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On Netflix for Linux

Written by Guillermo Garron .
Date: 2012-11-18 20:43:33 -0400

These days the Internet (at least sites devoted to Linux or technology) have been talking about Netflix being able to run on Linux.

Some examples are:

If you are looking for the instructions, you can find them at:

These are great news indeed, I have been waiting for them for long time. I’m running Debian now, but I usually run Arch Linux. I will try to run Netflix on those two distributions, but, that is another story.

What I think is: Even though these are great news, once again the community had to come with a solution, and not the service provider itself. Why we have to use a patched version of Wine, instead of just running Netflix natively on our Linux boxes?

Well business is the answer to that question, being Netflix supported by Windows and Mac, and most importantly by iOS, Windows phone and Android, and a lot of other entertainment platforms, like:

  • PS3
  • Wii
  • Blue Ray devices
  • LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony TV sets
  • Apple, Roku and other multimedia players

Then the percentage of users on Linux machines, just do not worth the effort to create, but most important to maintain a Linux native application.

Linux is everywhere, is in our Android phones, is in almost 95% or more of the servers on the web, maybe is powering ATMs, and our micro waves, but it is not where we need it. Linux is not in Desktop computers.

The famous Year of the Linux Desktop just never arrived. And now with computers loosing market share against phones and tablets as personal devices to consume media. This may not be important at all if that year finally arrives.

I can say, at least is my opinion, that despite the fact that some Netflix engineers may want to see Netflix on Linux this is not going to happen.

Our only option was the community, and the community once again came with a solution. Maybe as that OMGUbuntu’s post state at the end of the article. We may see another workaround as Chrome OS plugin. If google and Netflix work on this to be available for Chrome or Chromium. (I really do not know if that is possible).

Thanks to the community for this gift, we all know that we can always trust and expect these kind of imaginative solutions from them.

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