Installing Chrome / Streaming Netflix on Ubuntu

Currently using legal video streaming is a quite tough topic. As drm mechanism prevent most of the users to use legal video streaming on Linux. I don’t want to make some advertisement, but using Amazon Prime/Instant Video, Google Play, Netflix etc.. is not working out of the box. But Netflix provided a way to use Google Chrome for streaming.

Why there is no proper solution for Linux

How content protection works

In Windows and Mac OS deep in the system there is a part that guarantees that there is no way to access the unencrypted content information. At first the stream is encrypted, then the stream is decrypted and decoded. After that the information is given to the video card driver. Then content information is only allowed to get over an encrypted video interface like hdmi. Then the video data is shown on your display.

Why content protection is so difficult

Linux is an operating system that follows a completely different philosophy, so it is not possible to build a non breakable content protection system into Linux. This is not possible by design. Maybe some people might say this is weakness of Linux, but it’s not. It’s a strength at all.

So it is not possible to use video streaming with content protection with Firefox or Opera. Even Chromium, the open source browser that is the base for Google Chrome does not support protected streaming.

Why Google Chrome works

There is a proprietary extension of Google Chrome that provides support for video streaming in a way the content industry is persuaded that it is not breakable. This extension provides encrypted streaming of video content. Such an extension could be provided by any other browser too.
On a system you have root access, it doesn’t matter whether the stream is encrypted or not. It is possible to get the unencrypted streaming information. But I definitely give no hint how to do this ;).

Adding Chrome to Ubuntu

Simply add a new repository to your repository list. After that it is possible to install google-chrome-stable. Simply execute the following commands in order to setup Chrome.

# Adding the repository key to the apt keyring
wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add - 

# Adding the repository to the repository list
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'

# Installing Google Chrome
apt-get install google-chrome-stable


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