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HowTo: Run Netflix on openSUSE

Netflix needs no introduction. It’s the most popular on-demand media distribution service. Netflix is challenging the traditional and often non-innovative Cable TV by created series like ‘House of Cards’ which was available only for the Internet and entered Emmy Awards.

Ironically while Netflix’s infrastructure runs on Linux and Open Source technologies, the service doesn’t support Linux, the platform. Netflix is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Chrome OS ut not for desktop Linux. One of the reasons could be that Netflix still uses Microsoft’s Silverlight which is not supported on Linux.

However Linux users have managed to get Netflix work on their systems.

This tutorial will enable you to view Netflix on openSUSE installations. Currently Open Suse 12.2, 12.3, 13.1 and tumbleweed versions are supported.

Step no 1:

Install Pipelight and Wine specific dependencies. Pipelight enables Linux distributions to run Silverlight and some other libraries like Unity3D natively.

openSUSE offers an extremely easy one-click install feature which not only adds the respective repo to your system, but also installs the package. Open this page for PipeLight, choose your version of openSUSE and hit the ‘one-click’ install button – follow the instructions.

Step no 2:

Netflix uses browser User Agent (UA) string to identify what operating system & browser a user is using. Since Linux is not supported natively by Netflix, browser’s UA string has to be modified before connecting to Netflix.

For Firefox users:

Download either of these addons to change the UA string.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/uacontrol/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-overrider/

Use UA string like

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:23.0) Gecko/20131011 Firefox/23.0

For Chrome/Chromium users:

Download this extension.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/user-agent-switcher-for-c/djflhoibgkdhkhhcedjiklpkjnoahfmg

Change UA to Windows Firefox 15. If it doesn’t work, you can manually change UA by typing

chromium –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1″

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These steps will allow an openSUSE user to stream Netflix on her/his browser.

UX developer . Linux Mint User. Avid otaku .

47 Comments

  1. Thank you!

  2. No thanks.

    While these hack workarounds might work for a while, they eventually break, and in the meantime vendors feel no obligation to provide proper support for Linux. I would rather do without.

    • Next PC hardware may break installing Linux. While these hack workarounds might work for a while, they eventually break, and in the meantime vendors feel no obligation to provide proper
      support for Linux.

      You would rather not use Linux?

      • Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve never really sat in front of my laptop and thought “hey let’s watch something.” I would prefer to watch something on the TV via something like an Android stick HTPC or the Chromecast and use my laptop for other things in the meantime. Maybe I’m just addicted to multitasking and having multiple devices do different things but, that’s just me.

  3. Real question on the Netflix-Linux implemention – when are we going to see an HTML5 setup & bypass all this? Get rid of the legacy code (Silverlight) and it opens the world. Here is what I mean: http://techblog.netflix.com/2013/10/html5-video-playback-ui.html

  4. Does not work for OpenSUSE 12.3

    Either that, or the instructions were not specific enough for me to execute.

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  26. I have found that the newer versions of Chromium somehow break this feature. I had to regress back to an older version for it to work. I am now using ver. 31 and am able to view Netflix.

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