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Fetches the latest Linux Widevine binary so that it can be used by Vivaldi.

With the release of Vivaldi 2.2, this page is now obsolete and unmaintained. Widevine is fetched automatically on post install of our official packages. The information below and the script are left for historical reasons but will not be updated.

If you are using something newer than Vivaldi 2.2, you should not be using this script as there is simply no need. Any need you think you have for it would be a bug IMHO and thus should be logged in a bug report. Before you do so however, you should also checkout the Vivaldi help page on Widevine, on Linux


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.

Note: For ARM(hf) use this instead. Beware it requires a +2Gb download of a ChromeOS recovery image. You can actually run it on a “regular” (x86 or x86_64 Linux) PC as it will create an archive file that can be copied to the target machine.

Chromium setup

  • Install the package "chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra" to provide H.264/MP4 support (used by videos on Netflix)—replaced with a snap in Ubuntu 19.10 onwards. After install, you need to restart Chromium. You can confirm that it is installed and working correctly by going to and checking that the video plays.

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

  • Not needed on most distro : Replace the "WidevineCdm" provided by Chromium with a symlink to the file from Chrome:

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

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

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/78.0.3904.99 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 WidevineCdm 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.

# For ARM use this instead
available () {
command -v "$1" >/dev/null 2>&1
# Make sure we have wget or curl
if available wget; then
DL_SILENT="wget -qO-"
elif available curl; then
DL="curl -LO"
DL_SILENT="curl -s"
echo "Install wget or curl" >&2
exit 1
# Use the architecture of the current machine or whatever the user has set
# externally
ARCH="${ARCH:-$(uname -m)}"
case "$ARCH" in
x86_64) WIDEVINE_ARCH="x64"; CHROMIUM_ARCH="x64" ;;
i?86) WIDEVINE_ARCH="ia32"; CHROMIUM_ARCH="x86" ;;
arm*) echo "For ARM use instead" >&2 ; exit 1 ;;
*) 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 $CDMVERISON is unset, e.g. because previous command failed
if [ -z "$WIDEVINE_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 "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/manifest.json" ] && [ "$WIDEVINE_VERSION" = "$(sed -rn '/"version":/s/.*(([0-9]+\.){3}[0-9]+).*/\1/p' "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/manifest.json")" ]; then
echo "The latest Widevine ($WIDEVINE_VERSION) is already installed"
exit 0
# If the staging directory is already present from the past, clear it down and
# re-create it.
if [ -d "$STAGINGDIR" ]; then
rm -fr "$STAGINGDIR"
# Stop on any error
set -eu
# Make and switch to the staging directory
mkdir -p "$STAGINGDIR"
# Now get the latest widevine zip for the users architecture
# Extract the contents of Widevine package
python -m zipfile -e "${WIDEVINE_VERSION}-linux-${WIDEVINE_ARCH}.zip" .
# Escalate privileges if needed and copy files into place
if [ "$USER" = "root" ] || [ "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR" != "/opt/google/chrome/WidevineCdm" ]; then
install -Dm644 "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/_platform_specific/linux_$CHROMIUM_ARCH/"
install -m644 manifest.json "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/manifest.json"
elif [ -r /etc/os-release ] && grep -qx 'ID=ubuntu' /etc/os-release; then
echo "Calling sudo ... If prompted, please enter your password so Widevine can be copied into place"
sudo install -Dm644 "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/_platform_specific/linux_$CHROMIUM_ARCH/"
sudo install -m644 manifest.json "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/manifest.json"
sudo install -m644 LICENSE.txt "$WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/LICENSE.txt"
echo "Please enter your root password so Widevine can be copied into place"
su -c "sh -c \"install -Dm644 $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/_platform_specific/linux_$CHROMIUM_ARCH/ && install -m644 manifest.json $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/manifest.json && install -m644 LICENSE.txt $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR/LICENSE.txt\""
# Tell the user we are done
echo "Widevine ($WIDEVINE_VERSION) installed into $WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR"
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OK I understand why the script does not work.
the widevine plugin does not get loaded of the licence file and manifest are not present.
Il will update the script on my fork to add those files.

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ruario commented Mar 12, 2020

@freechelmi: Thanks, I updated it

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freechelmi commented Mar 13, 2020

Thanks @ruario ! That really simplify the code .

I see that you remove the netflix warning but here netflix still redirect to with chromium user agent .

I saw that vivaldi was smarter by including the chrome UA

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ruario commented Mar 13, 2020

@freechelmi: Ah, ok! I have now undone that change to the intro.

Yes, I took the opportunity to simplify it a little as a lot of the old code related to extraction was from before I realised I could just use python. Really no need for so many fallbacks given you would be hard pushed to find a Linux distro suitable for Vivaldi that does not also include python.

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ruario commented Mar 14, 2020

@freechelmi: I'm guessing (but have not tested because I don't have a machine to verify to hand), that it should now be possible to install and configure this for Chromium, without the need for admin privileges.

Run the script like so to install into your user directory:

WIDEVINE_INSTALL_DIR="$HOME/.local/lib/WidevineCdm" ./

Create the Widevine configuration directory (if not already present):

mkdir -p "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/chromium/WidevineCdm"

Create or update the json config file to point at your new, single user install of Widevine

echo "{\"Path\":\"$HOME/.local/lib/WidevineCdm\"}" > "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/chromium/WidevineCdm/latest-component-updated-widevine-cdm"

Load and attempt to play the videos that are tagged with “DRM”.

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Yocairo commented Mar 19, 2020

@ruario works fantastically. I was searching for an hour to find a proper solution, and nothing worked except this exhaustive guide.
The only thing I did different (because I didn't scroll down far enough to find the script) is I used this instead (which probably results in the same thing):

dpkg -x google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb .
sudo cp -r ./opt/google/chrome/WidevineCdm /usr/lib/chromium-browser/


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