Streaming DRM protected content/Pipelight

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The information in this article has been deprecated. It may or may not be relevant for contemporary usage. Handle with care!

Recently it has become possible to watch Netflix on Linux and FreeBSD via Wine with good performance.



File system extended attributes are used to keep the precious DRM working, so you’ll potentially need to add support in your kernel as well as having your file system mounted explicitly with the option.

Checking for support

user $touch ~/.xattr_test && setfattr -n 'user.testAttr' -v 'attribute value' ~/.xattr_test &> /dev/null; getfattr ~/.xattr_test 2>&1 | grep -q user.testAttr && echo 'It works!' || echo 'No workie!'; rm ~/.xattr_test &> /dev/null

Adding support

In recent kernel versions there doesn’t appear to be an option for ext4 extended attributes, presumably meaning they’re always on already.

File systems  --->
   Ext3 journalling file system support
      [*] Ext3 extended attributes
   The Extended 4 (ext4) filesystem
      [*] Ext4 extended attributes

See Kernel/Upgrade for in-depth kernel rebuild instructions.

FILE /etc/fstab
# <fs>			<mountpoint>	<type>		<opts>		<dump/pass>
/dev/sda3		/		ext4		user_xattr	0 1

If you were only missing the option in /etc/fstab:

root #mount / -o remount


Initially, pipelight is only keyworded on ~amd64. Stable users will need to keyword it. Otherwise, it is a simple emerge command:

root #emerge --ask www-plugins/pipelight


After the installation just initialize the plugin(s) you want to use. To use Netflix you have to enable Silverlight.

user $pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

Press Y to accept the plugin license. Then run Firefox (or your chosen web browser) from the Terminal to check if the plugin will run, i.e. for firefox-bin:

user $firefox-bin

Watch the startup in the terminal for any errors. The plugin installation either starts immediately, or when visiting about:plugins in your webbrowser. If there are some errors please check again that you really installed Wine and Pipelight according to this page, if not then proceed with the following steps.

Microsoft core fonts (optional)

For Wine-Compholio < 1.7.14 this step was required such that Silverlight works properly (see this FAQ entry). With Wine-Compholio 1.7.14 or greater the patchset already includes a Arial replacement font, which seems to be sufficient for the Silverlight plugin.

To install the Microsoft core fonts for Wine, you can use winetricks; just emerge it:home directory):

root #emerge --ask winetricks

Then run it, specifying the Wine prefix used for Pipelight:

user $WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wine-pipelight winetricks

Then select "Select the default wineprefix" -> "Install a font" -> "corefonts" and click "Okay".


Install an extension listed at such as and configure a Windows UA string, such as this one:*

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1

Enjoy improved Netflix.


  • Try different UA strings
  • (Re)Move ~/.wine-pipelight
  • (Re)Move pluginreg.dat from ~/.mozilla. Find it by running:
find ~/.mozilla/ -name 'pluginreg.dat'
  • Check paths and other variables in ~/.config/pipelight-silverlight5.1 (or if nonexistent, /usr/share/pipelight/configs/pipelight-silverlight5.1)
root #eselect opengl list
root #eselect opengl set #


If you use Pulseaudio but find that wine32 is trying to load 64-bit pulseaudio drivers, consider the solution found in this here

External resources