So, not sure if this is the right place to ask, but hear me out...

Suppose I have a relatively thin client machine (like a Raspberry Pi) and I want to run Netflix or one of the other streaming services that don't really work natively. Would it be a terrible idea to spin up a the cheapest instance type of a cloud machine on AWS or another service that would do the heavy lifting, and then connect via ssh X forwarding to run Chrome to run Netflix? What sort of issues should I expect to run into there?

I haven't really seen any tutorials for that sort of thing, so I'm assuming there's a good reason but it seems feasible on paper at least.

1 Answer 1


That's a very bad idea.

Video streaming deploys significant client-side buffering for the stream to compensate for server and network lags.

Opposed to that, X forwarding is intended for running interactive applications remotely, so for obvious reasons, it implements a compromise regarding buffering, with focus on a (comparably very) short latency.

It you terminate video stream buffering remotely and map it to a mostly unbuffered protocol, user experience will drastically suffer.

A feasible approach would be to transcode a given stream by running some kind of media server compatible with the source and destination formats, such that your client can then again buffer but has less load. But don't undersetimate the costs of AWS.

  • That's the kind of technical info I was looking for before going down this rabbit hole. Thanks! Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 17:50

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