Dec 20, 2012

Just in Time for the Holidays: Netflix on Ubuntu 12.10

You cried out, shaking your fists in frustration and finally, after so many failed attempts, - a site dedicated to covering all Ubuntu news - released an announcement in November that Netflix could be installed on Ubuntu 12.10, with the help of WINE, Firefox and Silverlight. With the help of Netflix's programmer, Erich Hoover, released several updates, the last of which reported improvements in the system in early December. Most Linux/Ubuntu fans are probably thinking this is too good to be true, and there is a catch; you have to enable DRM content in Silverlight, which may cause some to grumble, but then again, you can't please everyone.  Netflix has simply provided a high tech alternative to regular old TV, and are now expanding to even more potential viewers.

For the newbie Ubuntu user, provides several comprehensive tutorials on how to easily install Netflix on the Ubuntu's latest version, and what to do if you hit any snags along the way. Jack Wallen at breaks the installation process down into simple steps, while sympathizing with free open source users who will scoff at being required to sign off on security restrictions. There are ways around the legal installation, but you'll have to search to find those tricks on your own.
If this is your first experience using Linux on your desktop and you're having trouble going through any of the installation steps, check out Ubuntu's community Internet Relay Channel (IRC) and connect with another more experienced user via chat or live support for answers to your programming questions in real time. This community is filled with programmers of varying levels so, if one suggestion doesn't work, there are several other ideas you can "test" out.


Before you proceed to installing anything on your desktop, make sure all of your software and programs needed in this installation are updated. When inake sure all of your crucial documents, programs, and other software such as your  are backed up in case anything goes wrong with the download. An upgrade in FireFox is necessary, at least for installation. The easiest way to update everything all at once is using an update manager, like VMware or InstallShield. If you wish to update via command line, open a terminal window on your desktop and take these steps:
  • Issue the command sudo apt-get update
  • Enter sudo password
  • Once the update completes, issue the command sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Accept the updates
If you're prompted to reboot, because of a kernal upgrade, then follow through rebooting your machine.

Install App

You're probably trembling with excitement and rightfully so, since many have tried to install versions of the Netflix desktop app before and did so with limited success. Here are the steps needed for the command line installation of Netflix:
  • Open a terminal window
  • Issue the command sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
  • Hit Enter
  • Issue the command sudo apt-get update
  • Issue the command sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop
After you run these commands, you will see about 129 dependencies necessary for the installation to begin. Enter OK to run these dependencies and the installation process should take place. Depending on your connection's speed, this process should take about an hour. When that's finished, you will want to take these final steps:
  • Open the Unity Dash
  • Type "NETFLIX"
  • Click Install on the Wine Mono Installer (this is necessary for .NET)
  • Click Install on the Wine Gecko Installer (this is necessary for embedded HTML to work properly)
If you get an error at first, Wallen says to OK the error, it seems that this is a glitch that appears for some unknown reason. Also, make sure you back up any work you have written in earlier versions of WINE before you install the updated version. After the local installation is completed, the Netflix application will be in full screen mode. You can hit F11 to get out of full-screen mode. If you're not interested in staying with the latest version of Firefox, feel free to delete the new Firefox icon on your desktop as well. After all of this is completed, if you don't need to check the IRC page, you can kick back and enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and documentaries streamed from Netflix to your Linux/Ubuntu desktop.

Authored by:

Sue Corrie Sue keeps up with what is trending in social media and tech. She promotes open source forms of web design and believes that going low budget is not always the way to go if you want to reach your audience. You do get what you pay for, after all.

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