Stream Netfilx with Chrome on Linux using HTML5 – Finally!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

NetFlix using HTML5 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Netflix and Linux fans have been waiting patiently for a native Netflix player. Well, they have been waiting. The best solution will ultimately be based upon standards like HTML5. In fact Netflix offers an HTML5 video player now, but the only browser that supports it is Internet Explorer 11. Obviously, that isn’t a solution for Linux.


Firefox and Chrome will eventually implement the HTML5 video extensions, but until now, if you wanted to stream Netflix movies on Linux, you had to use 
a workaround that included WINE and Pipelight (Windows and Silverlight emulators). I wrote a howto article for this method in May, 2014:

     How to Stream Netflix Movies on Linux

Of course, software updates often break workarounds. I wrote about a Chrome update that did just that for this workaround, only a few weeks ago:

       Adieu Netflix in Chrome for Linux!

That really wasn’t a show stopper though. I could still use the workaround with Firefox, but then I couldn’t use all the bookmarks and extensions I use with Chrome.

HTML5 with Chrome on Ubuntu

Netflix video using an HTML5 player is finally here for Linux! But don’t get too excited. It’s still a workaround. It may be more trouble than it’s worth for some. Of course, we are talking about Linux users who routinely and boldly, go where no man has gone before.

It’s a workaround because it only works with the latest beta or developer versions of Chrome. That’s easy enough, but wait. There’s more! You still will need to use a user agent spoofer. Plus, I have only done this successfully with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Now, for the ugliest part of this workaround – you will need to replace Ubuntu 14.04 LTS’s Network Security Services (libnss3) with Ubuntu 14.10’s NSS. 

So if you are Brave, Honest, Cheerful, Trustworthy, Thrifty, Kind… wait, that’s the Boy Scout oath. Okay, so if you are brave, you can find step by step instructions at OMG! Ubuntu!, A great resource for Ubuntu users, BTW.

Yes I am lazy, so I didn’t write the step by step instructions here. But I also need plausible deniability. I didn’t say I was a Boy Scout.

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