Play Netflix on Linux with Firefox


Netflix and Linux have a somewhat troubled past. For years, Netflix actively blocked Linux users. More recently, support for Google Chrome was added. Firefox users, however, have been out of luck until just recently. As of Firefox 49, the option of using Google’s DRM from the Chrome browser to play DRM content has been made optionally available to Firefox users. This has made it possible to watch Netflix, and potentially other DRM streaming services, using Firefox and without installing Google Chrome. What’s better, the DRM can be turned off when you’re done watching.

Firefox's about page displaying the version number

Before you continue, make sure that you have at least Firefox 49. Most distributions have current versions of Firefox available in their repositories. To check which version of Firefox you have, click on the hamburger menu(three lines) on the top right of the window. Towards the bottom of the menu that opens, there is a question mark icon. Click that followed by “About Firefox” on the resulting new menu. If you happen not to have it available, you can still download the self-contained, “binary in a folder,” version directly from Mozilla.

Enabling DRM

The option to enable DRM in Firefox

Open up Firefox and click on the hamburger menu again. This time, click “Preferences.” Under the “Preferences” menu, navigate to “Content” on the left side. The first option under “Content” should read, “Play DRM Content.” Click the accompanying checkbox.

Getting the Agent Switcher

This step and the following step may not be necessary in the future. Unfortunately, right now, Netflix still doesn’t officially work on any Linux browsers other than Google Chrome. However, it is easy to trick Netflix into thinking that you’re using Chrome.

In order to trick Netflix, and any other site, into thinking that you’re using Chrome, you need an add-on. There are many options for this. The one provided with this guide was tested and works well. You may choose another, if you like.

Head over to the page below and click “Add to Firefox.” When prompted, click “Install.”

Setting The Agent

Now that the Random Agent Spoofer is installed, you should see its icon along with any other add-ons you’ve installed in the menu of Firefox. Click on that icon.

The Random Agent Spoofer menu

A menu will appear with four radio buttons at the top and a stack of menus below them. Click on the menu labeled, “Linux Browsers.” That will expand to reveal a listing of Linux web browsers. Select the newest version of Google Chrome available. You will probably receive a pop-up notification stating that the browser has been switched to Chrome. Now, all sites that you visit will see your browser as Chrome.

Open Netflix and Enjoy

At this point, you can head over to Netflix, sign in, and enjoy any content you’d like. Netflix will see your browser as Chrome, which it supports, and the DRM running in Firefox is the same as Google uses, so everything should work fine. In the future, Netflix may recognize and support Firefox, but for now, this is the best option.

Comments and Discussions
Linux Forum