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How to watch Netflix on a Linux Distribution

by Felix Omondi

How to watch Netflix on a Linux Distribution

If you are one of the few who by default uses a Linux distribution on your PC. You probably have felt the pinch of being able to watch Netflix while you are on the Linux OS. But today, Innov8tiv is going to show you how to get Netflix on a Linux distribution and start watching like users on Windows OS.

Requirements to play Netflix on Linux

  1. Google Chrome browser for Linux – For this you have to use Google Chrome and not any other browser. You’ll understand why I insist on the Chrome browser once you read further down.
  2. NSS 3.16.2 or higher – Network Security Services (NSS) package refers to a set of libraries used by the Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser among other apps. Netflix requires this, for its encrypted media extensions.

For the Linux distribution, Ubuntu 14.0.4, the latest version of NSS can now be downloaded as part of the normal update. All you have to do is run ‘Update Manager’ and install all of the updates. Apart from Ubuntu 14.0.4, your other Linux distribution of choice may or may not include this latest version of NSS.

If your Linux distribution has no plans of getting the latest NSS update, then you might want to reconsider your options and switch to a Linux distribution that supports the most recent NSS version.

  1. A User Agent Hack – You will only need this for now. This is because Netflix is still blocking Linux browsers from playing its content. I said you will only need this for now, because a Netflix employee said, on the Ubuntu mailing list: he would be able to submit a request for the lifting of the User-Agent filtering, should Linux-based Chrome browsers embrace the latest version of NSS. But so far this has not happened.

Instructions on how to Get Netflix on a Linux Distribution

Follow the instructions below and you will be able to play Netflix on your Linux and override Netflix’s internal bureaucracies:

Download and Install the User Agent Switcher extension. Then right-click the User Agent Switcher icon on the toolbar and select ‘Options’. Give it the name, ‘Netflix on Linux’ and create a new rule by entering the following string if codes:

  • Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36

How to watch Netflix on a Linux Distribution

For the Indicator Flag field, set it to ‘IE’ and click the ‘Add’ button.

If you followed all the above instructions correctly, you should be able to select the ‘Netflix on Linux’ user agent which you will find on the toolbar icon. Then go to and voila! You go streaming Netflix on a Linux distribution.

If and when chrome adopt the latest NSS version, you can then drop using the extension and watch Netflix without the too Geeky procedures.

Related: Netflix gets better on Comcast after a deal.

Watch out for a follow up article on this, explaining to you just why exactly won’t Netflix (a very popular site) would not be set to stream on a Linux distribution by default. Enjoy watching, Netflix on your Linux distribution.

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