Netflix has been available natively on Linux for some time, but it wasn't always easy to watch.
Without the right setup, it won't work. Fortunately, with the right software, Netflix can run on any current Linux distribution.
Follow the steps below to watch videos from your Netflix library on Linux.
The development of Netflix on Linux
At one time, accessing Netflix on Linux was difficult. A specific version of Google Chrome was required, including EME (Encrypted Media Extension) support. Chrome also required a specific version of Mozilla Network Security Services and a User Agent Switcher extension. (Change the user agent
How to change your browser's user agent and trick websites
is a method to trick a website that you use with another operating system or browser.
Today, all you have to do is open netflix.com in Google Chrome and sign in to your account. You can seamlessly view Netflix content in seconds. You can also convert Netflix to a desktop application using Google Chrome web app tools (see below).
Which browsers play Netflix on Linux?
For best results when playing Netflix in your browser on Linux, stick to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
While other browsers may offer Netflix support (like Vivaldi or Opera), Chrome and Firefox are the most reliable.
If Chrome is not yet installed on your Linux distribution, you can find it at www.google.com/chrome/.
No additional software or plugins for streaming Netflix videos are available for Chrome. Just visit the page as explained above and enjoy. Other Chromium-based browsers should also work, but your mileage may vary.
If Google Chrome isn't what you want, you can use it as a backup if your favorite browser doesn't play Netflix. Usually this is just a short-term hiccup that can be fixed with a new update about a day later.
If Mozilla Firefox is preinstalled in your distribution, you can also watch Linux on Netflix. However, some adjustments are required.
- First, make sure you have the latest version of Firefox installed.
- Then visit netflix.com and log in to your account.
- A message appears at the top of the screen, notifying you that additional software is required. click Activate DRM.
- Wait while the additional software is installed.
- Refresh the page if necessary and play the selected video.
If Netflix doesn't work on Firefox on Linux, check the following:
- Enter in the address bar of your browser about: Settings # content.
- On the General Find tab Digital Rights Management (DRM) content.
- Make sure the box is next to it Play DRM controlled content is checked.
- Open a new tab and type about: addons.
- Look for plugins and confirm that OpenH264 and Widevine are enabled (set as Always activate).
- If necessary, restart Firefox.
You should now be able to play Netflix videos in Firefox.
Would you like to see US Netflix on Linux? You need a VPN
With Netflix, available through your browser, you can access your library, view recommendations, and use the service the way you want through your TV, game console, or mobile app.
However, if you need to access a Netflix library from another country (e.g. Netflix US), you need a VPN. In a virtual private network that supports Netflix, you can fool the website about your location. If you're in France, choose a U.S. VPN server to access Netflix's U.S. library.
Not all VPNs support video streaming through Netflix. Check our list of the best VPN services
The best VPN services
to get started.
Is there a Netflix desktop app for Linux?
At one point, you could install an app for Netflix. This unofficial tool was actually a Windows app and was bundled with Wine. This no longer works, but you can create a desktop application on Linux using the Chrome "Add to Desktop" feature.
- Open Google Chrome
- Go to netflix.com
- Login to your account
- Click the Chrome menu button (three dots in the top right corner of the Chrome browser).
- Choose More tools> Add to desktop.
- In the dialog box, click Add.
- Check Open as a window.
- click OK to confirm.
You should now have a shortcut on your desktop. Double-click to launch Netflix in its own Chrome window.
Watch Netflix on Linux with Kodi
Another way to watch Netflix on your Linux PC is with the Kodi Media Center software. However, this has some limitations: 4K streaming is not currently supported. Instead, you are limited to a maximum of 1080p.
Once you've installed Kodi, you can use an unofficial Netflix add-on to access your account. Note that this requires your account credentials to be provided to a third-party app – another good reason to use a VPN.
Start by installing Kodi in the terminal. Update and update first:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
You can now install Kodi:
Install sudo apt kodi
Next, download the Netflix addon repository.
Download: CastagnaIT for Kodi (free)
Save this on your Linux PC. Open the add-on browser in Kodi and choose Install from zip file.
Navigate to the download location in Kodi and install the repository file repository.castagnait-1.0.x.zip.
click Back to find the add-on browser again. Choose Install from repository and find the CastagnaIT Repo. Search this for the Netflix add-on and To install.
Ubuntu users should be done here. However, distributions from other industries should install the following tools:
sudo apt install build-essential python-dev python-pip python-setuptools
pip install –user pycryptodomex
You can now launch the Netflix add-on in Kodi, sign in to your account, and access all the movies and shows.
Netflix natively and easily on Linux!
Thanks to all efforts on various pages, we now have Netflix natively on Linux without any workarounds. All you need is a modern browser or you can watch Netflix with a Kodi add-on.
Need to check out Netflix's US library? In this case you need a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN, which gives MakeUseOf readers a 49% discount.
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