Netflix Is Finally Coming to Linux, Minus the Hacks

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 24, 2014

How big is Netflix in terms of the share of Internet traffic that it commands? Recent data from Sandvine Corp. showed that it accounted for a whopping 34% of North America's downloads during the busiest hours of the day in 2014, up from 32% six months ago. However, many Linux users have had to go without it for years.

While there are workarounds for using Netflix on Linux, a Netflix official has finally confirmed to a group of Ubuntu developers that "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed." It's all due to the fact that Netflix is hitching its cart to HTML 5, and it's good news for many users. 

Netflix's Paul Adolph posted the following on an Ubuntu development forum:

"Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed. If this version is generally installed across 14.02, Netflix would be able to make a change so users would no longer have to hack their User-Agent to play."

The reference to hacking a User-Agent has to do with the fact that some Linux users have been able to use User-Agent extensions to effectively trick Netflix into thinking they have Microsoft Silverlight installed, in which case Netflix will work.

But Adolph's post confirms that many Linux users will be able to finally take the direct route to using Netflix on Linux. 

The NSS in Adolph's post refers to Network Security Services, which comes from Mozilla, Red Hat and Google. It's already baked into Ubuntu 14.04, and an upgraded version is to be part of all Ubuntu releases.