Netflix and Hulu on Debian 12

InvaderSumo

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
148
Reaction score
16
Credits
1,581
So I'm aware that in order to watch netflix and hulu on Linux their has to be some sort of plugin or something like that. Does anybody know about the way to do this? Ive looked on a couple websites and tried the methods with the plugins to no avail. Need help
 


I can tell you that the DRM plugins of Firefox can handle any commercial streaming platform.

You just need to try to watch the first video and accept the prompt for the browser to install the plugin.
 
I can tell you that the DRM plugins of Firefox can handle any commercial streaming platform.

You just need to try to watch the first video and accept the prompt for the browser to install the plugin.
tried that on firefox esr didnt work. go to watch a netflix video and it just loads then goes to a blank screen and doesnt load up the video.
 
I don't use the Extended Support Release, just the stable / mainstream one (currently on v127.0 for Fedora).

You should check that the ESR specifics allow to download the relevant plugins, not only for DRM but also to decode the video streams.
 
tried that on firefox esr didnt work. go to watch a netflix video and it just loads then goes to a blank screen and doesnt load up the video.
firefox esr does not have the ability to stream video or anything else. You will have to install google chrome to stream. Or switch to a different linux flavor that does not use firefox esr. You needed full firefox not the esr release. I have dealt with this on debian distros before and it is why I prefer not to use them.
either use chrome for the browser or switch to fedora or ubuntu
 
firefox esr does not have the ability to stream video or anything else. You will have to install google chrome to stream. Or switch to a different linux flavor that does not use firefox esr. You needed full firefox not the esr release. I have dealt with this on debian distros before and it is why I prefer not to use them.
either use chrome for the browser or switch to fedora or ubuntu
It does it is disabled by default - why I don't know - type about:config in the URL bar, hit enter, and set gfx.webrender.all to true. Then you want to set media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled to true and restart Firefox. Should be able to stream at least I can live stream from YouTube, CBS News, and a few others, I do not know about NetFlix since I do not use it
 
Last edited:
It does it is disabled by default - why I don't know - type about:config in the URL bar, hit enter, and set gfx.webrender.all to true. Then you want to set media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled to true and restart Firefox. Should be able to stream at least I can live stream from YouTube, CBS News, and a few others, I do not know about NetFlix since I do not use it
except you still can't enable DRM which is required for netflix and hulu. I stream them on fedora without issue. but anything with the ESR firefox version does not work. DRM is not there and from I found, can't be added. Was easier to use google chrome or switch away from debian so I could use full firefox that supports DRM.
No DRM = No hulu = no netflix
 
firefox esr does not have the ability to stream video or anything else. You will have to install google chrome to stream. Or switch to a different linux flavor that does not use firefox esr. You needed full firefox not the esr release. I have dealt with this on debian distros before and it is why I prefer not to use them.
either use chrome for the browser or switch to fedora or ubuntu
Er.....'scuse me? THAT is a very misleading statement, I'm sorry to say.

I'll be the first to admit, Firefox is not my favourite, primary browser. That honour has always gone to Chromium & its multitude of 'clones'.....ever since Chromium & Chrome first appeared on the scene in the autumn of 2008. For me, Firefox has invariably been a kind of emergency, 'backup' browser.....although in recent years, with the way it's improved out of all recognition I'm now quite happy to use it by itself some days.

However: for years I have been happily watching NetFlix on both 'mainline' FF and FF-esr. There's no difference here; the ESR releases are cloned from the 'mainline' every few releases, and the primary difference is a slower pace of development, primarily security patching and stability improvements. This is why it's the preferred choice for many organizations.......because it doesn't need such constant upgrading.

The 'mechanism', though, remains identical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

As @gvisoc says, the Firefox implementation of the Widevine DRM plugin is super-simple. The very first time you attempt to watch anything that is DRM-encoded, you get a pop-up banner telling you that required components are being installed. Once that appears, the best thing to do is to close the tab, then re-open it again; the Widevine stuff is now installed, and will remain so until you enter Settings and manually untick the DRM checkbox.

(Tick the checkbox, it installs. Untick it, it uninstalls. You cannot get much simpler than that.)

Libffmpeg is also a prerequisite for video playback in browsers. This is auto-installed in FF at the same time as Widevine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The primary reason most folks will recommend Chrome for watching DRM-encoded streaming video is simple; because, dating all the way back to Chrome v39 (around 2015), Chrome has come with Widevine AND libffmpeg pre-installed. The Widevine stuff used to just be in the main directory.......and although there was no sign of libffmpeg, it WAS there; Big Brother had built it directly into Chrome's main 'shared library' (the bit you need the well-known 'wrapper script' to launch). As things stand, ATM, WidevineCdm now has its own, dedicated subdirectory.

(Older builds of Chrome for Windows were constructed rather differently, since in those days M$ used their own, proprietary DRM 'solution', called Silverlight. This has been unmaintained for some years, and is no longer employed).

The 'clones', being built on top of the exact same source code that comprises Chromium - the 'open-source' Project from where Google draw their stable builds of Chrome itself (adding a bit of proprietary code to the mix) - can use the same WidevineCdm sub-directory as used in Chrome. You will, however, need to add libffmpeg yourself; without this, even non-DRM videos will refuse to play - including YouTube! - since it supplies all necessary/required video codecs for content to play within a browser.

Since developing, with invaluable assistance from other members, an entire range of self-contained 'portable' browsers for the Puppy Linux community, I've learnt a thing or two about how all this stuff functions, along with the easiest, most hassle-free methods for installing the components.

For DRM stuff, I simply 'borrow' the entire WidevineCdm sub-directory from a reasonably current build of Chrome itself. As long as this is placed within the main browser directory of ANY Chromium 'clone' - for instance, SRWare's Iron; Flashpeak's Slimjet; Opera; Chromium itself; Brave; Vivaldi.....even the current M$ Edge browser, it will automatically be picked-up and used, as & when required.

Libffmpeg has to be re-compiled under Chromium for each major release. Fortunately, there's a few helpful souls who maintain small repositories of up-to-date, pre-built, ready-to-use instances of libffmpeg over at Github. Just make sure to pick the correct download for the major release version of whatever browser you're running; for 'clones' other than Chromium or Chrome themselves, you need to look for the version of Chromium that particular browser was built upon. Most 'clones' use different release numbering systems to that of the browser used in their construction, so.......it CAN get a wee bit confusing to the uninitiated!

Like so many things, it's dead simple when you know how.


Mike. ;)
 
Last edited:
Er.....'scuse me?

Firefox is not my favourite, primary browser. That has always been Chromium & its multitude of clones. For me, Firefox has invariably been a kind of emergency, 'backup' browser.....although in recent years, with the way it's improved out of all recognition I'm happy to use it by itself some days.

However: for years I have been happily watching NetFlix on both 'mainline' FF AND FF-esr. There's no difference here; the ESR releases are cloned from the 'mainline' every few releases, and the primary difference is a slower pace of development, primarily security patching and stability improvements. This is why it's the preferred choice for many organizations.......because it doesn't need such constant upgrading.

The 'mechanism', though, remains identical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

As @gvisoc says, the Firefox implementation of the Widevine DRM plugin is super-simple. The very first time you attempt to watch anything that is DRM-encoded, you get a pop-up banner telling you that required components are being installed. Once that appears, the best thing to do is to close the tab, then re-open it again; the Widevine stuff is now installed, and will remain so until you enter Settings and manually untick the DRM checkbox.

(Tick the checkbox, it installs. Untick it, it uninstalls. You can't get much simpler than that.)

Libffmpeg is also a prerequisite for video playback in browsers. This is auto-installed in FF at the same time as Widevine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The primary reason most folks will recommend Chrome for watching DRM-encoded streaming video is simple; because, dating all the way back to Chrome v39 (around 2015), Chrome has come with Widevine AND libffmpeg pre-installed. The Widevine stuff used to just be in the main directory.......and although there was no sign of libffmpeg, it WAS there; Big Brother had built it directly into Chrome's main 'shared library' (the bit you need the well-known 'wrapper script' to launch).

The 'clones', being built on top of the exact same source code that comprises Chromium - the 'open-source' Project from where Google draw their stable builds of Chrome itself (adding a bit of proprietary code to the mix) - can use the same WidevineCdm sub-directory as Chrome itself. You will, however, need to add libffmpeg yourself; without this, even non-Widevine videos will refuse to play - including YouTube! - since it supplies all necessary/required video codecs for content to play within a browser.

Since developing, with invaluable assistance from other members, an entire range of self-contained 'portable' browsers for the Puppy Linux community, I've learnt a thing or two about how all this stuff functions, along with the easiest, most hassle-free methods for installing the components.

For DRM stuff, I simply 'borrow' the entire WidevineCdm sub-directory from a reasonably current build of Chrome itself. As long as this is placed within the main browser directory of ANY Chromium 'clone' - for instance, SRWare's Iron; Flashpeak's Slimjet; Opera; Chromium itself; Brave; Vivaldi.....even the current M$ Edge browser, it will automatically be picked-up and used, as & when required.

Libffmpeg has to be re-compiled under Chromium for each major release. Fortunately, there's a few helpful individuals who maintain small repositories of pre-built, ready-to-use instances of libffmpeg over at Github. Just make sure to pick the correct download for the major release version of whatever browser you're running; for 'clones' other than Chromium or Chrome themselves, you need to look for the release of Chromium that particular browser was built upon. Most clones use different release numbering systems to that of the browser used in their construction, so.......it CAN get a wee bit confusing to the uninitiated!


Mike. ;)
I do not consider myself a beginner by any means but I have NEVER gotten it to work with firefox. Have you? can you provide step by step to make firefox ESR work? This is sort of a put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. If I am wrong I will have learned something, if I am right you will have learned something.
 
can you provide step by step to make firefox ESR work? This is sort of a put your money where your mouth is kind of thing
and here
 
and here
that is for regular firefox. we are talking about firefox ESR which I still will say DOES NOT DO DRM STREAMING. I asked about doing this for the ESR version. That version does not handle DRM content but somebody claims it does which I asked them to prove. The links provided work for regular firefox and it does not require 2 websites with 50 steps each to find the DRM box and put a check mark there. Restrict your answers to ESR version. Make sure you actually tested it to work first.
 
I can confirm that firefox-esr version 115.12.0esr-1 on debian can play drm content. Videos from a number sites like youtube, vimeo, the BBC, etc all play video flawlessly. There's an option to select DRM in the General section of the settings:
drm.jpg


In the past with earlier versions of firefox-esr, there were no problems playing videos from a wide number of sites, including a short period in which I was subscribed to Netflix. For Hulu, I can't say.
 
@APTI :-

I do not consider myself a beginner by any means but I have NEVER gotten it to work with firefox. Have you? can you provide step by step to make firefox ESR work? This is sort of a put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. If I am wrong I will have learned something, if I am right you will have learned something.

Certainly. Happy to explain.......although the way we do it in Puppy probably won't be familiar to you, since we don't do this via the traditional package-management methods. This is more of a get-your-hands-dirty, digging-around-in-the-filesystem "belt'n'braces" manual approach, along with the addition of a couple of extra dependencies due to Puppy's adherence to traditional ALSA for audio. NO PulseAudio here.....so we use the 'apulse' library, which translates PulseAudio commands into direct ALSA 'calls', along with libatomic (without which FF simply won't run).

1) Visit here:-


2) Scroll down to the current ESR release (115.12.0.esr).

3) Enter, then click on the build you want; in this case, I will assume 'linux-x86_64' is required.

4) Select your language.

5) Finally, click on the bzipped tarball itself to download it.

6) Extract the tarball. You'll end up with a directory called, simply, 'firefox'.

7) We'll now bung this directory into /opt, and rename it to, say, 'firefox-esr-test', or something similar. Click to enter, then click directly on the 'firefox' binary to launch it.

8) Step through the initial setup pop-ups. Once you've clicked on 'Start browsing', we're ready for the next bit....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'll open a new tab. I enter 'www.netflix.com', and enter the site, followed by signing-in. The next page asks who's watching; either me, or 'Kids', or 'Add new user'. The banner straightaway appears at the top of the page, to say that you need to enable DRM to watch, along with the 'Enable DRM' button. So, I click on it...at which point it changes to say components are being installed, and to please try again later.

Simply refreshing the page won't "cut the mustard" here. You need to log-out, close the tab, followed by re-opening the tab, launching NetFlix once more & signing-in again. Now I get the 'Home' page, playing whatever the current preview "suggestion" happens to be. I can scroll down to what I want to watch - if hovering over the item provides a working thumbnail, with sound, then I know libffmpeg has been installed correctly.......and clicking now launches my chosen item, with video & sound all behaving themselves..!

Well, it works for us...facilitated by the fact that Puppy runs AS the /root user anyway (so no need for any sudo-related stuff). You should be able to do this from your /home/user directory, I would imagine; it ought to work just as well.

(And why snap at @GatorsFan ? He was only trying to help, as he always does. There is absolutely nothing in that linked article to suggest that it ONLY refers to 'mainline' Firefox. You know what they say, don'tcha? "When you're already in too deep, the best thing ya can do is to stop digging...") :p


Mike. ;)
 
Last edited:
@APTI :-



Certainly. Happy to explain.......although the way we do it in Puppy probably won't be familiar to you, since we don't do this via the traditional package-management methods. This is more of a get-your-hands-dirty, digging-around-in-the-filesystem "belt'n'braces" manual approach, along with the addition of a couple of extra dependencies due to Puppy's adherence to traditional ALSA for audio. NO PulseAudio here.....so we use the 'apulse' library, which translates PulseAudio commands into direct ALSA 'calls', along with libatomic (without which FF simply won't run).

1) Visit here:-


2) Scroll down to the current ESR release (115.12.0.esr).

3) Enter, then click on the build you want; in this case, I will assume 'linux-x86_64' is required.

4) Select your language.

5) Finally, click on the bzipped tarball itself to download it.

6) Extract the tarball. You'll end up with a directory called, simply, 'firefox'.

7) We'll now bung this directory into /opt, and rename it to, say, 'firefox-esr-test', or something similar. Click to enter, then click directly on the 'firefox' binary to launch it.

8) Step through the initial setup pop-ups. Once you've clicked on 'Start browsing', we're ready for the next bit....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'll open a new tab. I enter 'www.netflix.com', and enter the site, followed by signing-in. The next page asks who's watching; either me, or 'Kids', or 'Add new user'. The banner straightaway appears at the top of the page, to say that you need to enable DRM to watch, along with the 'Enable DRM' button. So, I click on it...at which point it changes to say components are being installed, and to please try again later.

Simply refreshing the page won't "cut the mustard" here. You need to log-out, close the tab, followed by re-opening the tab, launching NetFlix once more & signing-in again. Now I get the 'Home' page, playing whatever the current preview "suggestion" happens to be. I can scroll down to what I want to watch - if hovering over the item provides a working thumbnail, with sound, then I know libffmpeg has been installed correctly.......and clicking now launches my chosen item, with video & sound all behaving themselves..!

Well, it works for us...facilitated by the fact that Puppy runs AS the /root user anyway (so no need for any sudo-related stuff). You should be able to do this from your /home/user directory, I would imagine; it ought to work just as well.

(I have to add, your snapping at @GatorsFan was totally unnecessary. There is absolutely nothing in that linked article to suggest that it ONLY refers to 'mainline' Firefox. You know what they say, don'tcha? "When you're already in too deep, the best thing ya can do is to stop digging...")


Mike. ;)
yeah that is like rebuilding the car to fix the brake lights. having to do so much tells me that it does not work correctly.
I stick with the advice, dump debian and use something that supports it without so much work. I stand by my answer, if you have to do all that, then it does not work. Split hairs all you want, I click a check box and it works you have to spend hours fixing it. I have looked all over firefox ESR and not seen the check box.
 

Staff online

Members online


Latest posts

Top