UPDATE! This doesn’t seem to be required anymore. Netflix should work fine as long as your Mozilla-NSS is up to date and you are running Chrome 39 or higher!
Getting Netflix to run in Linux has been in the news again. Before you had to use pipelight and wine to get everything running. Even then, I’ve heard it doesn’t even work all that well. I never did try it myself because I run Slackware64 without multilib, so I can’t even execute 32bit applications like wine.
Fortunately, some very smart people have figured out how to get real native Netflix working in Linux. Many of the sites out there show you how to do it with Ubuntu, but that didn’t work for me, which I’ll explain later.
Lets get going. First you need Chrome 37 or newer. Snag the build scripts from the Slackware extras section: http://mirrors.slackware.com/slackware/slackware64-14.1/extra/google-chrome/. Change if you are not running 64bit. This also works (from what I’m told) if you are running Slackware 14.0
Next snag the latest deb from Google, https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/ and select either the 32bit or 64bit download depending on what you’re running.
After running the build script, you will have a package ready to install in your /tmp directory. The best part of the chrome build script is it will figure out the version number of Chrome before building the package. Install the package using installpkg.
Before moving on, I want to explain the difference between the Ubuntu and Slackware setup. As I started writing this, I had a package that was just a tiny little bit out of date. One of the requirements is libnss. At the time I was running version 3.16 and you need 3.16.4. I found this great post over on linuxquestions.org which gives instructions on building the newer version of libnss. Just before posting this I found that the wonderful Slackware maintainers updated it for me! Just make sure to fully patch your system and you will get mozilla-nss-3.16.4.xxxxx.txz. If you actually read this entire paragraph, I’m impressed. Thanks for making it worth my time writing it.
Start up Chrome and go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/user-agent-switcher-for-c/djflhoibgkdhkhhcedjiklpkjnoahfmg and install. Once installed, right click on the new icon and select options. Here we are going to setup a new custom User Agent that will allow Netflix to play. Put the following options in the fields.
New User-agent name: Netflix Linux
New User-Agent String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36
Append?: (defaults are fine)
Indicator Flag: IE
Be sure to select your new User Agent and then login to your Netflix account. Once in go to your account settings and select the option to use HTML5 over Silverlight. Enjoy watching Netflix in Linux!