Netflix arrives on Ubuntu - with a fix

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Ubuntu is without a doubt one of the most popular flavors of Linux, as the operating system is fully capable of running smoothly even on outdated or anemic hardware.

Unfortunately, the desktop browser version of Netflix relies on Microsoft Silverlight, so isn't exactly compatible with Linux, at least up until now.

Fortunately, a developer by the name of Erich Hoover seems to have figured out how to get Silverlight 4 to work with the Firefox web browser in Ubuntu Linux via WINE.

Essentially, WINE can best be described as Linux app that allows users to run certain Windows programs in a Linux-based OS.

As Liliputing's Brad Linder notes, what Hoover’s method lets you do is run the Windows versions of Firefox and the Windows versions of Silverlight in a Linux environment - rather than trying to get native Linux versions of those apps to work with Netflix.

As expected, the install process is somewhat complicated at this point, as you'll have to patch and compile Wine and then install Firefox and Silverlight, with detailed command line instructions here.

However, Linder believes that Hoover will ultimately be formulating a simpler method soon, which will let you install Netflix as an app the same way you’d install any other software on an Ubuntu computer.

"While the tools are currently designed for Ubuntu, this method for getting Netflix to run on a Linux computer should lay the groundwork for bringing Netflix to other Linux distributions as well," he added.