How to Watch Netflix on Linux

Have you ever wondered how it would be like to watch Netflix on Linux? Are you fantasizing about watching Netflix on Linux? Well, the good news is that you can now watch Netflix on Linux. All you need is Ubuntu and Chrome 14.04 LTS or 12.04 (new versions of Network security services). With this, you’ll be on the avenue to watching your streaming movies via Netflix. It’d be cool for you to know what you need to know before I explore into details.

Challenges Faced Before

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Before, you were required to use MicrosoftSilverlight plugin with DRM instead of Adope Flash to access Netflix. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t support Silverlight on Linux; Adobe does. Nowadays, Linux is the alternative to Silverlight but the Moonlight which was developed by Mono Project with an official help support from Microsoft lacked “PlayReady DRM” which is a requirement for playing videos on Netflix.

Netflix Service Technology

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Currently Netflix is using the orthodox HTML5 video technology (across platform technology) and the Encrypted Media Extensions technology. This is a DRM technology which facilitates the download of a closed-source plugins that runs on web browsers. The major use of these extensions is to prevent piracy and they require access to a suite of libraries; the NSS (Network Security Services)

Internet explorer, Safari and Chrome now provides support for Encrypted Media Extensions. But Firefox, Opera or Chromium doesn’t work on Netflix because they do not support Encrypted Media Extension. Currently, Firefox and Mozilla are working on supporting encrypted media extensions and they should be able to be used in the near future.

Now you should be figuring out why you need Chrome but before that, beware that Encrypted Media Extensions, one of the technologies used by Netflix require access to Network Security Services. The new version of Network Security Services which is now accessed as an update is Ubuntu 14.04. To obtain Ubuntu 14.04 is simple; you simply run the Update Manager and install the updates. Ensure your system is up to date so that your streaming may work. If your system isn’t fully up to date, your streaming may not be working.

There are two methods you’ve to consider to watch Netflix via Linux (assuming you have a, preferably, free Netflix account).

Running Netflix via the Netflix Streaming Client

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You simply install a Netflix lient on Ubuntu 14.04 desktop. This installation can also run on Linux Mint and Deepin. Most installation is done via the command prompt. Below is the process

 Adding the correct repository, enter sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio

 To update apt-get, enter sudo apt-get update

 To install the Netflix desktop app by issuing the command, enter sudo apt-get install Netflix Desktop

 Lastly you have to install msttcorefonts package. Though this dependency can’t be installed by the Netflix desktop client, simply issue the command sudo apt-get install msttorefonts

Watching Netflix via Google Chrome

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Run an installation of Google Chrome or any stable version of Chrome and launch it. Enter your Google account information and sign in. If you don’t have a Google account, create one for this purpose. Then login to the Netflix site and you’re good to go.


Installation may take a while but once completed, the Netflix Desktop Client is ready to be activated. Open the Dash and type in Netflix. Click on the launcher that will appear to start the client. The desktop will require Mono and Genko installation if it’s the first run. To complete the installation, click on install. Now you can sign in Netflix to watch on Linux.