Amazon Prime Instant Video

How to watch Amazon Prime Videos in Ubuntu 14.04 or Newer

Amazon Prime Videos now rely on one of two things: 1. a browser that supports HTML5 video player, or 2. Silverlight being installed on the system and a browser that is compatible with it.

If you’re using Ubuntu and running Firefox you may see the following when attempting to watch Prime Videos:

Amazon Video: Browser Not Supported

Until Firefox fully supports HTML5 video player (and whatever other features Amazon requires — click to see Amazon Video System Requirements), it probably wont work. It works in Firefox on Windows if you have Silverlight installed, but Silverlight being a Microsoft product, does not play well with Linux/Ubuntu.

So what can you do?

# Install Google Chrome

There are a few different ways to install Chrome, but I like to use the PPA (at least until it gets added into the main Ubuntu repos).

  1. Open your terminal and enter the following lines of code…
  2. Add Key: (this should all be on one line, including the – at the end)
    wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
  3. Set repository: (this should all be on one line)
    sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
  4. Install package: (this should all be on one line)
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

# Watch Amazon Prime Videos in Chrome

Now Chrome is installed and should update whenever you update your system (provided there is an update available for Chrome). Go ahead and open Chrome and go find your favorite video on Amazon Prime and enjoy.

 

Note: I’m updating this post from one I wrote over a year ago. If you want to read the old post you still can. I kept it below in a hidden div.

# Disclaimer

Don’t do any of this if you don’t know what the commands do. I cannot be responsible for what happens to your computer as a result of your attempt to follow this tutorial. By using this guide you acknowledge that I’m just trying to help describe what process I used to get it to work on my computer and offering it as feedback to anyone else attempting to accomplish the same thing.

Alex

Alex is a professional web and mobile developer. He loves spending time with his wife and kids, and is still very much a kid at heart. He enjoys reading comic books, watching TV/Movies, playing video games, playing with action figures and Legos.

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41 thoughts on “How to watch Amazon Prime Videos in Ubuntu 14.04 or Newer”

  1. ok i tried your instructions, except for changing the 64 to 32 bit, but nothing……..i have found several sources that make it sound easy one way or another and i just can’t get it. netflix and hulu work fine, but amazon is a bust. sucks. any other ideas?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I’m sorry the instructions didn’t work for you. I haven’t tested this on 32-bit, but I had read it would work. Perhaps there is a conflict with a flash plug-in you had previously installed? Did you get any error messages or warnings after executing any of the commands? Are you using Firefox (I couldn’t get it to work in Chrome, only Firefox worked for me). Did you try clearing your browser’s cache? Restart your computer? These are all things I would try in troubleshooting. I’m at work right now so I can’t do much else at the moment, but I will check back later and see if I can come up with any other ideas.

      Alex

  2. The step worked fine for me. I didn’t have to change any of the instructions. cut, paste, reload Firefox. Amazon finally works with Firefox. Xubuntu 14.0 and Firefox 33,

  3. YOU, my dear sir, are a WILEY COYOTE i.e. a GENIUS!

    Worked for me when other(ubuntu site is having troubles figuring this one out!) haven’t.

    THANKS

  4. Worked for me on the first try. Which was really nice because I had been trying other web page suggestions to no avail. Thanks and enjoy your coffee on me.

    1. Hi John,

      Sorry for the late reply (I really need to get more active with my website). I’m really glad it worked for you and thank you so much for the coffee!

      Take care,
      Alex

    1. Glad it worked for you Craig. I am not sure about Netflix as I haven’t tried it. I believe there are options now for viewing Netflix on Linux, but I haven’t tried any of them. The problem with Netflix is that they were (still are?) using Microsoft Silverlight for their DRM signing and the Linux equivalent Moonlight didn’t have that particular feature (proprietary binary stuff apparently).

      Try: https://insights.ubuntu.com/2014/10/10/watch-netflix-in-ubuntu-today/
      Looks like it may work in Chrome on Ubuntu if you have Google Chrome 37+

  5. You sir, are incredible! This is the best tutorial I’ve seen as 1) It is very simple and easy to follow, and 2) IT ACTUALLY WORKS.

    Thank you! Do you take donations via paypal?

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      I’m very glad it worked for you and I very much appreciate the compliment. I really should do some more of these (if only I had the time) to help people out more.
      Please let me know if you have any particular topic you’d like to see another tutorial on.

      Yes I do accept donations. I have a paypal donation button on my website (currently located on the right side, top, just below the heading: “BUY ME A COFFEE”).

      Thanks,
      Alex

  6. Alex, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!! All the other workarounds I tried ended in utterly failed attempts to successfully use any flash at all in firefox…this is the single best workaround I have come across. I’m using ubuntu gnome 14.04.2 on a x86_64 system and this is just perfect. Many many thanks indeed, you should be dubbed the goto guy for this (or at least your solution 😉 ) . I will be sure to save it and share!

  7. Hello All!

    I am using Linux Mint 17.2 MATE
    I followed the tutorial without any issue.
    I am getting the following error:
    Unsupported Browser
    This web browser isn’t compatible with Amazon Video. Please use one of the following web browsers: etc etc

    Any suggestion / feedback is very welcome.
    Thanks!!
    R.

    1. Hi Ron,

      It looks like Amazon changed the way they do video streaming and now require a browser that fully supports HTML5 video player or one that supports Silverlight plugin (and you having the latter installed as well). You can’t really do Silverlight on Ubuntu (as far as I know) so Firefox is out until they support HTML5 Video player. You can use Google Chrome though. I updated this post (above) to explain and to give instructions for installing Chrome.

      Thanks,
      Alex

  8. Hi Alex

    You may remember I wrote in a few months ago thanking you for your solution. However, I’ve just re-installed ubuntu gnome 14.04.3 and this time round I am at a bit of a loss.

    I’ve followed your commands to the letter, but cannot get it to work. Could you perhaps help me figure this one out please?

    I have a feeling it may be something to do with other things I have installed, and am happy to remove the offending programmes if I can identify them.

    Kind regards

    Euan

  9. Back again, Alex…
    Today I switched to Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 as I was experiencing problems. But I tell you what – I don’t believe your solution works any longer with firefox.

    It certainly did work for me on a *newer* release (namely 14.04.2) back in August, as we saw, but this is a fresh install I have just done now, and after updating everything and double checking that there were no updates left to do I tried this solution *as the very very first online thing I did* with the new OS.

    No result. Nothing – Amazon tells me that my browser is unsupported. Perhaps I need a user agent switcher?

    Please let me know what you think: I am very much looking forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards

    Euan

    1. Hi Euan,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I recently upgraded my laptop to a SSD and decided to put a fresh install of Ubuntu 14.04 on it (I use it for work so I stick to LTS releases only on this machine). I tested Amazon Prime Videos on it and saw the problem you were having. It looks like Amazon recently changed the way they do their video streams and now depend on HTML5 Video player or Silverlight Plugin…

      I updated the post (above) with the solution. You will need to switch to using Google Chrome for watching Prime videos, at least until Firefox has full support for HTML5 videos.

      Please let me know if that works for you or if you still need assistance.

      Take care,
      Alex

  10. hi Alex,

    I’ve been using Mint 17.1/17.2/17.3 (apologies for slight derail people, but check the security breach of 17.3 and make sure you are safe)

    and using chromium (basically whatever the latest version in the default repo e.g. right now using 48.0.2564.116-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1111) and Amazon Video used to work fine. the pepperflash plugin included with chromium still works perfectly everywhere else except Amazon.

    but a while ago started getting the same error that you show in your original post. (not sure exactly when it was, at least a month or two ago – I mostly only watch spamazon prime stuff on console not computer)

    I went back and forth with Amazon support and they elevated it to tech support, but ultimately still no dice.

    Firefox still does not work (quelle surprise) but I will give Chrome a shot since I know it’s not exactly the same thing as chromium. (I’ve already tried changing the user-agent, just in case Amazon was being weird enough to base it on that, but, no luck there.)

    but, any other advice?

    thanks,
    best regards,

  11. ok, installed Chrome and it works. still very strange it doesn’t in chromium.

    btw had do directly download the .deb – their repo seems to be broken now.

    1. Hi @tintar,

      I apologize for the delay. I really have been neglecting this blog.

      I am glad you were able to get it to work by installing the .deb for Chrome. Yeah, their repository has been pretty iffy lately. The good news is that Chrome is pretty good about self-updating once you have it installed, so the repo isn’t exactly necessary in this case.

      The reason why it works in Chrome and not Chromium is that Chrome includes some additional packages and features that Chromium (being bare bones) does not. I don’t have the specific details at the moment.

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