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When I started researching how to get Netflix to work with Ubuntu everything I saw pointed me to the Netflix-Desktop app. When I looked in to this app, it seemed to me (a relative novice) that it was just Wine with Firefox and Silverlight installed. However, I tried installing FireFox and Silverlight in Wine and Netflix does not work.

So is there some magic going on in Netflix-desktop that I don't understand, or maybe I'm just missing something?

I know there are a million questions about Netflix on Ubuntu, but none of them seem to exlpain much. They just say "Install Netflix-Desktop" which is fine, but I would like to understand a little more.


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

netflix-desktop is Firefox with Wine installed in its own prefix. Installing Silverlight into wine does not do anything unless you are using Silverlight in the same prefix as a Windows version of Firefox has been installed in previously, as Silverlight on Wine will not function with the Ubuntu version of Firefox. Personally, I will say that netflix-desktop is a good way to go as it packages both firefox and wine and works great. Hope that helps!

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On top of what you've just mentioned, it should be noted that Netflix-Desktop runs a modified version of WINE (known as wine-compholio), with some DRM-related patches. – TSJNachos117 Mar 7 '15 at 10:42

Yes, there are a few patches in wine-compholio that isn't in vanilla wine yet. That's the biggest difference, but he's also customized Firefox slightly in order to make it work slightly better with Ubuntu desktop.

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