Is there a way to stream Netflix content to my Ubuntu machine?
Important: Please note that Ubuntu releases 12.04, 14.04 and newer now support native Netflix playback via HTML5. The solution in this answer should only be used in cases where native playback is not possible (e.g. unsupported Ubuntu releases, browsers other than Google Chrome).
As of December 7th, 2012 the following works on 12.04 and 12.10 (at least).
Note: For new instructions --as of October 2013-- on how to install (Windows-)
Open a terminal (Ctrl-Alt-T), an type:
This will install around 254MB of packages, mainly it will install
Then run the newly installed "netflix-desktop" application from the menu (or from the command line).
If something went wrong in the installation (third party links are involved), don't panic: netflix-desktop will detect that something is missing and try to reinstall it, if that also fails, start over.
When you run it for the first time it will initialize
The window will open in fullscreen, which is very elegant, but if you want to have control over the window press F11 right away to exit fullscreen mode. (It may also ask to install a Firefox extension --specially designed-- that makes fullscreen mode more friendly.)
Use Netflix as you would normally do.
It worked flawlessly in my Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 (I have a Core i7).
(As you may have realized at this poin, the
Credits and references: This information was originally taken from http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/how-to-use-netflix-in-ubuntu-through.html. Although this is a result of a campaign initiated by www.iheartubuntu.com in http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/02/netflix-on-linux-contest.html, resulting in this achievement http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/11/ppa-for-netflix-desktop-app.html (by Erich Hoover) which also contains a link for donations to support the development. There is also https://launchpad.net/netflix-desktop
Bonus: By running this you have a fully functional Firefox 17 (Windows version) with working Silverlight that can be used to navigate other sites, by pressing F10 -> View -> Toolbars -> Navigation menu on the main window you can access any site and be able to use Silverlight.
Alternative Method: Install Windows-Silverlight in Linux-Firefox
Alternatively, it is now possible to install Silverlight inside (Linux) Firefox as if it were a native plugin. (you can see http://fds-team.de/cms/pipelight-installation.html for more info)
Then install the
Then go to www.netflix.com.
Native HTML5 playback on Ubuntu 14.04 and up
You can now watch Netflix natively and without user-agent-spoof (thank you Netflix) with HTML5 on Google Chrome.
If you are on Ubuntu 12.04 or 14.04 make sure you are up to date before you proceed:
Or graphically, open Update Manager and click Check then Install Updates:
You will need an updated installation of Google Chrome (not Chromium; and make sure to choose the right package for your machine):
Bonus: Netflix Webapp
You can integrate Netflix with your Ubuntu desktop by creating a nice
Now you have a Netflix WebApp!:
Alternatively you can also use the Chrome plug-in and launch it in "Windowed" mode by doing the following:
This will make Netlix available in the Dash:
If you don't like the appearance of the scroll bars, you can enable Chrome's overlay scrollbars. Go to chrome://flags/#overlay-scrollbars and Enable them. Now you have scrollbars that complete the experience:
Actually - to address your question. PlayOn the service which drives Netflix (and Hulu) will be rolling out an HTML5 client which should negate the need for Silverlight (and Moonlight). It's out for the iPhone now - but I assume that shortly will be used to stream PlayOn services to Linux Machines.
I read a while ago that it might be possible to run a Wii emulator instead of virtual box, but I don't think that would be an improvement for most people. I've been meaning to try Netflix in an android emulator since the app came out, however I still need to test if it will actually work. The problem is that the app is only "approved" for certain phones. There is a hack that is suppose to work for rooted phones, So I think there's a good chance this could be a better solution than virtual box, but it's hard to say for sure.
If someone else gets this working please let me know.
Moonlight, while it is an open-source alternative to Silverlight, does not work for Netflix. The reason that this does not work for Netflix is that Netflix also requires DRM support, which Moonlight does not give.
There IS a way to watch things on Netflix through Ubuntu though.
You will want to virtualize Windows XP/Vista/7 on Ubuntu. I would recommend Virtualbox, but you are free to use whatever you want. Under the virtual machine, you can use the real Silverlight and DRM-support and watch Netflix.
Pipelight is a plugin that builds upon Erich Hoover's Netflix-Desktop to allow Ubuntu users to watch Netflix from within a native Firefox browser.
Add compholio and pipelight ppa
Close your browser first!
Now Silverlight will work on some sites but Netflix and some others check the browser user agent and will not play on a Linux machine.
Install a plugin to change user agent
I used User Agent Overrider
In Firefox got to Tools -> Add Ons and search for User Agent.
Install User Agent Overrider
Select the latest Firefox/Windows combination.
Head over to netflix.com and enjoy.
Netflix desktop is too resource intensive and the overlay is VERY ANNOYING, I would HIGHLY recommend the following steps and use Firefox.
Add Netflix for Firefox
add user agent overrider to Firefox Add ons
change user agent string to windows/chrome34
Now you won't have a dedicated application for Netflix and you can use your existing browser installation.
Another non related benefit of pipelight is that you can enable the latest Flash version with it. No need for pepper anymore! :)
Try running these commands:
Then find netflix in the launcher and it should work.
BUT if it doesn't work the first time, like it didn't for me, try this:
I got my answers from here: http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/11/ppa-for-netflix-desktop-app.html
It has some further troubleshooting notes that I didn't post here so check it out if this doesn't work for you.
protected by Seth♦ Mar 19 '14 at 4:55
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