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Netflix flicks the 'On' Switch for Firefox on Linux

By Andrew Powell, published 23/03/2017 in News

In news sure to please all Firefox users who also use the Netflix streaming service, it's now possible to do so without any user-agent tweaks or hacks. It now works out of the box, as Netflix themselves have finally done the necessary changes in the background to make Firefox recognised as a valid Netflix-watching browser.

Back in October 2016, we did a little tutorial on running Netflix on Firefox for Linux. Because of HTML5 DRM (love it or hate it) support coming to Firefox around that time, watching Netflix was, theoretically, possible to watch in the Mozilla browser.

In practice, however, there was still the issue of Netflix themselves actually flicking the switch, as it were, to enable Netflix to recognise Firefox instead of throwing the usual redirect page that advises you of needing a supported browser. As a workaround, many of us used user-agent tweaks to trick Netflix into thinking we were running Chrome instead, which did work fine for the most part. Thankfully, that's no longer needed.

In a recent blog post, Netflix had this to say:

About four years ago, we shared our plans for playing premium video in HTML5, replacing Silverlight and eliminating the extra step of installing and updating browser plug-ins.

Since then, we have launched HTML5 video on Chrome OS, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Edge on all supported operating systems. And though we do not officially support Linux, Chrome playback has worked on that platform since late 2014. Starting today, users of Firefox can also enjoy Netflix on Linux. This marks a huge milestone for us and our partners, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla that helped make it possible.


I can confirm, after disabling my own Netflix specific user-agent tweak, that it does indeed work just fine out of the box.

It only took nearly half a year, but better late than never I suppose!

About the author

Andrew Powell is the editor and owner of The Linux Rain who loves all things Linux, gaming and everything in between.

Tags: news announcements netflix firefox linux
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