Friday, October 10, 2014

Netflix arrives to openSUSE without dirty tricks, yes natively.

Naturally, if it were so simple one would not need an article. There has been a lot of news floating around about +Netflix finally being available natively for +Linux. In case you are not aware, getting Netflix on Linux was a labored and complicated process requiring all sorts of WINE hacking or virtualization. +Microsoft had announced that its strategy would be changing away from Silverlight which Netflix has depended on for their DRM content delivery. Netflix then announced they would be dropping Silverlight in favor of +HTML5 once some DRM framework was developed so they could secure their licensed content. Naturally this announcement was greeted with excitement from Linux desktop users all over, excepting of course those whom are absolutely opposed to DRM.



In the last couple of days, there has been a flurry of articles and tutorials on how to get Netflix to work natively. Most of these of course are claiming that it is +Ubuntu only, though this is absolutely false. The new HTML5 DRM video delivery is enabled by Network Security Services which have been around for a long time, but have only recently acquired the Encrypted Media Extensions for the sort of secured DRM necessary for Netflix. While +Android and Chrome OS had Netflix, this left people wondering why not desktop Linux since the two other operating systems use the Linux kernel too. On Chrome, Google developed a special plugin to provide the DRM to allow Netflix to work, while on Android this was facilitated by an app that had the DRM built in.

So now we have working DRM thanks to Google, Mozilla, and many other parties. Firstly, you need NSS 3.16.2 or greater and the +Google Chrome browser version 37 or higher. You will need to go into your Netflix settings and tell it you'd prefer the HTML5 player. Upto very recently you'd need to have your browser falsely identify itself as another browser to get it to work, but this is no longer necessary. At present Chromium and Firefox cannot run Netflix. +Mozilla Firefox will be getting support as well, but it'll be reliant on a proprietary Content Decryption Module or CDM from +Adobe beyond their more conservative approach with a greater focus on privacy and security. This module would most likely be delivered in the same fashion as the +Adobe Flash Player.