ObjectivePlay content from Sling TV in Firefox on Linux.
DistributionsThis will work on any Linux distribution.
RequirementsA working Linux install with Firefox 52+ installed.
- # - requires given command to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
- $ - given command to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
IntroductionSling TV is a popular alternative for cord cutters looking to be free of their cable bill while keeping their favorite TV channels. The service doesn't support Linux, though, at all. Furthermore, by default it is available within United States only.
They do, however, offer beta support for Google Chrome on Windows and Mac. That's something that you can work with. Actually, you can get Sling TV working on Firefox instead of Chrome… as long as Sling thinks you're on Chrome.
Enable DRMOf course, Sling TV relies on DRM, specifically Widevine. So, you need to enable that functionality in Firefox. Firefox 56 changed the settings interface. If you're using it or a newer version, you can find the DRM controls under the "General" tab of the "Preferences" menu. It's just a checkbox directly below the "Applications" box.
On older versions of Firefox, the DRM checkbox is in the "Content" tab under the "Preferences" menu.
Modify The Agent StringNext, you're going to need to modify the user agent string in Firefox to trick Sling TV into thinking you're on Chrome on Windows. None of the agent spoofing add-ons are current enough to handle this. Sling requires Chrome 60 or later. At the time of this article, the latest version of Chrome is 61.
If you have a Windows install, you can grab the latest agent string form it. If not, you can just use the one below.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/61.0.3163.100 Safari/537.36Enter
about:configin Firefox's address bar. It'll warn you that you can break things. Accept, and you'll see a big table of settings. At the top, there's a search bar. Click in it, and search for
useragent. There will only be a handful of settings there.
Below the list of settings, right click. Select "New," then "String." A new window will open for you to enter the key for your new setting. Enter
general.useragent.override. A new window will pop up for the value. Enter the string from before or the one you got from Windows.
After you enter the string, Firefox will add your override to the table, and you'll see it displayed no that page. Firefox officially looks like Chrome.
Sign In And Try It!You're ready to sign into your Sling TV account and try it out. Click the "Member Sign In" button at the top right of the Sling homepage. The site will redirect you to a sign in form. Fill in your account information, and submit.
Sling should redirect you immediately to it's Chrome player. You'll see a channel listing similar to what you'd find on other devices. If it doesn't, try browsing to watch.sling.com manually. From that interface, you can navigate through, select, and watch your favorite channels live or on demand!
Closing ThoughtsRemember, this procedure gets Sling working on an unsupported browser on an unsupported OS. It might not be perfect. In testing it out, though, it worked very smoothly. Having the latest Firefox release will probably help with that, though.
Sling may change things in the future, so there is no guarantee that this will continue working. It's also important to keep in mind that Sling doesn't like VPNs. This procedure was tested in a VM to bypass the VPN of the host system, and it still worked fine.