Watching Hulu/HAL on Iceweasel in Debian

Do you want to watch Hulu in Debian with Iceweasel/Firefox without having to go to Windows or Ubuntu? Of course, Adobe Flash is bad, and so is DRM. But if you’re going to watch it, isn’t it better to do it in Debian than having to restart your computer (or run a Virtualbox)?

There is a way to build the HAL package from Ubuntu’s PPA from source. I forget where I read it in Debian Forums, so I can’t give the shoutout, but I found this helpful website on how to build from the source package from a Ubuntu PPA. Here are my .deb files for Debian 64-bit. In the following, I will use Ubuntu 14.04 Utopic HAL PPA on Launchpad, as that is LTS, I believe.

Steps: [be careful not to copy and paste: use your own quotation marks in step 1, and for the –, use two dashes, instead!!! Comment below if you have any questions]

  1. As ROOT
    $ aptitude install devscripts build-essential
    $ echo “deb-src utopic main” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hal.list
    $ apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys BF7B8DAF
  2. (Note You may or may not need to update afterwards:)
    $ aptitude update
  3. As normal user
    $ apt-get source –build hal
  4. (Note, you may have to install a lot of other packages. Definitely use your mouse to highlight the packages needed and paste with middle click. Make sure not to paste in the (>= …). So there should be (in root):
    $ aptitude install ***NEEDED_PACKAGES_HERE***
  5. When you are done, go back to ROOT
    $ dpkg -i libhal-storage1*deb libhal1*.deb hal_0*.deb[Don’t actually type that though it will likely work … if not, use tab to help you type the full-name of the deb –> you need packages libhal1 and libhal-storage1]
    [type hal_ then press tab to fill in information as needed until you get to the deb]
  6. (Note, you may need to first install some of the other deb files that the hal package depends on, which should be in your /home/USER/ folder. So you may have to repeat step 5 and install the other (non-dev) *.deb packages in your folder, where you substitute your own username instead of USER. You may have to install libhal1_*.deb and hal1*.deb, etc.)
  7. Now, if you are in Debian Jessie or Above, here’s the key. After installing all those DEB files, your HAL package is likely still broken. You need the now deprecated (old) package “hal-info” –> and this can only be found on wheezy.
  8. To do so, as root edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file with Wheezy repo’s in order to get hal-info. Once you install it, I recommend you comment out the wheezy repo’s [that is, place a “#” in front of the line starting with deb and/or deb-src … you may not need the deb-src line]$ nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  9. Add (and then later comment out after you’re done installing hal-info. Once you are in /etc/apt/sources.list, add two new lines (I may be overkilling it, but just to be safe, here’s all you need)
    deb wheezy main contrib non-free
    deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free
  10. Then exit and save (Press “Ctrl+X” –> “y” for yes to save –> Enter). You will be back in your root terminal:$ aptitude update
    $ aptitude install hal-info
  11. Once that’s done, you can go back and comment out the wheezy repo lines by typing # in front of the two lines. At this point, aptitude should have already reconfigured your (broken) hal package. If not, simply go back to step 5.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.



5 thoughts on “Watching Hulu/HAL on Iceweasel in Debian

  1. Hi,
    I am trying to get this working on my debian stretch, and in point 5 I get:
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of hal:
    hal depends on hal-info (>= 20070402); however:
    Package hal-info is not installed.

    apt-get doesn’t have hal-info packeg, and it’s also not in my home directory with other packages that you mention in point 6. Any ideas how to take it from here? Thanks in advance!

    • You will need to get it from the wheezy repo. Or, better yet, you can just download Chrome and use it. I think it works now on Chrome.

  2. How to fix on Debian Jessie?

    $ aptitude install devscripts build-essential
    $ echo “deb-src utopic main” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hal.list
    $ apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys BF7B8DAF
    $ aptitude update
    E: Type ‘“deb-src’ is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hal.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    $ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
    E: Type ‘“deb-src’ is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hal.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.

      • Thanks. KK, any slight deviation might result in something not working. However, if you install the latest Google chrome from Google’s own website, it might already work now with Hulu. Though if the Google chrome deb can’t install, just aptitude install google-chrome to install a missing dependency (something to do with notifications? I forget)

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