Google Widevine DRM option is grayed out in Purebrowser

Not just Chrome, but effectively any other browser can get it working, to include Firefox. (Brave, Vivaldi, etc.)


What none of you knee-jerk responders read in my message was that DRM worked before, out of the box, on Purism, in Purebrowser. So, yada yada, with all your blather Purism enabled DRM in PureBrowser. Suddenly it doesn’t. Nothing changed in RYF. Richard Stallman hasn’t had a bad dream. Purism changed Purebrowser options and I want to know why.

Any changes that we make to PureBrowser we make to make it more aligned with free software, privacy, and security goals. I don’t believe we’ve ever enabled DRM.


Oh, so now you’re going to gaslight me. In case I had accidentally changed my METAVERSE parameter (it is still “0”) I checked my Purebrowser history and found many, many links to Netflix video playbacks, so no, I wasn’t dreaming – DRM was able-to-be-enabled and working until recently in Purebrowser.

Worth a try. I mean, I understand why it is important to deny that DRM was ever able-to-be-enabled. It exposes a certain hypocrisy in the company and its vocal users, many of whom took the opportunity to chastise me for wanting something to work as before. You can’t really be all-in for freedom if you are using a browser that can enable Widevine DRM.

Calm down.

Someone already mentioned that they agree with you that it’s odd. The others chimed in with potential workarounds in an effort to help you. @jeremiah wasn’t aware of it, so the logical conclusion is that it was an oversight that has since been corrected. It’s annoying, sure, but nobody here hates you. Install another browser and let it go


I honestly can’t say what happened. My personal recommendation though is to run the Firefox Nightly Flatpak if you’re wanting to use DRM.

It should give you some of the sandboxing included with Flatpaks and the Nightly runs Wayland rather than XWayland thus giving more security benefits.


Seriously. Relax. No one is trying to gas light you. Especially not any of the ‘knee jerk’ commenters.

I really don’t understand the entitlement on forums these days. These are community forums not official support channels. Maybe it would be prudent to not insult the community you are looking to for assistance.


Maybe it’s DRM itself attempted to be friendly with your browser at the first thru hijack then locked you out until you completelty given away your privacy and security by installing malwares or certain devices that would cooperate with their DRM. It’s sort of like trying to get non-drug users hooked on free drugs until they become addicted then force them to start paying. Is open-source DRM such a thing? So you don’t know what DRM itself is capable of.

Even you’re a paying customer, FANG still always want everything you have, including your data, control over your devices, OS, etc, not just money.

1 Like

Yes, you are right. I thought it was a simple question with a simple answer. I was surprised at the responses. I should not have over-reacted and I appreciate you calling me out on it so calmly.

There is only one thing that sets me off on forums and it is lectures about how much more virtuous others are than I am, including lectures about how technically superior someone is than I am because they choose to setup ridiculously complicated systems simply to outshine their technical inferiors. I feel they should respect my comments because of my history, but of course they don’t know my history or the fact that they are one-third my age and one-tenth my experience.

Over to Firefox unsullied. No more concerns about what Purism is doing to my browser.

I should note before I stop responding in this thread that I agree with the self-righteous that the DRM option should be unable-to-be-enabled. But it was able-to-be-enabled until recently. A minor lapse in orthodoxy that should have been explained before or as it was being executed. That is a lapse in customer respect.


The lapse comes, I believe, from the way Mozilla now builds Firefox and how Debian packages it. We strive to ensure that users are free to use the software however they wish and we did not strip the ability to add DRM’d content from PureBrowser.


Who else could do that?

I get this sentiment, though I’m on the other side of the concerns. You noticed your DRM broke, I noticed my privacy broke (uBlock magically disappeared, Pocket and more appeared). Each of us for slightly different reasons but the same core one: trusting someone else to meet our browser expectations. :slight_smile:

I moved to my own compiled browser via tweaked surf and I’m certain I’ll be happier now. I do all my DRM stuff on other, disrespectful devices. :blush:

I have great sympathy for Purism for sure – they are catering to a niche market with highly elevated senses of what’s “right”, and what’s right varies a good bit.

1 Like

On top of that security is a complicated field that is above the heads of most people wishing to benefit from it. Trying to make that accessible to your average user is a very difficult task.

1 Like

Google doesn’t support open source solution

You should ask Netflix and Google about your issue to see what they say.

That’s a good point. Firefox Unsullied is not a perfect browser. We have to watch everyone, even those with good intentions. Do you remember once upon a time there was a young corporation whose motto was Don’t Be Evil?

Sorry for the silly question, but how do you reinstall uBlock? I went to put it back, and I got the message oh this is for Firefox, would you like to download Firefox now? Thanks in advance…

I believe I saw one of the PureOS devs say that the preferred way of installing PureBrowser extensions was via command line.

uBlock should be addable via sudo apt install webext-ublock-origin

And presumably anything with a webext prefix is an extensions that can be added, so apt search webext would reveal what your options are

1 Like

This information deserves its own thread and wiki page.

We do have this in the PureOS FAQ:


No, that compat_mode page describes an alternative to using apt-get to install Firefox extensions. If Purism developers have added Firefox extensions to webext-* in the official repositories, presumably they have been examined and approved by the apostles of Stallman for purity and correctness. The compatability mode exposes Purism followers to the Firefox addons den of iniquity. Better to install and update approved extensions as described by taylor-williamc, if available. (I am serious. No irony intended.)
You should add the above description of webext installation to the compatibility page as an alternative to compatibility mode.