Ubuntu gains unofficial Netflix support, PPA coming soon

Nov 17, 2012

It's something that has grieved users for years - the inability to watch Netflix on Ubuntu. Many users have created complicated, and often faulty, ways around the restriction, often going the virtual operating system route. Now Ubuntu users can watch Netflix directly by setting up Firefox and Microsoft Silverlight.

The process isn't as simple as downloading a couple items and opening your browser. Users will have to use a custom version of WINE that makes it possible to use patches necessary for the entire method to work. So far, this works well with 32-bit varieties of the Ubuntu distro, having been tested on 12.20. If you're using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, you're advised to wait for the PPA release, which is "coming soon."

Although you have to do quite a bit of compiling, the process is fairly simple and straight forward. If you can't handle waiting for the PPA to be released, you can do it all manually in the terminal. The process starts by downloading the WINE source (backup your WINE data first), then applying the various patches, of which there are five parts.

At this point, it's all just a matter of compiling, which, as iHeart Ubuntu reports, can take a long time. During the compiling process, you'll end up downloading "libfreetype6-dev," followed next by the man of the hour, Microsoft Silverlight. As of right now, Silverlight 5 does not work, forcing users to use Silverlight 4 instead. Once Firefox and Silverlight are installed, running Netflix is as simple as opening your web browser.

[via iHeart Ubuntu]

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