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PPA for Netflix Desktop App

Thanks to Erich Hoovers work on this original Netflix desktop app, Pipelight is a project that brings Silverlight to any Linux browser that supports the Netscape Plugin API.

What it means is once you follow the steps to install Pipelight, you can just watch Netflix right in the browser of your choice. Learn how to install it here....




Original article 11/18/2012....

Yesterday, developer and programmer extraordinaire Erich Hoover and I spent several hours working out all of the Netflix Desktop kinks. Most users will have no problems with installation now.

Here is how to install the Netflix Desktop App on Ubuntu. Open a terminal and run these commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

Once installed, go up to the top left of your screen and open your Unity dash and search for Netflix and run the app. It will load up everything needed on the first run. After logging into your Netflix account and selecting a video to play, Silverlight should ask you to enable DRM content. Please enable. Netflix movies should work fine now :) Congrats!

The Netflix app starts in full screen mode. You can exit out of the app completely by pressing ALT+F4. You can also press F11 to exit out of full screen mode.

If you have any questions please post them in the comments and we'll try our best to answer them.

Erich Hoover recommends donating to WINE Development Fund...


You can also "thank" Erich for his hard work by donating to his ChipIn...


* as a total side note, this was the 400th article for iheartubuntu.com. Yay! :)


 If you had previously tried to install the Netflix Desktop App via our terminal commands from the earlier post, we recommend running the line below in a terminal to clear out any unexpected errors BEFORE trying to install the Netflix Desktop app via the PPA method...

rm -Rf ~/.wine-browser


We have tested the PPA on several systems now. From my personal experience, it works great on an older 32bit laptop with Ubuntu 12.04 with only 1GB memory and a 1.86ghz single core processor. The Ubuntu 12.10 - 64 bit installation was nice and smooth and works great too. Ive even tested this out on an Acer InspireOne with an Atom processor and managed to get it working. See note 3 below on that.


For users who have been upgrading Ubuntu over the years from previous versions, you could still be using the older EXT3 file system. Your Netflix-Desktop app installation should detect your filesystem and WARN you of changes that you need to make manually. If you dont make the changes, trying to play a video could give you a blank app screen or end up with a netflix error code of "N8156-6022".

This is a rare situation. Newer Ubuntu users using EXT4 shouldnt see this problem at all.

On some systems it's necessary to add a special mounting flag to gain extended attribute support, to do that you'll want to edit your fstab to add support for the extended filesystem attributes.

WARNING! You could screw up your system if you dont do this properly! You have been warned!

Edit the fstab file as root:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

...and modify the line with your primary EXT3 file system. On that line where it says "errors=remount-ro" make the addition of ",user_xattr" so the result should look something like this:

UUID=94f7fc1e-fa27-4b24-99f3-4b461665a4a4       /       ext3    errors=remount-ro,user_xattr       0       1       # /dev/sda1

So that part of the line with you file system should go from this:

/       ext3    errors=remount-ro       0       1

to this...

/       ext3    errors=remount-ro,user_xattr       0       1

After you've made that simple change, save the file and exit out of it. Now in the terminal just remount your main filesystem:

sudo mount -o remount /

If you receive any errors about remounting, go back into your fstab and make sure you added the ,user_xattr correctly.

Now remove the old Netflix Desktop profile:
rm -Rf ~/.wine-browser

Start up the Netflix Desktop App and you should be good to go!

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  1. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Excellent work guys! I will be installing this and testing and also donating to both wine and Erich!

  2. I can't say thank you enough.

  3. Thanks guys. I will try it too.

  4. Hi,

    Thank you fr your hard work at bringing Netflix to Linux users.

    Unfortunately, your solution does not work for me.
    I've been trying to run the app on a ubuntu 12.04 64x computer. I did install the package without error (at least on second attemp after I got a missing font during install), and could open and log in to Netflix.
    When I chose my movie, I got the Silverlight question about DRM and chose to enable. Then nothing happened (I could see my desktop without its taskbar, but had to ALT+F4 to get my taskbar back and interact with my desktop again). I tried to reinstall; sometimes the DRM question window just did not go away after I clicked on 'Enable'. After a second attemp to run the program ajd play a movie, I only got a messy view on my desktop.

    Thank you anyway.

  5. I installed this (ran the program through terminal) and it worked fine. However, when I open netflix and go to watch a video, it opens the video screen and presents the error code 1001. Do you know how to fix this so that I can watch videos?

  6. Thank you soooooooo much! I can code without rebooting into Windows now!

  7. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Is There a version of this that works with keyboard only? This would make the solution very usable with anyone with a htpc setup.

    1. There are Greasemonkey scripts that add keyboard functionality. Just do CTRL+L and type in "about:addons" to get to the addons window to install it. Then go to the Userscripts website and search "Netflix".

  8. Now if they only make a Chrome version. Sadly this work around is a slap in Linux users faces. Come on Netflix your services already work on Linux just give it to us already. Windows is dying giant and more people will be using Linux or Mac. It will take Microsoft to fall before it can reinvent it self.