I am considering getting Netflix and would like to use a Raspberry Pi to steam it. Could someone please advise if Netflix runs well on a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu? Or is there a better way? Many thanks!

  • It depends on your installation, mine does very well (rpi 2b) running the 14.04 version of ubuntu, so its minimalistic, installed lxde-core and Firefox, with some tinkering you got a small 'slowish' netflix media center-berry – patrick Jul 28 '16 at 12:41

Simple answer: no.

You're facing multiple issues here:

  • You didn't mention which model Pi you're using, but I'll assume the Pi 3. Even though the Pi 3 is massively more powerful than the Pi 1, in the grand scheme of things, it's CPU is more like a late Pentium III, or early Pentium 4.

  • Because of the Pi's weak CPU, any software that doesn't use hardware video decoding will absolutely bring the Pi to it knees and, quite possibly, crash the browser. (Well, maybe not quite that bad, but you get the point). At the moment, the only software that can play videos with hardware decoding is omxplayer.

  • The Pi doesn't have a very good browser.

    • Firefox is pretty slow
    • Epiphany is OK, but Javascript slows it to a crawl
    • Chromium is joke; it loads at a decent speed, but you're stuck with a very old version, and the amount of crashes is just unacceptable. Not to mention that it's a memory hog, and that doesn't play well with the Pi 3's mere 1GB of RAM.
    • Dillo is very fast, but it only supports basic HTML. No JS, no Flash no HTTPS...
  • Netflix uses DRM. I think you can see the issue with that :)

  • Ubuntu wouldn't be the best choice of OS for streaming anyway. I do believe that Kodi/OSMC has an add-on to take care of the DRM issue, and also decode on hardware, but no guarantees. You might want to read this guide.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – terdon Jul 28 '16 at 15:20

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