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I want to use Amazon Video on Debian Jessie but can't manage it to run.

I have the following hardware setup:

  • CPU: 2 cores at 3 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo E8400)
  • RAM: 6 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (MSI N650-1GD5)

I am using the sudo command.

For the GPU I am using the proprietary drivers in version 340.65. I installed them accordingly to the Debian website (https://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers#Version_340.65):

  1. I added contrib non-free to each entry in the package sources in /etc/apt/sources.list.
  2. I updated the sources with sudo aptitude update.
  3. I installed the drivers with sudo aptitude -r install linux-headers-$(uname -r|sed 's,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,') nvidia-kernel-dkms.
  4. Reboot with sudo reboot.

I connected the GPU to a TV (Panasonic) with HDMI. Playing HD content in VLC works fine. Both video and audio are transmitted properly to the TV.

Today I wanted to test the video stream of Amazon Video. Because the video is DRM-protected and Debian is not the major plattform for this I had to put a little effort in researching on how to accomplish what I want. I read that pipelight could enable Microsofts Silverlight technology which Amazon Video is compatible to.

I installed pipelight like mentioned on the project site (http://pipelight.net/cms/install/installation-debian.html, http://pipelight.net/cms/installation.html#section_2).

  1. Because I am running a 64bit architecture I had to add i386 with sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386.
  2. I added the signing key of the project with wget http://repos.fds-team.de/Release.key and sudo apt-key add Release.key.
  3. I added the repository deb http://repos.fds-team.de/stable/debian/ jessie main to my sources in /etc/apt/sources.list.
  4. I updated the package cache with sudo apt-get update.
  5. I installed pipelight with sudo apt-get install pipelight-multi.
  6. I updated the plugin base with sudo pipelight-plugin --update.
  7. I enabled Silverlight with sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight.
  8. I (re)started the default browser Iceweasel (the so-called Firefox), which resulted in installing the silverlight extension.
  9. I changed my user agent with an extension (User-Agent Switcher 0.1.3, https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher-firefox/) to simulate a Firefox running on Windows.
  10. I ran a test on a website to see whether Silverlight is loaded and streaming video properly (http://support.akamai.com/silverlight/). And it worked great! Note: For testing I deactivated all my other extensions like NoScript and so on.

But somehow Amazon Video doesn't work. When I visit the website and try to play a movie, it is detecting Silverlight correctly, loading a long time with an orange circle and then crashing. It says I should try a fixing tool of Microsoft which is clearly not a way I can do now.

So now my question: How to make the DRM-protected video stream of Amazon Video run on Debian Jessie?

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I was searching and searching and finally found the reason. It's the missing of the extended attributes in my filesystem. When the Silverlight-content of Amazon Video is loading it can't create the files properly (http://www.heise.de/forum/Open-Source/Kommentare/Online-Videotheken-mit-Linux-nutzen/amazon-instant-video-error-1002/posting-1017443/show/, https://answers.launchpad.net/pipelight/+question/237089). Please note, that my filesystem is the operating systems default (ext4) in its default configuration.

So perform these steps to install and activate extended attributes in the filesystem:

  1. Install the package attr with sudo apt-get install attr.
  2. Activate the attributes in /etc/fstab by adding the mount option user_xattr.
  3. Reload fstab with sudo mount -a.

And guess what? It's working! I can play Amazon Video content on Debian in Iceweasel.

And because Ubuntu is based on Debian it should work this way in Firefox there, too.

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