Installing Netflix as an app in Ubuntu Linux

Just a few days after developer Erich Hoover came up with a method for getting Netflix video streaming to work on a computer running Ubuntu Linux, he’s released a simple tool that will install and configure a custom version of Wine, Microsoft Silverlight, and Mozilla Firefox, and configure everything to run as a Netflix app.

In other words, you can now stream movies and TV shows from Netflix on a Linux computer without first installing a Windows virtual machine.

Netflix app

You can find installation instructions and iheartubuntu.

The process is actually pretty simple. You just need to fire up a terminal, add Erich Hoover’s repository, and then install the netflix-desktop app which should download and configure everything else you need.

But while the process is simple… it’s not exactly foolproof. I was able to get a Netflix icon on a computer running Lubuntu, but I’ve been having a difficult time getting Firefox to install properly in Wine.

Update: After installing, uninstalling, and removing files a few times, I managed to get everything working. If you’re having trouble, make sure to check out the troubleshooting tips in the iheartubuntu post and in the comments below the article!

While Firefox is an open source web browser that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, Netflix won’t run in the Linux version. That’s because the desktop version of Netflix (as opposed to the apps for iOS, Android, Chrome OS, and other operating systems), requires Microsoft Silverlight — which only runs properly in Windows.

Netflix Xubuntu

Hoover’s tool makes use of the Wine utility which offers a compatibility layer for running Windows apps on Linux. So you end up running the Windows version of Firefox with Silverlight in order to access Netflix — which launches as a full screen app. You can reduce the size of the screen by hitting F11, or close the app by hitting Alt + F4.

  • mjdinsmore

    Kudos to Erich Hoover!

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.huddleston Greg Huddleston

    This rocks!

  • ddevine

    A better method would be to be for somebody to set up a CDE package so that people can just drop it in and run, but we are talking about the Ubuntu community here so…

    • mjdinsmore

      Be the somebody…

      • ddevine

        I have no interest in Netflix.

  • ARXD

    Nice!!! very good post – Thanks!

  • wallyrulz

    What a great show to prove Netflix works!

    Shiny!

  • turdsamich

    I always figured the way it would end up happening would be a port of the Chrome OS version…guess I was wrong. I tested this out earlier, seemed to work great on my machine.