My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

No Disney+ on Linux

With the new version 4.10.1582.1 of the Widevine DRM plugin package for Chromium that I uploaded today (chromium-widevine-plugin) I really hoped that this would fix the playback error on Linux of the new Disney+ streaming service.

As you may know, Disney is preparing for the official launch of its movie streaming service this week tuesday, 12 November. But we in the Netherlands could enjoy a free test period of two months before the go-live and so I watched several episodes of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series and the Captain Marvel movie, casting from my phone at first but now via an official app on my smart TV. The bad performance of the app and frequent freezes of the video streams have largely been taken care of and fixed during the test period. If you are a fan of the Disney and Fox movie portfolio or enjoy the Marvel and Star Wars movies, then I guess this new platform is for you. It’s still rather limited in scope of course.

Worse in my opinion is the fact that Disney did the Linux community a disservice. The streaming of video does not work – on any browser. The web site works fine, you can browse and explore, but video playback is not possible and an annoying “Error 83” appears instead.

I had subscribed to Disney+ for the free trial straight away on day one. My son was very pleased with that… and when I noticed that their site would not work on my Linux desktop and laptop I assumed this was a beta issue and that it would get fixed. But then the weeks passed and nothing changed.
First online reports of the Linux incompatibility were reported by a dutch Fedora packager. Another dutch tweaker found out that this is caused by a too restricted setting of the DRM for Disney+. Disney uses Widevine as its DRM provider, just like Netflix, Amazon and others. But they cranked up the security level to a value which is not supported on the Linux platform – although it works just fine on Android.

By now the Disney+ streaming service is about to become available world-wide… and Linux support still has not been fixed. My advice is to refuse to pay for a subscription and instead file complaints with Disney that they ignore a large chunk of potential customer base.

Go and write a letter of complaint and make the Linux fans be heard!



  1. Henry Pfeil

    I’m joining the Disney Resistance.
    Episode 520 of The Muppet Show contained the Whatnots performing The Ying Tong Song. As soon as Disney bought up The Muppet Show, that vignette vanished from yootoob.

    Free The Ying Tong Song!

  2. Barcoboy

    Have to agree with Henry. Still waiting for a release of Season Four and Five of The Muppet Show… it’s only been over 11 years since Season Three was released!

    Disney sucks.

  3. Jen

    I’m a CalArts grad. (MFA, 2000) They’d tell people to not show stuff that you didn’t want stolen when Disney came around for job fairs and portfolio days. It wasn’t much of an issue with the music department, but it absolutely was for the character and experimental animation departments. That’s not the worst of Disney’s antics, either.

  4. Michael Langdon

    I sent Disney a short note. Hope it helps, as this service has an interest to me for when grandkids come to visit.

  5. Henry Pfeil

    To give them pause, subscribe, try viewing a number of videos to generate errors (the more the better because they are tracking you), then cancel your subscription. Money talks. For a good time, after unsubscribing, change your email to Back in the old-days, you could download content via ftp by signing in as “anonymous” with the password “guest”.

  6. Michael Langdon

    I have a SreenBeam Mini 2 that I use to mirror my android phone to a tv. I tried it last night with the disney app from my daughter’s phone. She had subscribed right away because her kids are disney nuts.

    I think it will work, however, Disney’s servers were crashed yesterday afternoon. They could not handle the demand. 🙂

  7. lupox

    New version available.
    I don’t live in the Disney + test zone.

    • alienbob

      The Disney+ test ended on 12 November, so now Disnay+ is a paid subscription available to everyone.
      I let someone test the new Widevine release on Slackware already, but the “Error 83” persists. Too bad.

  8. kevfla

    Someone had suggested running Brave on Wine but I guess I’m not tech savvy enough as I can’t even get it to install in wine

  9. Erik

    I guess that i need to “pirate” The Mandalorian then.
    I don’t see any other option for me since there’s no app for my smart-tv, my sailfish based smartphone or my linux desktop.

    • alienbob

      Yeah, I do not watch Ubuntu centered web sites but read it on another news source. I have already posted the message on my blog. Good news!

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