As of at least Debian 9 (stretch), Debian contains the contrib package chromium-widevine. The description of this package is:

This package provides support for the widevine content decryption module.

However, after installing this package, I'm unable to find any sign that Chromium recognizes or is loading this plugin. The location of Widevine in this package is /usr/lib/chromium/libwidevinecdmadapter.so.

My current use for this package is to play Amazon Prime Video on Chromium. Currently I am getting the error:

Your web browser is missing a digital rights component. Go to chrome://components and under WidevineCdm, click Check for update.

chrome://components doesn't list WidevineCdm under Chromium.

For extra weird, I'm getting:

root@orwell:/usr/lib/chromium# ldd libwidevinecdmadapter.so 
        linux-vdso.so.1 (0x00007ffccbfad000)
        libwidevinecdm.so => not found
        libpthread.so.0 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpthread.so.0 (0x00007f08c6e5b000)
        libstdc++.so.6 => /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6 (0x00007f08c6ad3000)
        libc.so.6 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6 (0x00007f08c6733000)
        /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0x000055e84bdbe000)
        libm.so.6 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libm.so.6 (0x00007f08c642b000)
        libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libgcc_s.so.1 (0x00007f08c6213000)

So libwidevinecdm.so resolves to nothing?

Any idea what I'm supposed to do here? The chromium-widevine has no documentation or indication how one is supposed to proceed.

  • if there is no documentation in the package, then file a bug report stating that. IMO that's at least an "important" (or perhaps even "grave") severity level bug. – cas Aug 14 '17 at 4:35

I had no luck using netflix with chromium-widevine on debian 9.3 from contrib repo. What I did was:

wget https://dl.google.com/widevine-cdm/
sudo mkdir /usr/lib/chromium
sudo mv libwidevinecdm.so /usr/lib/chromium
sudo chmod 644 /usr/lib/chromium/libwidevinecdm.so
  • Just to be clear, did this recipe work for you? – Faheem Mitha Jan 18 '18 at 1:22
  • 1
    yes, watching netflix on debian 9.3 on chromium right now :) – a_z Jan 18 '18 at 9:33
  • Thank you for the confirmation. I'll try this approach. Though I wonder why the Debian package does not work. – Faheem Mitha Jan 18 '18 at 12:12
  • No idea. ldd gave me the same output when I was using deb package. Shared libraries look different when so from zip was used. – a_z Jan 18 '18 at 12:52
  • 1
    @FaheemMitha Someone did bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=921738 – Braiam Feb 8 at 17:42

Debian states that all packages included in the official distribution are free software, but the Widevine CDM libraries are not in this category. There is a binary blob available in the Chrome reference build though.

  • It's not terribly useful including such a package with no reference how it should be used, though. I added a link /usr/lib/chromium# ln -s /opt/google/chrome/libwidevinecdm.so . Now Prime Video doesn't complain about "missing a digital rights component", but it doesn't work either. It gets the same error as Google Chrome itself, which is not currently working either. – Faheem Mitha Aug 13 '17 at 18:23
  • @FaheemMitha Chrome is the more likely of the two to work. Do you have any idea why it might be having problems? – Fox Aug 13 '17 at 18:32
  • Hi Fox. No, I don't. It was working until recently. But I think there have been recent upgrades. – Faheem Mitha Aug 13 '17 at 18:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.