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Ubuntu can now stream Netflix videos via Chrome

Oct 10, 2014 — by Rick Lehrbaum 1,715 views

Canonical announced official support for streaming Netflix videos on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, and later, using Google’s Chrome browser v37 and later.

“Thanks to recent efforts at Netflix and Canonical, Ubuntu now supports watching Netflix with Chrome version 37,” stated Canonical in a blog post today. “Chrome is available to all Ubuntu users with up-to-date installations of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS and later.”

Although I haven’t tried streaming Netflix video on other Linux distros, I performed a quick test on my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop, with Chrome Version 38 installed. As you can see below, it worked perfectly.

Streaming a movie from Netflix via Chrome on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

In April of last year, Netflix said in a blog post that it was in the process of migrating away from Microsoft’s proprietary Silverlight technology and had begun transitioning to using HTML5 for delivering its video streams to desktop and laptop computers. “We’ve been working with Google to implement support for the HTML5 Premium Video Extensions in the Chrome browser, and we’ve just started using this technology on the Samsung ARM-Based Chromebook,” stated Netflix’s post.


Ubuntu gets set to move beyond desktops

Canonical’s announcement that Ubuntu can now stream Netflix videos comes as no surprise. The company has invested heavily in its vision of expanding Ubuntu’s territory beyond its current desktop and server market, into the super-high-volume market of consumer devices including smartphones, tablets, TV-streaming boxes, and wearables.

Last month, the Ubuntu project announced that it had completed its first “RTM” (release to manufacturing) of Ubunttu Touch for Phones. That announcement came a week after word leaked that an Ubuntu version of the normally Android-based Meizu MX4 phone was on schedule to ship in December.

Whether or not Canonical’s dream of Ubuntu shipping in millions of consumer devices comes true, the fact that you can now watch Netflix videos on Ubuntu — and presumably on other Linux OSes as well — is welcome news!

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3 responses to “Ubuntu can now stream Netflix videos via Chrome”

  1. Paul says:

    Amazon Prime needs to do the same. I had to install Mono for better use in Ubuntu.

    The Customer Service asked me to download Silverlight. I could not get it to work on Flash. It plays better on Firefox than Chrome.
    Amazon Prime should support HTML 5 like YouTube.

  2. ronnie says:

    why is it only chrome? of all the browsers they have to pick the ultimate spy tool to support netflix?

    • j says:

      well to be fair, if chrome gets the gold for spying, I’d still probably give the silver or bronze to netflix. They live and breathe analytics.

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