Cross Release APT Managment aka How to Watch Netflix on Debian 7 Wheezy
By Bryan Berry
March 11, 2015
Native Netflix video streaming has come to GnuLinux! …if you have the correct library versions.
I am currently running GNU-Linux Debian 7 Wheezy with OpenBox. I really enjoy this lightweight, speedy and easily customized window manager (OpenBox uses simple XML configuration files). So I was also pretty excited when Netflix added HTML5 streaming support and read that folks were proclaiming success in Google Chrome browsers without necessitating any agent masking workarounds.
However, I found I was still getting errors when attempting to stream video in Chrome. The forums I was reading were reporting that when using the Chrome 36+ browser, Netflix would allow Linux streaming. Most all of these forums were based in a Ubuntu 14.04+ environment. Nevertheless, I found a hint as to how to proceed in Debian after reading this article regarding libnss:
“Netflix streams its video in HTML5, but uses a technology called Encrypted Media Extensions to prevent piracy. These extensions in turn require a set of libraries called Network Security Services that the browser can access.”
Debian Wheezy’s repo list maxed out at libnss3==2:3.14 and I would need libnss3==2:3.16+ in order to pass the DRM tests and securely stream with Netflix’s HTML5 option enabled. In order to allow this libnss upgrade, I would first need to provide APT with instructions to pull from the Debian “jessie” development branch.
This is accomplished by setting repo priorities. I created a “jessie” specific APT sources list and added the Debian repo url’s for jessie:
$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie.list ## DEBIAN JESSIE deb ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie main deb-src ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
And set pin priorities for libnss3 to fetch jessie libraries over wheezy while defining a lower priority of all other jessie packages:
$ cat /etc/apt/preferences Package: * Pin: release a=waldorf Pin-Priority: 1001 Package: * Pin: release a=wheezy Pin-Priority: 500 Package: * Pin: release a=jessie Pin-Priority: 110 Package: libnss3 Pin: release n=jessie Pin-Priority: 510
Now, update apt and confirm higher libnss3 installation candidates:
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-cache policy libnss3 libnss3: Installed: 2:3.14.5-1+deb7u3 Candidate: 2:3.17.2-1.1 Package pin: 2:3.17.2-1.1 Version table: 2:3.17.2-1.1 510 500 ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie/main amd64 Packages *** 2:3.14.5-1+deb7u3 510 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages 500 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main amd64 Packages 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
Install new libnss3 candidate:
$ sudo apt-get install libnss3=2:3.17.2-1.1
Restart any Chrome instances (and upgrade to 36+ if you haven’t yet) and enjoy Netflix streaming on Debian Linux!