Watching the WWE Network on Linux: an update

A few years back, I wrote about how I had to set up WINE to be able to watch the WWE Network from Linux, as they are using an incompatible DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) system, which is not supported on Linux. I have been using the set up pretty much unchanged since, while updating various components.

At one point I had to stop upgrading Firefox, as it started using features from newer versions of Windows that were not supported under WINE. I had configured WINE to make Firefox think it was running under Windows XP, and Firefox had since dropped XP support. If I try to claim a newer version of Windows, Firefox failed to connect to the Internet. The version I stopped at is version 53.0, which means that I am running an old, vulnerable Firefox version for this. This means do not use this browser for anything but watching WWE Network! Doing so may trigger an invulnerability somewhere.

I did keep my Flash Player up-to-date, but the latest Adobe Flash Player update (version 32) failed to run under WINE. Why I do not know, perhaps they also started using APIs that WINE does not support. I upgraded my WINE installation to the latest stable version (4.0), but to no avail. It was still hanging.

The only solution I have found so far has been to downgrade to Adobe Flash Player version 31. I had to dig a bit to find the download page for archived versions of Flash Player, and from there I ran the uninstaller and then downloaded the archive. From that archive I installed the NPAPI Flash Player (31_0_r0_153/flashplayer31_0r0_153_win.exe) and now I have a working setup again.

So, an up-to-date WINE version, but an ancient Firefox and Flash Player. I hope WWE update their web site soon to something a bit more modern that work from Linux as well, but nothing has happened for the last five years, so I am not holding my breath…

2 thoughts on “Watching the WWE Network on Linux: an update

  1. Thank you *very much* for the detailed description! It sure saves me the time of trying to wine up the current firefox version.

    Can you tell me which exact Firefox version you are using for the setup? I’ve been trying it with Firefox 52.0 (32 bit) and the proposed flash player `31_0r0_153_win.exe`. When selecting a match, it keeps showing the loading animation. In the Plugins section of the addons manager, Shockwave Flash is set to “ask to activate” and I can’t select “always activate”. The protected mode is disabled. Can you point me in the right direction maybe? Really looking forward to watch all those CM Punk matches on something larger than a smartphone screen :D

  2. Hi entb,

    well, I was running 53.0 on one of the machines and 52.3.0 on the other. However, now after the launch the updated WWE Network, it is no longer necessary to use a Windows browser, nor any Flash plug-in AFAICT. I am now happily watching videos in Vivaldi, Firefox and Google Chrome on Linux without any specialized setup.

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