Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to almost get Netflix Watch Instantly to work in Linux

I can make Netflix Watch Instantly work on my Linux media center.

Almost. Yes, almost. No, I don't have it working. But I thought that with a little help from the community along with instructions on how I've gotten this far might help bring some support to the topic.

Here's how I did it.

  1. Start with your favorite Linux distribution and install the latest version of WINE. I have tried on version 1.1.40 with near success.
  2. Download the latest version of Firefox for Windows and install it into your WINE instance.
  3. Launch the WINE instance of Firefox and browse to about:config
  4. Get past the warning screen, then right-click in the main region. Click New → String. You'll be given two dialogues:
  5. In the first dialogue, enter general.useragent.override
  6. In the second dialogue, enter Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100115 Firefox/3.6
  7. Close Firefox and relaunch it.
  8. Browse to netflix.com, log in, and go to the watch instantly page. Magically, you'll be transported beyond the "OS not supported" page you're used to, and you'll be given the option to install the Silverlight plugin. Do so.

It's about here that you'll notice a crash. Firefox in WINE doesn't like it when the Silverlight plugin tries to install and fails. When you repeat step 8, you'll notice that you actually get to the page where the video ordinarily plays, but the image is scrambled and Firefox soon crashes.

So here's the part where I ask for some support from the amazing Linux community. Does anybody have any suggestions as to where to go from here? I'm not sure what parts of the user agent string are being looked at, but it seems more like the Silverlight plugin for Firefox just doesn't work in WINE. How can we go about making Silverlight work?

147 comments:

  1. Have you tried using Moonlight? http://mono-project.com/Main_Page

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  2. I have not, but I will. I have a suspicion that it will not work on account of it not having DRM restrictions built in. I will try, however, and report back. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Results: Moonlight is Linux-only, so I installed it in my main Firefox install in Mint. I tweaked my user agent string appropriately. Netflix, naturally, doesn't recognize Moonlight as a Silverlight alternative, and it tries to get me to download the Silverlight plugin. This is a Windows binary file which will only work in WINE, which would lead to the same problems described above.

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  4. Moonlight doesn't have the PlayForSure DRM.

    The only way to get movies working on your computer is to quit Netflix and use a torrent site.

    That way, you get what you want and Netflix gets told were to go shove it's Microsoft only DRM.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How about getting a portable Firefox version on Windows and installing the Silverlight plugin while running on Windows?
    After that you could copy the entire folder to your Linux partition/machine and start the portable Firefox that already includes Silverlight under Wine?

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?bShowAll=true&bIsQueue=false&bIsRejected=false&sClass=version&sTitle=&sReturnTo=&iId=14455

    They haven't got it going yet either, but between your idea's and there's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your ideas and theirs.

      Delete
  7. The only way I got it to work crappy was to use a vm setup and it was more work with poor quality rewards........ I have tried many solutions and I will try to work on the problem with you and post my progress here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous that said, ... "where to shove" ...

    Perfectly stated!

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. your blog was linked in the wine bugzilla here: http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=18321

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just gave this a try through wine via Ubuntu 10.04 running wine-1.1.42 and Firefox 3.6.3.

    I didn't need to make the changes in 'about:config'. I browsed to netflix and installed silverlight which didn't give any errors. From there I went back to netflix and received "Player Error" "ErrorCode: 1001". Firefox continued to work after this unless I revisited the play instantly page, then Firefox would crash. This looks like progress...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Running Ubuntu 10.04LTS I get to the same point. I install Moonlight 2 via the website:
    http://mono-project.com/Main_Page
    Restart Firefox.
    Go to about:config and add the entry for general.useragent.override
    Login to netflix and click "play now"...
    I get the circle of dots loading.... then I get the "Player Error" with "Error Code: N8001" "We are sorry but there is a problem with your player."
    "1. Close your browser."
    "2. Then reopen your browser and try again."
    Obviously lacking the DRM.

    hmm... moonlight 3 support for DRM?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just logged on to the IRC channel for Moonlight (http://www.go-mono.org/moonlight/chat.aspx) and found that the room topic is set to: "Moonlight has NO DRM (Netflix) support". Oh well, at least now I don't have to explain to people that I'm using DRM even though I'm against it. I just wish there was some way I could pay for the content honestly instead of being forced to use piratebay.org.

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  13. [Addendum: "Forced" is too strong a verb, I should have put "strongly encouraged to use piratebay". Anyway, I've decided that the show I wanted from NetFlix isn't worth sacrificing my already-stretched-too-thin morals.]

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  14. So before I went and did your approach, I tried downloading Silverlight from microsoft for the hell of it. It failed and Firefox was unhappy about it. When I tried going to the Netflix page after that, I got an error telling me my browser (not OS) was incompatible -- I am using the newest version of Firefox? After I tried your fix, I got this error msg from Netflix:


    Silverlight Player Error

    When you run into a problem loading the Netflix movie player:

    If you are a Mac user, this may be caused by missing system fonts on your computer. If you use a font management system such as Suitcase, you might try the following steps to address this problem:

    1. Check that at least one of these fonts is present in your HD/Library/Fonts folder:
    * Arial (standard, bold, italic or bold italic)
    * Verdana (standard, bold, italic or bold italic)
    2. If none of these fonts are present in the folder you’ll need to install one:
    * Locate one of these fonts elsewhere on your system, for example in the ~/Library/Fonts or /System/Library/Fonts folders
    * Copy or move at least one of these fonts into your HD/Library/Fonts folder
    3. Attempt to play a movie again

    If you don’t use font management software or these steps don’t solve the problem, please call us at 866-579-7113 and we’ll help you solve the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Update! (aka, I should wait before hitting post.)

    I installed Arial and Times New Roman in WINE. When I tried to Watch Instantly (I really want to watch A Streetcar Named Desire, damn it) the blue loading lights came up and then firefox froze. Force quit, tried again, same deal.

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  16. Has anyone tried downloading a stand-alone IE7 or IE8 Package and running the ie.exe through WINE? Silverlight generally works on firefox but microsoft's products always seem to work better with microsoft browsers

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  17. It will not work in WINE but Virtual Machines it will but you need to have Windows install in it but everything from XP S3 down after April 2014 will not be supported.

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  18. My understanding is that Netflix.com is not going to have streaming videos on Linux - they feel it is not in their economic interest - that we are few in number.

    I have created a Yahoo Group to provide alternative TV and Movie Video Streaming sites for Ubuntu Linux OS both free and paying - please feel free to join the free Yahoo group link is below.

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/UbuntuLinux_TVMovieStreamingSites/

    Have a nice day and evening! :)

    Lynne

    ReplyDelete
  19. need a petittion, if you can throw a few thousand people on a web page they will listen

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would have replied sooner, but I was moving.

    Regarding running IE in WINE, you can try IEs4Linux: http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Main_Page

    IE6 works pretty well for me there, but I've had trouble getting anything more recent working. Furthermore, in order to install the Silverlight plugin for IE/Windows, you must use the Microsoft Web Installer Platform (more bloated crap from MS), which runs on .NET 2.0. WINE doesn't work with .NET yet, so you're pretty much out of luck there as well.

    Re: Lynne and Netflix's financial interest in Linux - The Roku player runs on Linux. The problem is not the OS. The problem is that they've opted to use Microsoft's Silverlight platform for streaming video and weighing it down with DRM. The DRM is probably a requirement by the MPAA and other content providers. The exclusion from Linux is undoubtedly Microsoft's problem. It's not in Microsoft's financial interests to support video streaming and DRM craziness on Linux, so Netflix loses customers because of Microsoft's decision. Don't outright blame Netflix for this.

    Re: OmagaSohe and a petition - A petition already exists: http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/petition.html Good luck getting them to listen. They haven't yet. That's the problem inherent in petitioning. Sure, it lets some party know exactly how big the group wanting change is, but it in no way forces the party to take any kind of action. Go ahead and sign it. There's no harm in it. But I wouldn't expect to accomplish anything. In order to support Linux, they would have to completely switch their plugin provider from Microsoft to... what? Flash? HTML5? It's no secret that Flash has performance problems on Linux. HTML5 is nowhere near finalized and currently doesn't (and hopefully never does) support any kind of DRM system.

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  21. Well, I hope someone at NetFlix is reading all of this. Because:

    Dear NetFlix,

    I recently signed up for the one month trial. Netflix streaming now works with every computing platform and network device available including game consoles. However, due to your lack of effort to support Linux I will not be keeping my subscription service with NetFlix. I am not installing windows again because even with Virus Protection there are now viruses out that the virus protection CANNOT stop at all or remove. I don't have time for this. NetFlix, support Linux NOW or find yourself without a customer. If you care about customers in addition to just making a quick buck then fix it now. Don't waste my time with excuses and justifications. Do it or lose a customer. End of Discussion.

    Have a nice day everyone. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. In theory (i have not tried this), you could set up a local network computer (WinXP) and log into it remotely, using rdesktop (tweek your settings accordingly) to play Netflix movies and possible even play MS-only games on. As long as you can get 30 fps, you have a plausible player -- and as long as it is a wired connection, it should work.

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  23. Who is at fault?

    Netflix is responsible for choosing Silverlight
    as their media streaming platform. They chose to
    use software that they knew would not be supported
    universally. They knew that they could not do anything
    legally to make Microsoft expand Silverlight's support for other operating systems (Linux, BSD, etc).
    They (Netflix) could have chose to develop a secure and portable system using existing open software. Instead they chose a prepackaged product that they cannot control. It is now us (the customers and community) that will have to suffer until they change their strategy. Alternate choices might have been to use a solution based on the more widely supported but still closed source Adobe Flash player or an AJAX (or similar) based session tracking setup with standard MPEG (or similar) streaming. Alas this is not the case. Don't forget that the Alternate choices make DRM harder to enforce, even though DRM is not totally unsupported on Linux these days. Chances are that this will not change. What will likely happen is this: In some relatively short period of time (6-12mos?) there will be some real competition for Netflix and that competition will have a solution that will work for more platforms than does Netflix. So continue to fall asleep at the wheel Netflix; continue to offer instant play to only those using Win or Mac, continue to offer Media for streaming several months after it has been available on DVD (LATE), and continue to take a great idea and totally fail to deliver it to market in a way that is truly in your and our best interests. You will find that you can and will end up being pushed off the top of the internet movie-rental mountain that you now stand.

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  24. Perhaps we are all missing something and not connecting the dots (or maybe it's just me!!)

    But, if the Roku plays Netflix Watch Instantly, and the Roku runs linux, how does this happen. How is the Netflix content streamed on a linux platform? SOMETHING must exist to play Netflix content on the linux platform.

    What am I missing here?

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  25. virtual box?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuyPJFhVTxQ

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  26. @Grant - Don't be too hasty to blame Netflix for everything. Yes, they made some choices concerning platform availability, but the businesses that own the intellectual property being streamed place demands on how it is protected during the streaming process and can refuse to sign over the rights to stream the data unless those demands are met. So to some extent, Netflix may only be agreeing to these platform requirements so they can provide service. Don't forget that the Linux market for streaming video is loud, but small. It may not be in Netflix's best business interests to exclude a tiny group in order to retain an audience. But in the end, yes, it does come down to business interests. If you want to take issue with something, take issue with the concept of producing art for profit instead of allowing people to take part in their own culture and the culture of dozens of other countries for the sake of sharing, learning, and growing as a global community.

    @Anonymous - The Roku streams media on Linux, yes, but you're missing the point. The Roku handles the DRM as part of a complete package, and the DRM decoding is probably not handled in the OS. Most likely (and this deserves some research), the DRM is decoded through a hardware device of some kind. That hardware is undoubtedly locked down and proprietary, and all references to the actual process of decoding the DRM is kept out of the driver and out of the kernel.

    @Anonymous - Virtual Box works. I have a working Virtual Box OSE install running Windows XP x64. The problem, though, is that you're still running Netflix on Windows because that's the current requirement. We're trying to make Netflix Instant Watch work natively on Linux. At this point, the technical problems lie in Microsoft's Silverlight plugin and the DRM on the media.

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  27. high netflix CEO was a microsoft employee, he got that job around 2009,

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  28. I blame NetFlix Completely technology is a choice and NetFlix CHOSE to blow off Linux users and ignore them for years. THEY MADE viewers for the Wii, for the PS3 but no player for Linux? The Roku is a Linux BOX. So dont tell me it cant be done. If DRM is important than make it a black box. TO be quite honest I bet DRM can be hacked as all the so called protections have been by people that needed too.

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  29. @Bob - Yes, NetFlix could have used Flash like Hulu. I'm only saying that the copyright owners may have made demands for specific technology. However, I'm inclined to think that it was still largely an internal NetFlix thing. The last Anonymous poster mentioned that the NetFlix CEO, Reed Hastings, is on Microsoft's board, which is kind of telling.

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  30. Ryan, Very good analysis except for one thing: taking exception with creation of art for profit. That is fine for a music recording or something simple, but a multi-million dollar movie (or even a mult-hundred-thousand dollar "low budget" one) will never be made without the expectation of a profit.

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  31. I can't even get Silverlight to install in wine right. I download the installer Run the Installer, I get license agreement and hit install button. Window closes then after a minute the process exits. I get a folder called "Microsoft Silverlight" with a bunch of empty folders inside it. So I don't even get to try watching anything.

    Also I don't get it. Amazon's Video on Demand service uses Flash and you can Rent/Buy tons of TV shows and Movies Including "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes" so obviously it satisfies the wants of some pretty big Movie Companies so why can't Netflix use it? I mean seriously, their already using Amazon's Servers/Server Format to serve their Instant Watching Videos so why can't they use Flash too? It's just so stupid. I mean I wouldn't even mind them giving a quality cut to the Video, I just want to be able to watch my Netflix with my Laptop without having to go to Extreme lengths to get it to work(ie:Virtualbox). They've already made it so you can watch it on Almost every kind of Device out there (You've got you're Ipad, Wii, PS3, HD TV, Blueray Player, Windows, Mac, ect...) it seems Linux is the only one not getting support.
    (PS: If you couldn't guess it Amazon's VOD works on Linux with no problems at all.)

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  32. God damn, this sucks. I've been trying to figure this out too. The only thing that works for me is just running Windows in a VM, but that's a real solution to the problem. I know the only reason there is no Linux support for Netflix is because Reed Hastings is on Microsoft's board of directors.

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  33. Okay, the good news is I have silverlight running in linux. Ubuntu 10.04, wine 1.0.40 (IIRC),firefox 2.0.x. Silverlight 3.x. I installed firefox 2, because of a post saying silverlight doesn't work on firefox 3. Then I went to netflix and downloaded silverlight 3 from them. Silverlight 1 works on linux according to winehq, but it claimed to still not be installed, silverlight 4, from microsoft fails to install. Silverlight 3, still available from netflix, works. I then went to http://bubblemark.com/ and tested it out. Yes, it works. The bad news is that going to the netflix site and trying to play a movie crashes firefox. I'm at a loss for what to try next...

    Regards,
    LP

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  34. P.S. The command line output says that it crashes wineserver.

    Regards,
    LP

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  35. If you do a little research you will find that the Netfix CEO is on Micro$oft's board of directors. I believe that clearly shows it is in neither Netflix or Micro$oft's financial interest to support Linux, no matter what other DRM or IP restrictions the MPAA chooses.

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  36. The best way to get Netflix running under linux is to install PlayOn on a windows machine somewhere on your network, and to use a uPnP compatible player to stream Netflix through Playon, like XBMC. Works great.

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  37. sadly Im with F netflix but that said I give
    toss because for whatever reason all I have is
    4G ram Dual core Athlon but virtual box and
    if you want to be truly FREE. KVM work VERY
    well for me. I got some cheesy 'IT' version
    of XP that was paid for seems perfectly legal
    and really does the job. If it bothers you
    I suggest you go with KVM or Vbox. Good Luck

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am in the same boat. Tried moonlight, VMs etc...

    I signed the petition too. At this point we need to reverse engineer Roku to try and hack something...

    I can't believe Netflix would avoid the entire Linux community!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Here's some Good News. It's been Confirmed that Netflix is working on an Android App. Since the Android Platform is Essentially Linux and there are already ways to Emulate Android on Linux then maybe a way can be figured out to Run the App on Linux. This method has the Best hope of Succeeding from my perspective. You could say "Well, If your willing to Emulate you should just get VBOX and Run Windows that way." But you see in order to Emulate Windows you have to have a Computer with good RAM and other such needs. That wouldn't work for a lot of Linux users because:
    1)A lot of Linux users are using Linux because they have Low End computers
    2)Hate Windows and don't want to touch it just to watch Netflix
    and 3)Running an entire other Computer OS just to watch a Movie is very Inefficient and Annoying.
    Watching Netflix through an Android Emulator is Far less Taxing on the System and it's a whole lot easier, once set up, to Start the Emulator and Run the Netflix App than it is to Boot Windows in VM and then Load a Web Browser or Boxee and then to go to Netflix Website or Load Netflix Boxee App.

    Unfortunately the Android App is still on the Drawing Board and can't be expected soon. Most Likely it will be out December+. However now that Blockbuster has already Released it's own Android App that might encourage Netflix to step-up work on theirs :)

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  40. Running Fedora Core 12, I have successfully built the reqs for PlayOn in wine 1.3.1 src (corefonts, vcrun6, ie7, dontnet20 with sp1 hack, and PlayOn itself) I seem to be stuck with the networking side of it being ssdp (multicast module checks)

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  41. The reason the Roku box works is because of the GPU that it uses. For some reason it is able to decode the DRM.

    I got to the 'Player Error - error code N8001' also.

    My setup: Ubuntu 10.04, FF 3.6.8, User Agent Switcher (set to FF2.0, Win XP), Moonlight 2.0 with all the packages available installed too via Synaptic).

    Before I got the error mentioned above, just like the other guy with the same error, I got the spinning balls too.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I got to the Stupid Error Code as well. Using Ubuntu 10.04, Firefox 3.7, UseragentSwitcher[SetTo:WinXP-Firfox3.0], and Moonlight 3.0 Beta. Player Loads but get the Dumb Error Code and Advice to Restart my Browser. It makes me VERY annoyed that there is squat I can do about it. You can't even use Wine to watch it Anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  43. ^^^Ignore the Above^^^
    ^^^^^^It is Spam^^^^^^

    ReplyDelete
  44. ^^^Ignore the Above^^^
    It references a spam comment which I have cautiously pruned from existence.

    ReplyDelete
  45. PlayonLinux is a really nice frontend to wine that I have been playing with. It includes a manager for running different wine versions. It includes patches and installs for ms software including .net
    What I will test and report back:
    Download and install .NET with PoL
    install the above mentioned IEs for Linux that appears to work more functionally than my past attempt at IE
    install silverlight plugin through wine

    ReplyDelete
  46. Is it possible that the DRM for Silverlight is just a type of encryption and the Roku just has the encryption key built into the GPU?

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  47. im close as well i used
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBMQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Faddons.mozilla.org%2Fen-US%2Ffirefox%2Faddon%2F59%2F&rct=j&q=agent%20user%20switcher&ei=LG3ETNpugp-eB46z3NMJ&usg=AFQjCNHJbJlvb18YEQXW8pf8MnhxeykE5g&sig2=XkitSp5KkCwhy5ZKt7I1Dw&cad=rja

    used wine to install firefox installed both aps on windows firefox and linux firefox

    got the settings from windows firefox now i can trick netflix to think i have a windows firefox. but now i load moonlight http://go-mono.com/moonlight/prerelease.aspx i used the unstable version with the latest releases. and i get it to load most of the way then a get a drm error what the hell not goin to work until we can get someone to hack the sliverlight codecs and add it into moonlight anyone wanna code that i dont think so.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Mainstream software with DRM is never going to support the OSS OS market because it is too easy to bypass. Like downloading a stream with streamripper.. they will not allow it to run on something so easily used to pirate, they're providers would kill them.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "Mainstream software with DRM is never going to support the OSS OS market because it is too easy to bypass"

    I laugh at this non-sense. Currently to watch netflix or iTunes movies on Linux I just use the handy windows DRM breaking tools. There's so many out there and for the moment, at least in my country, it's a grey area falling under the format-shifting type category.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am the same boat as all of you. It has been over a year since I switched to linux, and a couple months ago I purchased a netflix subscription. Up until a few weeks ago it never bothered me for the lack of linux support as I had an xbox 360, and I preferred watching on that anyway, but now the xbox is broken and out of warranty. As much as I'd like to believe Netflix/Microsoft will have a change of heart and allow linux compatibility, I don't believe it will happen.
    My advice is to just save yourself the trouble and purchase the Roku box. The cheapest model is only $60 USD and works with HD/Wifi. It's what I plan to do.

    ReplyDelete
  51. get a Vizio Blue Ray Player $99 and you can play netflix and crappy Blu-Ray too, We have to sacrafice way too much to get good quality from holywood, they own us ... we need to ATTACK through open standards, lol!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  54. ^^SPAM^^
    More Spam. Previous Two Comments.

    ReplyDelete
  55. With the "nightly" build of moonlight and User-Agent switching in firefox, I get all the way to the buffering screen in the player before the browser freezes... hard crash. But that still sounds farther than some of you got, correct?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Wow that really sucks, just like many others I left the windows for good.......and its been a year never missed it, I am not going back for any netflix.....after trial month i don't need it anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Roku uses the ANSI-C version of the PlayReady
    http://www.microsoft.com/playready/licensing/device_technology.mspx
    (I got this from Miguel de Icasa post in some blog).

    ReplyDelete
  58. here is the place:
    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Dec-17.html#comment-26181193

    ReplyDelete
  59. Okay, I am annoyed that netflix is not supported on linux. But, with how hard everyone and their brother has been fighting netflix, I understand why they had to make a few sacrifices. The wait time for movies to show up on netflix? Certainly not netflix's fault, after all they have the best service in town out of anyone. Blockbuster's streaming service/home delivery service is a joke and blockbuster has the full backing of every major production studio in the country. Netflix has been imposed on and restricted by anyone with enough money to say I can live without them. The fact that you still get these movies, albeit late is a true testament to how hard netflix is working. I hate to sound like i work for netflix, but the only possible way to get what we want out of them is to keep backing them financially. Think about what you get for 15 bucks a month. Any 2 movies on dvd sent to your home, postage paid, within 2 or 3 days, and unlimited, unadulterated access to every thing they have gotten rights to stream online. Imagine if you were out renting everything? ha ha. I remember the dark days before netflix. Blockbuster charged you 4~5 dollars a movie and you had to return it. Netflix gives you about 10 movies on disk a month, and as many hours online a month as you can handle, for the price of renting 3 movies from blockbuster. I'd say even without linux support, you're still getting a hell of a bang for your buck. And remember late fees? ha ha. And i thought linux users were intelligent. Also, if i sound like im paid by netflix, look me up on the book. im not, guaranteed. i just happen to support a good idea when i see one.

    ReplyDelete
  60. If you want your cake, and to eat it too, learn how to duel boot fool. And no, im not saying give microsoft your money, even though bill gates is giving half his fucking fortune back to the people that need it, download your self a cracked version of xp if you already threw out your windows. if the only thing you ever have to use it for is netflix, its not much different than using wine.

    ReplyDelete
  61. If you cant figure out how to do that on your own, there is the internet. but honestly if you're running linux and cant figure out how to duel boot, you're simply a snob. Nothing better than a system or console fanboy. Computer's are not used to make a statement like your clothes or charities you donate to, computers are used to make shit easier. Pure, plain, and simple. They are a tool. One should always respect an important tool enough to know what it is, and how to use it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Oh, and if you want to make sure im a real person, go to fbook, type jasen into the search, and look for the guy eating a burger.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Will you Shut-Up!?!?! The whole point is that we don't want to have to Boot an ENTIRE separate OS. It's an inconvenience that we Don't Want. And Personally I can't afford a Computer that Can handle Running VBox and have it stable enough to Watch Netflix on, and the Whole reason I switched to Linux was because I hate how Windows works.

    This place is for Posting about ways to watch Netflix with Linux. Don't make 4 Posts just because you think it's Pointless.

    I understand it's not Netflix's Fault for having to be so involved with DRM but that doesn't Stop us wanting to use the thing we Like on our Native OS instead of Conforming to the Bastards that force Netflix to do what inconveniences us.

    For now I'll just watch Netflix with my (Linux Running)Roku and (Hacked to Run Linux)Kid's Wii.

    So unless you have Something Constructive to say PLEASE be Quiet.

    PS: Sorry for the Rant but that Guy really Ticked me off.

    ReplyDelete
  64. OFF TOPIC:

    I agree, how did this thread get so derailed?

    I thought the topic was "How can I stream Netflix on Linux" not "Why doesn't Netflix work on Linux, should it work on linux, why is Netflix trying to make money, why doesn't Microsoft like open source" wth happened?

    I'm very interested to see where this heads but had to wade through tons of random posts over why Netflix doesn't implement support for Linux or why people should just use windows or a v-machine.

    On Topic:

    As of this date, there doesn't appear to be any workarounds to stream Netflix to a linux box directly without an emulator. The method mentioned in the OP seems to fail out due to improper decoding as a result of failed DRM support. You can get past the "OS not supported screen" because NetFlix thinks your running on Windows (via FF on Wine) but the lack of SilverLight decoding is still present.

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  65. Hope I don't sound stoopid as I am a Linux noob, but, I watch NWI on my Wii...isn't the Wii just a mini Linux system with an Opera browser? Just an idea that I thought might help stimulate conversation. Sorry if it's obvious and I just don't get it.

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  66. Wii's OS is decidedly not Linux, nor is it in the Unix family, nor is it POSIX compliant. It's completely custom, and there's a massive community for people who hack the Wii software; a Google search for those types of terms will reveal much about the inner workings of the Wii's software if you're interested.

    The reason Wii can play Netflix movies is that Netflix ships a disk with the appropriate software. The issue has never been one of OS dependence, necessarily, nor of platform Silverlight) dependence, but of the DRM implementation. The DRM encryption is owned by Microsoft, who perceive Linux as a major threat to their business. They could easily write the software, but it's not in their best interests to. To exemplify, the Roku player, a Netflix sanctioned player device, runs Linux. The DRM decryption takes place on an embedded, dedicated chip.

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  67. Ryan, read my post above. Roku doesn't have a dedicated chip to decode the video streams, it is ANSI-C code version that can be licensed by just 50k dollars from M$.

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  68. You know what would be cool, a USB plug-in device containing the decryption technology (like in the Roku device) and use that to play Netflix instant watch in Linux. Hackers would figure out how the Roku device works (Linux based), get it working with their native Linux desktop, and then some Chinese factories could mass produce the device.

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  69. Scratch that, based on what Luis said. Then the solution is to hack the Roku to obtain the ANSI-C version of the PlayOn thing and getting working under a normal Linux desktop.

    But see, all this hacking just to get something _legal_ that you _pay for_ is just not worth it, and we end up downloading.

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  70. Somebody could raise the money to pay the licensing fee, then make a USB device as you describe. That would be a good Kickstarter project. The problem is the device would have to be relatively inexpensive (say, $10-20) to be viable in competition with Roku, AppleTV, Blu-Ray players, etc. Are there enough Linux users out there who would pay for such a device?

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  71. Good idea Chris, however I guess the combination Linux die-hard user and NetFlix customer is not that common. I would certainly buy this device, but it may would be a brick if M$ change the way things are encoded, or if I leave NetFlix.

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  72. Just popping in to say that I just realized this post is the sixth hit on a Google search for "netflix linux". Hopefully this page has been as helpful as Google makes it seem.

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  73. Netflix probably doesn't want to make any kind of Linux release of their software because the other board members have convinced the owner of Netflix that linux = hackerland ergo loss of profits > bigger customer base. I don't know how it can get any simpler.

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  75. I understand why netflix uses DRM and the whole issue of moonlight not supporting DRM. However I have not seen anyone mention OpenIPMP DRM for linux anywhere in this forum or any other. I haven't had any luck getting this program to work together with Moonlight but it seems like the right direction to go. http://objectlab.com/clients/openipmp/index.htm

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  76. Netflix is unable to provide Linux support for one simple fact. There are to many cookie cuts of Linux in order to find employee or employees that can help provide proper customer support. Also you have to take into consider that the Windows and Mac home users system far out weigh the Linux user base. Thus constituting no real finical gain from having staff for Linux Customer Support

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  77. @Anon - They don't have to support ALL Linuxes. As a matter of fact, they don't have to support Linux at all. There have been numerous offers from the community to make the system work on Linux. Even if Netflix chose to support, say, Ubuntu, this would be enough for it to work on more Linux-based OSes. I don't think that the financial cost of support is even an issue.

    Because the problem, as has been demonstrated time and time again, is that the technology that Netflix runs on has been designed to not work on Linux systems. Many theories have been put forth here ranging from the conspiratorial "CEO of Netflix is on Board of Directors at Microsft" argument to the "Linux users hate DRM and Netflix can't work without DRM" argument.

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  78. That's right Ryan. For example Hulu gives a program called HuluDesktop in case you want to watch the movies through a program which is not your browser. It gives you the binaries for Windows, Mac and Fedora and Ubunut Linux. I run Gentoo Linux and it works out-of-the-box in my Gentoo.

    I've been testing the HuluDesktop since a couple of weeks and so far no problem at all. Stable and efficient all the time.

    Considering that Hulu has in its catalog movies and TV series that care for Copyrights and that Hulu makes far less money than NetFlix we realize that copyrights are not an issue at all.

    It is matter of customer care. Try to solve any issues with NetFlix through telephone and you'll see that they are very arrogant.

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  79. if we get the DRM, then it might be possible for someone to put it into moonlight. Luis says it can be bought from m$. If the DRM can be purchased, and integrated into moonlight. It seems like it would be solved, but it probably checks for the os at a deep or hidden middle level based on it's behavior. This is just a total gut level guess, so I'm not trying to make anyone feel humiliated or humiliate myself. Gladly bypass this comment if it seems nonsense, ignorant, or isn't good enough in any other way. If you felt this sorry for wasting your time.

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  80. I guess the drm could be changed :\

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  81. DRM does exist in linux but i dont know how to integrate this into firefox and moonlight. Media s is one and openipmp is the other open source drm program. The first one media s is for codecs and the second is for adding drm to other platforms. Maybe some here that is more of a pragrammer than me can benifit from this information.

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  82. i have tried everything to get this to work FUCK NETFLIX

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  83. how fucking sad you idiots.

    netflix = fail.

    fuck it.

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  84. @sixwornsermon

    If you don't have something Constructive to say Don't Say it At All. The reason this thread is here is because we like Netflix but want to find a way to Run it on Linux. If you don't Like Netflix Fine, you can move on Thinking we're all stupid, but please don't Curse at us because of that.

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. You could also download BOXEE and run Netflix thru that (I wil test and report the results!)

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  87. @Asa, I'm quite sure that Boxee for Linux does not support Netflix.

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  88. Boxee doesn't support it. You still need silverlight.

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  89. Boxee box now supports Netflix. http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2011/02/14/boxee-now-with-100-more-netflix-support/

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  90. I'm going to give this a shot tonight. It seems likely that Silverlight is still going to be required, and that this will only work on Windows and Mac Boxees, but there's no harm in checking. Will report back.

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  91. Just a note: seems from the Netflix developer's forum the content providers limit the OS to windows and mac. So, is there a way to fool netflix by showing an approved OS?

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  92. the only way i know how is through virtualbox, and as an anti-windows man i refuse to buy windows, if there's a way to man windows through the virtualbox without having to break one of the principles of running linux in the first place then there's your solution, otherwise i'll be looking forward to your success

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  93. For anyone that hasn't heard, Amazon has an unlimited streaming service now, theres a lot of the same titles and they just launched. Works on Linux.

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  94. odd. It works on OSX... which is based on *nix... Has no one attempted a port to Linux from the OSX version?

    There's lots of support to port linux apps to OSX... how'bout going the other direction?

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  95. Like Ryan said in the beginning it is not going to work until you port the PlayForSure DRM restrictions into linux. Yes we all know about Moonlight but it does not work for this. The only thing I know to do would be to de-compile Silverlight and then transcribe the code into Moonlight. Then make Firefox tell Netflix that you are using windows or Mac OSX so that it doesn't auto iggy your request. I have thought about buying a Roku and trying to get the programs off of it and onto my desktop computer. Or if you want to give up just use a Roku or switch to Amazon. Just to let you know i think giving up is for loosers.

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  96. efff netflix im done there is so much free stuff and websites that run on google chrome with ubuntu netbook 10.10 project free tv hulu and many more if you want to pay go amazon its cheap lets forget about netflix efffffff them

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  97. Join my facebook page Add Netflix support to Linux so we can make a statement together. http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/?act=63651803#!/pages/Add-Netflix-Support-to-Linux/131631793574946

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  98. There's an existing Facebook group with over 1,800 members: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Netflix-To-Linux/128791593812850

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  99. I don't have a Facebook account.

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  100. Don't just sign the petition, also take some time and email them as it is quit difficult to ignore a constant stream of email from individuals.

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  101. I find it kind of ironic... I'm reading & posting this from ubuntu... and the damn ad below this thread is a Netflix ad.

    :(.. even the internet ads are mocking us.

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  102. Holy crap! This discussion has been going on for a YEAR! Yet, it seems nothing has changed.

    My wife and I have a netflix account. She has windows and xbox. I run linux for all of the same reasons I've seen listed above.

    So far I've tried all the same things everyone else has and gotten just as far - firfox in wine crashes. I tried to install silverlight 4. That doesn't work. It says Silverlight 3 is already installed (Which I seem to remember installing the last time I tried my hand at cracking this. I'm still open to new ideas but putting windows on my computer is not an option. I don't have the hardware resources for and I refuse to pay or pirate it.

    Philosophically speaking, I'm paying for netflix. I'm not pirating anything nor attempting to infringe on anyone's copyrights. As a paying customer, I don't see what anyone has to lose by allowing linux users to use the service they pay for just like windows/ mac/ xbox/ wii/ etc.. users do. Just my opinion. sorry to go off topic.

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  103. The ad at the bottom of this page is for Netflix. I think that pretty much says it all

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  104. 2 Anons up: The DRM at the root of the technological problem encourages piracy. Cory Doctorow explains this phenomenon extremely well in the first article in his non-fiction book Content (http://craphound.com/content/download/) which you can download in a variety of formats for free under a CC license at the above link. I highly recommend it.

    1 Anon up: The ads here are generated by Google based on the content on this page. Obviously, that's going to have a lot of hits on the word "Netflix," but I see the irony.

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  105. I don't know what DRM has to do with hijacking boats. Maybe I should ask the Somalians I am sure they might know. Thanx for the free book though

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  106. Well I guess they are forcing me to keep pirating stuff. Bittorrent is workingfine. I was hoping I could find a legal way to watch TV.

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  107. Microsoft is a monopoly and maybe some sharp lawyer should get involved and figure this out for all of us. Don't let these large corps run your life....FIGHT BACK

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  108. Damnit. All I wanted was a decent, legal way to watch movies on demand, w/o having to drive to BallBuster.

    They're not forcing me back into MS.

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  109. Eric ChristensenMay 10, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Good news everyone!

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/05/netflix-chrome-plugin-will-bring-on-demand-video-to-linux/

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  110. I don't see anything like an official announcement that this will be supported on Chrome for Linux. It's perfectly possible that individual Chrome and Android device manufacturers will license Netflix-compatible DRM without making a general purpose Linux plugin available.

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  111. Eric ChristensenMay 10, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Cautiously optimistic. ;)

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  112. I've just spent a while reading all of the above posts... and everyone seems to be under the impression that Netflix doesn't want to support Linux. Please understand that this is not the case and they are a Redhat server and streaming to Linux users would be easier and faster for them. They'll even tell you this! The owners of the rights to all the movies, not Netflix, and Microsoft have a deal. So Netflix, because of license rights can not stream to a Linux PC. It can however to a game console which is still Linux in a form but licensed. It's all political. Also Microsoft is the owner of Moonlight and refuses to relase a newer version purposely because of this issue. Microsoft created Moonlight and a few other opensource apps just to say that they are out there in the open source world. It's total BS and all comes down to Microsoft (just like the good ol' USA)wanting total control over everything for their own twisted profit interests.

    It's kinda funny. The Rico Act passed by congress in the 1970's was created to battle the Mafia and how they did "business". Now take a close look... Microsoft, Our current govt and some sate govts. do the very same thing but call it taxes and other stupid things. At least the mob told us to our faces that they were going to take a percent or get wacked!

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  113. I wanted to point out that Moonlight was not made by Microsoft. Moonlight was created by Novell who made a deal with Microsoft to obtain the necessary code in order to develop an Open Source implementation of Silverlight. However Microsoft does not wish to release their DRM, especially to an OpenSource software.

    Since Netflix's deals with the Movie Co. requires the Anti-Piracy protection their only option at this time is to use Silverlight's DRM on any Open System (ie: PCs/Macs). As our Game Consoles and Set-Top-Boxes are Closed Systems this isn't an issue for them.

    The above is why Netflix is hard at work developing an HTML5 implementation of providing content. The recent Android App is proof of this Progress. Also the news that Netflix has joined with Google in order to excelerate this process is exciting.

    In my opinion an HTML5 cross-platform system is not too far away.

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  114. The more Netflicks goes into th EU and the more competition arises, the more impotant the Linux user will become. Time is on our side. Yes it is...

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  115. Has anyone tried th add the DRM stuff onto the moonlight programming?

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  116. Hey, I haven't read most of this thread, but I ALMOST have it working.

    Download firefox portable, then follow the steps on this page to get silverlight installed embedded in the portable app: http://portableapps.com/node/14188

    I then load that in wine.

    The thing loads, but every time netflix loads it says "once installation is complete restart your browser" and never gets through. THe player starts loading and everything.

    SOmeone much smarter than me should be able to make this work.

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  117. after I followed your directions.. I opened Firefox App on Ubuntu without using wine, I notice in the plug-in Silverlight was in there without me installing it, I opened netflix, use your string codes to get passed the blocks... tried to play a movie, it acted like it was going to begin but then I got....Silverlight Installation Problem
    Error Code: 2105

    You have encountered an issue specific to Microsoft Silverlight, the software used to watch movies on the Netflix website. This issue is often resolved by uninstalling and then reinstalling Microsoft Silverlight on your computer.

    To uninstall Microsoft Silverlight on your Windows computer, please follow these steps:

    Close any currently open internet browser windows
    Click on the Start button.
    Select Control Panel.
    Select Programs & Features.
    Locate and click on Microsoft Silverlight
    Choose Uninstall.

    After completing the above steps, attempting to Watch Instantly on www.netflix.com will prompt you to reinstall Microsoft Silverlight.
    ... So close, I suppose I'll just open it on my Iphone or dvd player.

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  118. I have ubuntu 11.04 running windows xp in Virtual Box and netflix flix streaming is good to go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuyPJFhVTxQ

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  119. @Anonymous
    Great, but what we want to do is run Netflix Natively in Linux without Virtualization. Using an Emulator to Run Windows defeats the Point. Plus you have to have a newer more powerful computer(which I don't).

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  120. I got Netflix working native in Linux. Thanks for the help!

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  121. @Anonymous, care to explain how? In over a year, I've yet to figure that one out.

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  122. Seriously. please. do tell.

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  123. He is full of crap. He didn't get it to work native

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  124. Netflix is now available on ChromeOS! Possible Linux work-arounds could be made.

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  125. Just tried using netflix in chrome on linux, doesn't quite work. Anyone know how to get Netflix to think you're running Chrome OS? Think User-agents would be enough?

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  126. Ignore that last...I'm fairly certain Google provided something, not Netflix persay, because of the "upgrade" part that's necessary.

    Someone might bother checking whether or not Chrome OS can be bootstrapped inside the existing browser environment, or if you have to run Chrome OS at root level.

    Oh well it was worth a try, back to not caring too much...silly Netflix streaming. :P

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  127. Possible Linux work-arounds could be made.

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  128. Why doesn't the linux community reverse engineer silverlight and make it compatible for linux? Instead of trying to find ways around it spit in Microsoft's face and hack it. It seems everything that Microsoft puts out can be hacked why not Silverlight? Why should the linux community standby and wait for Microsoft or Netflix to do something when they can do it themselves? Seems like a fun challenge for the hacking community.

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  129. The comment above mine should be deleted as spam...

    One solution that DOES work is to download the Android SDK (for linux) and use the Android emulator + Netflix app.

    Or, if you actually own a rooted Android phone and you're tech savvy, get one of the many apps to display what's on your 'droid screen to your computer and just run it through the phone. This worked for me with choppy video, but it didn't seem to be a bandwidth issue nor was it a processor issue on my HTC Sensation so I'll be experimenting with different apps until I find one that works smoothly.

    HTH!

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  130. We really should not have to go through this!

    Goodbye netflix subscription and move to torrents.

    Finally figured it out - just be as moral as them!

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  131. Alright, i read every one of the posts here, The ONLY thing that seems remotely plausible anymore in this conversation is to get user agents to trick netflix into thinking im chromeOS because hey, its linux and its cloudbased. so therefore if it acts on cloudbased systems, game consoles, PSPs, PS3(because lets face it, prior to firmware 3.5 it was opensource), and Mac OS X (which is given DRM via Apple) then FOR GOD SAKES, get on the google (yes i said THE GOOGLE) ask it for the codes to Google ChromeOS and determine what it uses to simulate DRM. Or torrent.

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  132. So if anyone is wondering, i have a few ideas. For re-enginnering Silverlight find someone who knows what to do with .msp files for it is inside a .msi the files that are declared within the .msp file is located possibly in the silverlight.7z which is inside the silverlight.exe

    to trick netflix i installed the user agent switcher on firefox and switched the UA to browsers->Windows->Firefox 7

    It prompted me to install silverlight.

    Here's my sources:
    http://techpatterns.com/forums/about304.html -> current list of user agents

    googled user agent plugin firefox

    netflix.com

    Best of luck im gonna try what the last guy said to do.

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  133. UPDATE!!!!

    if you have a chromebook find the netflix video player code and share it out to the world!

    The ChromeOS user agent is:"GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 2900 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; CrOS i686 9.10.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/532.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/4.0.253.0 Safari/532.5"

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  134. GUYS!!!!! Use XBMC... they have a netflix app called XMBCflicks i think I(http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/43724/how-to-view-netflix-watch-instantly-in-xbmc/) It works really well, and xbmc runs in all major platforms as well as a standalone version! I know it's not the perfect fix, but it works :)

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  135. @Emmanuel
    Yes XBMC is available for Linux, but the Netflix Addon you suggest is Windows/Mac only. It uses the Silverlight player just like the Web Browsers do and hence gives us Linux users the same problem. Silverlight DRM is only available for the Windows/Mac Silverlight Plugin and not for the Linux Moonlight plugin. Hence the Netflix Addon won't work in Linux XBMC either.

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  136. I have no words for this great post such a awe-some information i got gathered. Thanks to Author.
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    ReplyDelete
  137. Has anyone considered using a different browser under wine? I'm going to try it. Chrome for now; will report back soon.

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  138. I'm wondering if there's anything else i can do. I have it at "The Silverlight plugin has crashed"... that's it.

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    Replies
    1. As of right now the Silverlight plugin doesn't work in WINE. There literally isn't anyway to watch Netflix in Linux at the moment without Booting Windows or ChromeOS in a Vitual Machine.

      If only Netflix allowed the ChromeOS plugin to work in normal Chrome. I wouldn't mind a seperate app that took complete control of my system either. I just don't get why Netflix is the only service under the sun that uses Silverlight. Amazon, Hulu, and countless others have no problem using Flash DRM and they also have no issue getting on tons of devices so Netflix can't use that as an excuss. It just doesn't make sense.

      Delete
  139. hollywood is garbage anyways. read a book.

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