Get netflix working in your browser with Pipelight

Pipelight is a way to emulate windows’ silverlight plugin right in your browser, meaning you no longer need to use that “Netflix-Desktop” app. This fix, which was designed for ubuntu, works flawlessly in Netrunner as far as I can tell, and it’s very easy to set up.

First, pop open terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mqchael/pipelight sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install pipelight

If you’re wondering, the first repo contains WINE patches that Pipelight relies on.

After you’ve done this, start (or more likely, restart) your browser and enter the following into the address bar:


If you see Silverlight on the list it means it went well! But we’re not quite done yet, you see, Netflix (and other streaming sites that use Silverlight) will try to detect your browser as well as the plugin, and if they detect an unsupported browser (protip: if you’re on linux it’s unsupported :P) you won’t be able to stream. The good news is, it’s easy to trick them into thinking your browser is supported! All you need is a User Agent Switcher.

If you’re using firefox, you’ll find a User Agent Switcher you can use here.

If you’re using chrome or chromium, you’ll find a User Agent Switcher you can use here.

Once you’ve added the User Agent Switcher, you can go into the extension’s settings and set it to always tell it’s something other than what it is (it’s best to use one of the Firefox on Windows User Agents).

Happy Streaming!

P.S. This is my first post, so let me just say that Netrunner is my every day OS now on my desktop and I absolutely love it!

Hi hellolion,
thanks for your post. I think I will give it a try in the future. But both of your links for the ua-switcher lead to the chromium webstore. It would be great if you fix it for the “firefox useragent”.
Thanks in advance.

Thanks for the heads up on the error, I’ve corrected the link accordingly!

While I’m here and posting, here’s a tip for a common, poorly documented, problem with pipelight (that I coincidentally ran into recently):

If Pipelight quits working suddenly, it was most likely caused by the update needing another package and that package either not being installed or not having the correct version installed. You can check your plugins (in Firefox and Chrome/Chromium) by typing “about:plugins” into your browser. It will probably say something about silverlight failing to install, this is OK as it is simply about confirming the suspicion. At this point, the fix is pretty simple.

Run your browser from the terminal.

For Firefox the command is simply:


If you’re using Chromium it’s:


If you’re using Google Chrome its:


Check the terminal output. It will almost certainly say something about trying to install pipelight/silverlight, but say that it is missing one (or more) installer scripts and then rattle off some package names. Install those packages, restart your browser and it should work. If this doesn’t work, try doing a reinstall of pipelight after getting whatever packages it asked for.