Rant – Netflix on Linux…. or not

Here in The Hack Shed, I run ubuntu linux on my main PC. I tend to run Windows on my work laptop but have always been happy with Ubuntu for my tinkering PC. I do run Windows inside a VM as well but don’t tend to fire it up unless I need to run windows software. Most of my needs up here are for web browsing and playing music.

I recently decided to try Netflix to see what all the fuss is about and have been impressed so far… until just now.

Boot up the PC – Check. Run Chrome – Check. Try to play something on Netflix – FAIL!!!

I’m sure most of you know this already but Netflix use Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to play it’s streamed media. Linux does have a version of Silverlight but it doesn’t support the dreaded DRM.

While there are a couple of convoluted ways of streaming from Netflix on linux, they involve running Wine and other things to trick Netflix into letting the data stream to the linux desktop. I don’t want to do that!

Looks like I’m going to have to play my videos from within a VM.

Rant over