Running Netflix on Ubuntu 12.04 with Firefox using Pipelight


Tutorial for getting the elusive Netflix running on Linux with Pipelight

Published on by nick

Tags: netflix, ubuntu, piplight

Note: you can now watch Netflix on Ubuntu using Chrome version 37.

Until recently, Linux users were hard-pressed if they wanted to enjoy ther favorite Netflix streaming videos. But now there is a way, and it uses an aplication called Pipelight. Fortuntely, with Ubuntu, this is a relatively easy and straight forward setup and installation.

First thing you need to do is install it. I found the easiest way to do this was to from a repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pipelight

Then, you need enable plugins (optional). For me, all I wanted was Silverlight, the main framework that the Netflix application uses:

[email protected]:~$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight
Plugin silverlight5.1 is now enabled

The final step is to install a user agent switcher. Some browser plugins like Silverlight (and even some Flash pages) check the browser user agent to determine if the user is running Windows. The work-around is to have a user agent switcher (or change the user-agent string via the command line, if possible). In Firefox, you can go to Tools > Add-ons and search for "user agent switcher".

Some UA switchers work better than others. Check this FAQ page for more details.

The next thing to do is actually add a new user agent option your browser can use:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1

Restart Firefox and go to Netflix's websit and login.

Remeber to go to Tools in your browser and select the UA of choice from the menu. A new menu item will be present called Defult User Agent will be present and you should see the UA you set up above. It should then work ;-)

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