in the following:
- You need to add the right repository. Thus, on the prompt command panel, enter the following command:
- “sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio“ii) If any update on apt-get is needed, then you will need to key in the following commands:
- “sudo apt-get update“
- Then, you will need to install the Netflix Linux app for your desktop. Simply, key in “sudo apt-get install Netflix-desktop“ and there you are!
- To finish, you will need a package of the msttcorefonts. You have to install it manually because it is not available on the Netflix Desktop Client. So, key in the command: “sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts“.
When done with entering the commands, you will be ready to watch Netflix on the Linux App. The app may require a Mono or Gecko process – just click ‘Install’ and let it roll. However, the process takes some time to complete. So, with a little patience, your Linux Netflix desktop client will be ready for activation.
4 – Netflix Linux Firefox
To the satisfaction of many, Mozilla announced they are getting ready to launch a no-plugin Firefox for Linux to run Netflix. Firefox 49, as it is called – allows users stream videos without having to install plugins.
To pave the way for Firefox users to watch Netflix without plugins, the company says they will cut oxygen supply to NPAPI plugins. That’s a blow to users and browsers who need these plugins for playback.
But, just like it happens on Chrome that doesn’t have the NPAPI – many websites will still run comfortably. So, if you switched to Chrome just for Netflix – you can switch back to Firefox now! Install it now on Linux, and try your luck with Netflix on Linux Firefox.
5 – XBMC Netflix Linux
Also known as, Kodi, XBMC is a media player. Netflix Kodi is non-profit software that allows you stream videos direct from the site. Besides Netflix, Kodi also allows you to watch television programs and movies live from other websites.
These include Hulu, Amazon Prime and much more. In fact, XBMC Netflix Linux has been a hard thing due to the absence of Silverlight from the Ubuntu Linux Operating Systems. But now, Kodi is easy with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS or later versions. If you ask me, I installed Kodi on my Linux and installed PlayOn (one of the best Kodi addons) and then was all good to enjoy XMBC Netflix Linux!
6 – Netflix Chromium on Linux
It is simpler to watch Netflix on Chrome than on Chromium – honestly. But, that does not mean that you should get discouraged from using your favourite alternative browser than the Google Chrome. Instead, you can make many adjustments to get you the best experience on Linux.
However, you must be quite enduring to refurbish the Chromium browser with these settings and, plugins to watch Netflix. In most cases, people find it too demanding – and of course, unworthy. You will need to install Flash Player, as well as a series of other plugins. In short, there is no perfect way to use Chromium for Netflix. But, you can have a look at this conversation for more insights.
There you have it all about Linux Netflix
Finally, Ubuntu or Linux Netflix enthusiasts have something to celebrate. With the ways mentioned above, you can now watch your latest movies or television shows on Netflix, right from your Linux desktop.
You do not have to miss the latest season of Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley or Arrow. At least, the last two movies are familiar to all lovers of technology-based movies. To watch these and the rest on Netflix, you can use Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Kodi.
It is up to you to consider any among the six ways to watch Netflix on Linux. I am sticking with the Chrome method (second on the list), as it is the most suitable one for me. If you have any questions or additions, feel free to utilise the comment section below.
Top/Featured Image: By OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay
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