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Fetches the latest Linux Widevine binary so that it can be used by Vivaldi.
#!/usr/bin/env bash
available () {
command -v $1 >/dev/null 2>&1
# Make sure we have wget or curl
if available wget; then
SILENT_DL="wget -qO-"
elif available curl; then
SILENT_DL="curl -s"
LOUD_DL="curl -O"
echo "Install wget or curl" >&2
exit 1
# Use the architecture of the current machine or whatever the user has set
# externally
ARCH=${ARCH:-$(uname -m)}
if [ "$ARCH" = "x86_64" ]; then
elif [[ "$ARCH" = i?86 ]]; then
echo "The architecture $ARCH is not supported." >&2
exit 1
# Set Output dir
# Set temp dir
# Set staging dir
# Work out the latest Widevine version
# Error out if $VERISON is unset, e.g. because previous command failed
if [ -z $VERSION ]; then
echo "Could not work out the latest version; exiting" >&2
exit 1
# Don't start repackaging if the same version is already installed
if [ -e "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/widevine-$VERSION" ] ; then
echo "The latest Widevine ($VERSION) is already installed"
exit 0
# If the staging directory is already present from the past, clear it down
# and re-create it.
if [ -d "$STAGINGDIR" ]; then
rm -fr "$STAGINGDIR"
set -e
mkdir -p "$STAGINGDIR"
# Now get the latest widevine zip for the users architecture
# Extract the contents of Widevine package
if available unzip; then
unzip ${VERSION}-linux-${WIDEVINEARCH}.zip
elif available bsdtar; then
bsdtar xf ${VERSION}-linux-${WIDEVINEARCH}.zip
echo "Install unzip or bsdtar" >&2
exit 1
# Add version number file
touch "widevine-$VERSION"
# Escalate privileges if needed and copy files into place
if [ "$UID" = 0 ]; then
install -Dm644 "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/"
install -Dm644 widevine-$VERSION "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/widevine-$VERSION"
elif [ -r /etc/os-release ] && grep -qx 'ID=ubuntu' /etc/os-release; then
echo "Calling sudo ... If prompted, please enter your password so Widevine can be copied into place"
sudo install -Dm644 "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/"
if [ -e "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/" ]; then
sudo install -Dm644 widevine-$VERSION "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/widevine-$VERSION"
echo "Something went wrong installing" >&2
exit 1
echo "Please enter your root password so Widevine can be copied into place"
su -c "sh -c \"install -Dm644 $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/ && install -Dm644 widevine-$VERSION $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/widevine-$VERSION\""
# Tell the user we are done
echo "Widevine ($VERSION) installed into $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR"


A bunch of people asked how they could use this script with pure Chromium on Ubuntu. The following is a quick guide. Though I still suggest you at least try Vivaldi. Who knows, you might like it. Worried about proprietary componants? Remember that is a binary blob you are taking from Chrome, so by following this guide you will have already made your distro less "pure". Also all our additions to the Chromium base are open source and our UI, while not open, is written in HTML/CSS/JS. Thus you can see exactly what we are doing (no funny business).

If you still want to run Chromium, the following explains how it is done.

Chromium setup

  • Install the package "chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra" to provide H.264/MP4 support (used by videos on Netflix). After install, you need to restart Chromium. You can confirm that it is installed and working correctly by going to and checking that the first video listed plays.

  • Next run the script ( This will create the file "" in "/opt/google/chrome".

  • Replace the "" provided by Chromium with a symlink to the file from Chrome:

sudo ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/ 

Note: The path is typically "/usr/lib64/chromium/lib/" on non Debian/Ubuntu based distros.

You can confirm that DRM'd H.264/MP4 content is now playable by going to and trying some of the demos.

Damn you Netflix!

The final complication is that Netflix does not expect pure Chromium to be able to be able play videos and hence they do a stupid thing. If they detect that Chromium is accesing a video, they point you to install Silverlight! This is particularly dumb because: you are running Linux (no Silverlight); Silverlight is an NPAPI plugin and Chrom(e|ium) only supports PPAPI. You will need to work around this.

  • Delete any cookies or data associated with Netflix. If you have failed to play videos once, then Netflix stores information about this in a cookie and you won't be able to play vidoes, even once your system is now correctly configured. Another "WTF‽" moment from the Netflix team.

  • Via a user agent editing extention or by starting Chromium with the -user-agent switch, remove the reference to "Ubuntu Chromium/XX.0.XXXX.XX", e.g.

/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chromium-browser --user-agent='Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/51.0.2704.79 Safari/537.36'

Note: An extenstion is best otherwise you will need to start Chromium from the command line every time or edit the .desktop file to include this switch.

One final point. Every time Chromium upgrades it will replace the symlink with its own file. Thus you will need to remove it and re-create the symlink. I would also suggest re-running at that point, to check for new versions and upgrade if needed.

dshimer commented Jul 15, 2016

Is there something that would need to be done on Ubuntu 16.04 besides running the script and starting Chromium?

Goddard commented Jul 15, 2016

Not working with chromium...any idea on extra stuff you need to do?


jmauss commented Jul 15, 2016

Same question as Goddard, how do I get this to work with chromium?

EDIT: Sorry, just saw your response on the site. This will be pretty big for many linux users, so I want to say thanks for whipping this together. I look forward to chromium compatibility

cdysthe commented Jul 15, 2016

Works well on Ubunstu 16.04. Dropped it in cron.weekly so I do not have to think about running it regularity


ruario commented Jul 18, 2016

@dshimer, @Goddard, @jmauss: While this works with no effort in Vivaldi, some tweaks are required to get this working in pure Chromium. I have now added a Chromium specific guide for you.


ghost commented Jul 18, 2016

Thanks for the tutorial, works a treat! I've been meaning to do this myself some time ago and gave up shortly. I got as far as changing the user-agent and using the Chrome-variant of, but totally missed that Netflix stores cookies pertaining Silverlight.

Is there a specific reason why you download the RPM and not the DEB on an Ubuntu-based system? Not that it really matters, I just find it ironic.

To all the people who can't get it to work: Make sure when restarting Chromium that you close all your Chrome apps, otherwise it will keep running in the background and continue to use the old after you open a new browser window.

To permanently spoof the User-Agent on Netflix (on a per-site basis), you can use this extension:

eridanired commented Jul 18, 2016

Hey Ruarí! Thanks for the hard work.

I installed Opera in a clean VM and noticed (after installing and removing Chrome) that Opera only detected Widevine when were present and next to If any of these were missing in /opt/google/chrome/ Widevine wouldn't be detected.

After successfully Widevine detection had to workaround Netflix's user agent restriction setting it up to a Linux's Chrome, any other Chrome or browser wouldn't work.


ruario commented Jul 18, 2016

Is there a specific reason why you download the RPM and not the DEB on an Ubuntu-based system?

@Torpet The script is written to be a cross distro tool, not for Ubuntu specifically. To open a deb on a non Debian based distro you need ar from binutils but that is not always installed by default on all distros. However you can extract from an rpm using only with grep, tail, a decompressor and cpio. All of these utils are pretty much universally present on every distro.

Hi Ruario, thanks for your script; it's fantastic!! Would you kindly please advise if the latest Vivaldi SS x64 Deb 1.3.537.5 (Developer Build) dev (64-bit) is broken for Netflix re the Widevine plugin? NF was working fine for me in V until this SS. For full context to my query here to you, pls see my posts & others' replies here;

soykje commented Jul 25, 2016

Thx a lot for the great job @ruario! 👍 I just tried it on my Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Vivaldi, and it worked simply and perfectly!

Hi Ruario,

The script worked perfectly on Antergos Vivaldi on another network (my work Internet). At home on a different machine but running the same distro I get this error:

$ sudo ./
[sudo] password for kodi: 
--2016-08-20 15:18:42--
Resolving (, 2a00:1450:4009:801::200e
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 49006343 (47M) [application/x-rpm]
Saving to: ‘google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm’

google-chrome-stable_   0%[                          ]       0  --.-KB/s    in 0s      

Cannot write to ‘google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm’ (Success).

It says (success) but it obviously isn't!

Many thanks.

cpw commented Sep 21, 2016

This doesn't work with chromium from debian stretch. I don't think the plugin is even enabled in the debian build.

Tried this on Ubuntu 16.04 with Chromium 53. Doesn't work, doesn't even show up on about:plugins. And chromium doesn't come with a file.

jovian-od commented Jan 2, 2017

Works nicely on 16.04 and Vivaldi 1.6.689.46 (64-bit).

Ran the script and made the symlink, which of course in this case (Vivaldi instead of Chromium) was:

sudo ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /opt/vivaldi/

Restart Vivaldi, and thats it! 👍

fulcop commented Jan 7, 2017

Thanks !
I was angry to boot on Windows each time I wanted to watch Canal+ (It was the only thing I needed Windows)
But I had to modify the script to also extract
(then ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/

sj-s commented Jan 19, 2017

I thought everything worked perfectly, and widevine even shows in chrome://components (Although with version number "")
but whenever I attempt playing anything on netflix, I get the M7701-1003 error

I'm running Chromium 55 on linux mint 18.1.
No user agent switch extension would work, so I made a desktop launcher from
/usr/lib/chromium-browser/chromium-browser --user-agent='Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/51.0.2704.79 Safari/537.36',
but now I have no idea what went wrong.
Any help is greatly appreciated.


Excellently done! Works perfect Arch Linux 3-06-17!

czcibor commented Apr 20, 2017

Cannot get any suggestions to work on vivaldi 1.8.770.56

Is this workaround still working ? I have the same issue as sj-s.

This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS using Vivaldi 1.9. I was hoping to use the Spotify Web Player using Vivaldi and this script worked!

Using Vivaldi 1.10 with Linux Mint 18.1 and after running the script (and giving it my password) then restarting Vivaldi I still don't see widevinecdn showing up on the list of components. :(

salim-b commented Jul 23, 2017

I've modified the script to also extract, copy and symlink as mentioned by @fulcop. The modified part (from line 92 onwards) looks like this:

# Copy files into place and create necessary symlinks (escalate privileges if needed)

echo "Copying files into place and creatîng necessary symlinks ..."
if [ "$UID" = 0 ]; then
  ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
  ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
elif [ -r /etc/os-release ] && grep -qx 'ID=\(ubuntu\|linuxmint\)' /etc/os-release; then
  echo "  Calling sudo ... If prompted, please enter your password so Widevine can be copied into place"
  sudo mkdir -p "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR"
  sudo ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
  sudo ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
  echo "  Please enter your root password so Widevine can be copied into place"
  su -c "sh -c \"mkdir -p $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR && cp * $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR\""
  su ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
  su ln -fs /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/

The script works as expected, but Widevine still doesn't. Even after a restart of Chromium it still says Version: of the Widevine Content Decryption Module under chrome://components 😕

And at least the Spotify Web Player only shows a warning about missing DRM/Widevine.

Any ideas?


ruario commented Jul 28, 2017

I have just updated the script. Anyone who was having problems of late should try again.

sblask commented Sep 29, 2017

Can't get it to work with Chromium, not even the DRM content on plays. I am on Ubuntu 16.04

Im still new with Ubunto and Im lost on how to install this using SSH commands. Are there instructions that state how to get this working? I was told to gist, but I don't know how to do that.

Jaleks commented Feb 12, 2018

For people having no write access to /opt/google/chrome/ the script might work nevertheless if you do an export WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR=$HOME/.local/lib/vivaldi/ in the terminal before you start the script, which should result in a per-user installation. Also could be copied to $HOME/.local/lib/vivaldi/ for a try of a per-user install, if it's not already present. (Unfortunately for it does at the moment not seem to be enough to do this)

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