Firefox Video Playback issue in VMWare Ubuntu virtual machine.

Gary Case
Gary Case used Ask the Experts™
I installed Ubuntu v19.10 in a VMWare virtual machine (running Workstation 15.5), and discovered an issue with Firefox in this environment.

If you go to, and then attempt to play any of their videos, you get a "forever spinning circle" and a message at the upper left part of the video that says "Something went wrong during native playback."   This happens no matter which video I select.

I went to to see if their videos would play, and in that case I get a "Video Not Available" message, with a subtext that says "Unfortunately, this video is missing or damaged and cannot be played" -- but in this case there's no "forever spinning circle".

If I go to and play one of their videos, everything works fine.

Just for grins, I installed Chromium, and all of the videos play perfectly in this browser.

Interestingly, Firefox works fine for all of these in virtual machines I set up for a couple other Linux distros -- Elementary v5.0 and Linux Mint v19.2.

Just for grins, I also installed the latest LTS version of Ubuntu (v18.04.3) … and it has the exact same issue with Firefox.

Any ideas ??
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Fractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented: might provide the answer, which suggests...

1) sudo apt install libavcodec-extra

2) FireFox Preferences -> General -> Play DRM-controlled content
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009


I have already tried setting Firefox preferences to play DRM content, with no results.

HOWEVER … the libavcodec installation did the trick.    It now works perfectly :-)

David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018


You're welcome!

Glad this was a simple fix!

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