I'm having trouble finding anyone who has successfully been able to watch Netflix Streaming in Linux, which is a bit surprising. I had trouble installing WM11 under Wine because of the Windows Genuine test, though I know people have successfully passed the test using Wine before.

Also, there is the fact that the Netflix stand alone device, the Ruko, is Linux based, which shows it is possible.

Does anyone have any experience getting Netflix Streaming working?


migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 11 '09 at 18:03

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  • 2
    This is not a programming question. This should be closed – Anonymous Aug 11 '09 at 17:56
  • Ultimately it is, because the answers probably lie in the code that the Ruko uses. – Dan Aug 11 '09 at 17:59
  • Virtualizing is an option. – Sathyajith Bhat Aug 11 '09 at 21:12
  • Is this question related? superuser.com/questions/8962/… – Andrew Grimm Aug 12 '09 at 4:17
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    @miyalys this is from 2009 when Netflix was just starting streaming and were primarily known for mailing DVDs at the time. That was just the new streaming service. – Jarvin Jan 21 '17 at 16:34

It's not currently possible to run Netflix streaming in Linux either natively or through WINE. (Note that while the Roku box runs on embedded linux, the code for the netflix streaming isn't open)

Although the Windows version is based on Silverlight, the linux port of Silverlight (Moonlight) does not have the DRM stack that is being used (See this comment from the Moonlight lead Miguel De Icaza)

The best solution is probably running Windows in a virtual machine. People have had success getting it working on XP in Virtualbox


It is possible to watch netflix on Linux natively. WINE is a binary compatibility layer that natively runs windows binaries on POSIX environments such as BSD variants, Linux, and Darwin. There is a set of patches that allows you to install silverlight 4 in WINE. After this, you can install FireFox (windows version) to utilize the plugin. This will give you a browser that runs at native speed and capable of streaming netflix. Here is my reference... http://how-to.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_watch_Netflix_(Watch_Instantly)_in_Linux

If you're running ubuntu 12.10, there's a PPA and installing it is as simple as

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

Otherwise you may need a patched version of wine to run the windows versions of firefox and silverlight.

The site is for Ubuntu users, but I myself am a debian (compiled from scratch) user and have gotten it to work by patching WINE manually. With a little searching on google, there are people that have gotten this to work on other distro's such as Fedora and Arch. By reading their tutorials, this might help users of similar distro's get this running or compile binaries for distro's such as mageia, mandriva, slax, slackware, and gentoo. Good luck with Netflix, and keep me posted if you find a way to use the silverlight plugin with a rekonq =)

In addition certain ARM platforms have a built in hardware DRM implementation called TrustZone into the SoC design. This allows developers of ARM boards (such as mobile android devices, and Roku) to stream netflix on top of a Linux based operating system.

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    I've taken the liberty of editing in the stuff from the other post, and modifying your answer to better fit the way things are done in SE. Its good to include essential informationr rather than givng just a link (which you did partially), and we don't generally use signatures or ask people to e mail us solutions. – Journeyman Geek Jan 26 '13 at 6:47
  • Netflix now works out-of-the-box on Chrome, and also on Firefox (IIRC, after changing a setting). – That Brazilian Guy Jan 13 at 17:20

The other answers are outdated, in the sense that there are now native, "easier" methods.

Chrome in Linux can now stream Netflix natively, and Firefox (starting from version 50) can play it back too via the following steps:

  1. Visit Netflix.com, login and try to stream any content. If DRM content hasn't already been installed and enabled it will prompt you for enabling it, which you must accept.
  2. The default user-agent of Firefox currently makes Netflix try to use Silverlight. To circumvent this you need to send a different user-agent when watching Netflix:
    For this you need a browser addon such as User Agent Switcher or the more general Modify Headers. With either of those you need to change the user-agent part of the header to something like:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.3

And then it should work.

Source for Firefox solution

  • According to this answer you don't need to change the user-agent anymore, but rather need to change a setting on about:config. – That Brazilian Guy Jan 13 at 17:17

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