It’s not official but it’s true: you can make Netflix work on Linux. For the past few years, Linux users had been virtually begging Netflix to make its services available on the open source platform. This hasn’t happened and there are no signs that Netflix intends to comply with their request in the near future. While it would be more convenient for Linux users if Netflix officially opens its doors to them, there is a way around the current requirements which could enable you to run Netflix on Ubuntu.
Netflix provides its streaming services through the Silverlight technology created and developed by Microsoft. Naturally, Microsoft users were among the first to be able to stream movies and other videos on Netflix through Windows. Over the years, Netflix has also opened its doors for Apple’s Mac OS X. However, they have shown no intent to add open source OS to that list by offering services to Linux users.
In fact, a report emerged earlier this year which clearly showed that Netflix was against opening up its services to Linux. At that point, it would have become clear to the developers who contribute to Linux that there is no chance that Netflix is going to take the initiative. There have been numerous attempts to get Netflix to work on Linux, mostly by using a Windows virtual machine. All of them have failed due to various reasons.
However, that has changed and developer Erich Hooper has found a way to make Netflix work on Linux without relying on external help. Be warned though, that it does require you to perform complex tasks including writing codes. Hooper’s solution makes use of Wine along with some patches of Microsoft Silverlight and Mozilla Firefox.
To make it work, the developer patched and compiled specific source code which would make the three resources work in tandem. At this point, you might feel that making it work is already beyond your realm. But if the reports are to be trusted, the developers are working on a repository which would enable any non-geek to make Netflix run on his/her Linux device without hassle.
So far, the solution has only been tested on 32-bit Ubuntu. The developer is confident that the solution would work just as well on other Linux distributions too. How far he proves to be correct is anyone’s guess. It would take some time before this becomes a solution viable enough to be used by all Linux users. Till then, they have to do without Netflix.
[Image via iheartubuntu]