One important point missing...

Story: It's Official: Linux Users Can Now Watch Netflix Movies Using Mozilla FirefoxTotal Replies: 7
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Mar 23, 2017
12:52 AM EDT
Ignoring any controversy about DRM...

I tried watching a Netflix video in Firefox on Fedora. I got the system requirements page. I know the EME extension works because I just tried it out a few days ago with Amazon Prime videos and it worked just fine.

I took a closer look at the system requirements page. It states that non-Mozilla builds are not supported. So I tried things out by downloading Firefox from Mozilla and sure enough, the video playback worked just fine (same Firefox profile). So either Fedora has something disabled in their build (which I would not suspect since Amazon works) or Netflix is doing something to check for an official Mozilla build. Sigh.

Mar 23, 2017
1:08 AM EDT
ugh, how would they check that? is there a difference in the user agent? try copying the exact user agent from the original build to the fedora one.

greetings, eMBee.

Mar 23, 2017
6:40 AM EDT
I shouldn't try these things late at night :)

I looked at the user agents in both browsers last night and thought they were identical so I thought that there must be something else going on, perhaps with the EME extension. But no, I just wasn't careful enough. The user agents are:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Fedora; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

Changing my general.useragent.override in the about:config to the second one got things to work. So not as dreadful as I originally though, just a minor annoyance. I can live with my user agent being changed permanently to leave off the "Fedora" :)


Mar 23, 2017
8:34 AM EDT
Please not the other potential problem with Firefox 52, it requires pulse audio:

The article was linked to by LXer yesterday. Since my current version of Slackware doesn't use pulseaudio, it's not an option for me. Eventually I'll upgrade to 14.2, which includes it, but not anytime soon. Of course, I switched to Pale Moon quite a while ago, and Firefox is purely a backup browser for me at this point. I expect when I upgrade to 14.2 I'll go with a 64 bit install and give Brave on Linux a try.

Mar 23, 2017
1:52 PM EDT
wow, what a blunder.

just reading up on this, i stumbled over an alsa wrapper that emulates the pulseaudio api. wonder how well that works.

and for those who don't mind installing pulseaudio but want to avoid using it, there is a script that starts pulseaudio just for firefox and drops it after firefox is started so that no other application gets to use it:

greetings, eMBee.

Mar 23, 2017
5:12 PM EDT
It is interesting whether or not that is complete removal of the code or just no longer building with the code. From Slackware current's changelog:

xap/mozilla-firefox-52.0-x86_64-2.txz: Rebuilt.
       Recompiled with --enable-alsa option. Without this, there is no fallback
       support for ALSA if PulseAudio is not present. Thanks to Ivan Kalvatchev.

The article you linked to said 52 ESR is an option for users that still needed ALSA. I wonder if the difference between 52 and 52 ESR is simply the compile time option. Even if that were the case, it is quite possible they would be cleaning up the code in 53.

Mar 23, 2017
8:51 PM EDT
in early discussions in the google group discussions it was mentioned that the code would stay around for others to pick up maintenance. and elsewhere someone said cleanup would happen in version 56.

at least one already volunteered to maintain the code already, and given the uproar, i think there is a chance for alsa support coming back.

greetings, eMBee.

Mar 24, 2017
11:45 AM EDT
I really don't think it's appropriate to latch onto Pulseaudio completely for sound support. There are quite a few people who use JACK without Pulseaudio support (it is possible to run both, but many don't do that) for their audio workstations. You certainly want to be able to browse with sound on your audio workstation computer. I think that's a good reason for the uproar.

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