Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Netflix Linux Conjecture: How Netflix snubs the Linux comunity

Filed under

Netflix has a feature that allows members to stream movies directly to their PCs. To accomplish this, they use Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. Silverlight is basically a web-application framework that provides functions similar to that of Adobe Flash.

Now, with that out of the way, let me give you the gist of the conversation between myself and Mr. Swasey:

ME: Hello, I am a freelance writer for Techrepublic (CNET),, and and I get a LOT of readers asking why Netflix does not support Linux. I plan on doing an article on this very subject and was wondering if I could get your official statement on this very subject.

Steve: Jack, Netflix wants to be ubiquitous on any screen you want to watch TV shows and movies on and we’re working to get on as many platforms as we can. However, Linux currently does not have a Microsoft Silverlight plug-in that’s comparable with Netflix playback. Please let me know if you have other questions.

ME: Steve, Have you looked into Moonlight yet? It is a collaboration between Novell and Microsoft With this plugin you are able to view Silverlight content on Linux. This works as a Firefox plugin and works quite well. I can even go to the Microsoft Silverlight site and view content with this plugin. With that being said, how can you not support this when Microsoft itself allows the streaming of their content using the Moonlight plugin? Thanks for your input on this. It will make a very widely read and anticipated article as there are a LOT of Linux users out there who feel they’ve been shunned with services like yours.

rest here

re: Netflix snubs the Linux comunity

Yeah, all 197 of them should have their mom's cancel their subscriptions.


198, I'm one of them. lol

Big Bear

I love it when companies

I love it when companies practice OS discrimination. You can't ride on this bus because you use Linux.

It's simply business

It's not discrimination - it's simply business.

There just isn't enough Linux users (kidding aside) for them to worry about.

With the economy doing some major sucking, you can bet your last free Unoobtu CD that if there were enough Linux Desktop users to be profitable, Netflix would do so.

So although the original article writer claims there's a HUGE number worldwide, I'm afraid real life data doesn't back that up.

Of course you could always try and get Linux users classified as handicapped - then you got some weight to shove around with your discrimination accusations.


Yes, it is a degree.

but, no business, especially one so involved in tech to deliver a service or product intentionally limits the potential number of customers that could be paying customers.

Tech is ALWAYS in flux. To say they don't want to provide access to as many potential paying customers as possible when it is an issue that is addressed pretty easily and not expensively, as the offers to make it Linux compatible while maintaining their DRM concerns has been offered to them.

I don't know about you, but if somebody offered my business a way to access more paying customers from a wider tech base at low to no cost while still maintaining my content standards, I'd jump for it. Like you said, it's just business and more customers paying for Netflix service is more business.

I can't agree that in the Netflix situation that it's "simply business" when so much is to be gained and nothing lost by making a product/service available to more people, but yet they still don't want to do it.

When it comes to web delivered content, who cares what OS is on the clients computer as long as it is able to carry said content in a way that preserves the requirements?

Linux can be made capable of doing that, at little or no cost to Netflix.

Sorry, sounds like the "good ole boy" club at it again.

Big Bear

Crystal Ball

"Linux can be made capable of doing that, at little or no cost to Netflix."

So do you have inside corporate knowledge or did you use the Linux fanboy wishing well to get that tidbit?

I'm guessing you have no real facts and are simply regurgitating the standard fanboy answer.

Do you really know all about Netflix's technical infrastructure? Their technical staff? Their programmers? Their contract specifics with all the movie distributors requiring DRM? Did you put together a spreadsheet on the costs to add that little feature for 198 customers? Did you factor in the maintenance costs for both the back and front ends? And don't forget customer support - did you add in the training to get your customer support staff up to speed? And which flavour of Linux will you support? Which desktop? Which hardware platform?

Do you really think that Netflix is such a stupid company that if it was indeed "little to no cost" to add even a few thousand users they wouldn't be jumping all over it? They have after all won numerous business accolades for their business design, their packaging and distribution methods, their customer UI, etc. So of course such a company would always be on the look out to squeeze out even a few more pennies in profit.

And that's the keyword, PROFIT. If all the factors on this "little decision" don't even show a glimmer of profit, why would they go to a "not so little expense" in adding it?

Your logic is flawed beyond reason.

I'm afraid you're wrong Big Bear, it is simply business, and I'm quite sure the numbers were not in favour of supporting such a tiny, fickle, whiny, "free as in beer" group that the Linux users are known to be.

"So do you have inside

"So do you have inside corporate knowledge or did you use the Linux fanboy wishing well to get that tidbit?"

read the actual article and you will see that it was referenced that offers were made by developers to help create exactly that software.

Outside of being argumentative and snide, you might try to pay attention, you may actually learn something.

and while we're discussing business motivations, tell us with your inside knowledge why any business would not want to have access to the widest pool of customers possible?

Do you know something you're not letting the rest of us know or are you still being an apologist for companies who would rather have no competition than provide a better product and stand on it's own merits?

You spend a lot of time complaining and making personally derisive comments about people who post in favor of Linux yet you don't make a case of your own except the typical corporate shill of "that's the way we do it" which is just BS.

I make no apologies for being a Linux and FOSS 'fanboy" because unlike others who can't make something work due to them having some corporation dumb it down for them and hold their hand for their own protection, I have had Linux installed on Servers and desktops for over 5 years in various business, school and home user environments and getting things done quite nicely.

I speak based on first hand experience.

I run Linux and FOSS in business successfully, how about you?

Big Bear

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.8.4

I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.4 kernel. And yeah, sorry about the quicker releases, I'll be away tomorrow and as they seem to have passed all of the normal testing, I figured it would be better to get them out earlier instead of later. And I like releasing stuff on this date every year... All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-4.8.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser: Read more Also: Linux 4.7.10 Linux 4.4.27

New Releases: Budgie, Solus, SalentOS, and Slackel

  • Open-Source Budgie Desktop Sees New Release
    The pet parakeet of the Linux world, Budgie has a new release available for download. in this post we lookout what's new and tell you how you can get it.
  • Solus Linux Making Performance Gains With Its BLAS Configuration
    - Those making use of the promising Solus Linux distribution will soon find their BLAS-based workloads are faster. Solus developer Peter O'Connor tweeted this week that he's found some issues with the BLAS linking on the distribution and he's made fixes for Solus. He also mentioned that he uncovered these BLAS issues by using our Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.
  • SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0 released!
    With great pleasure the team announces the release of SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0.
  • Slackel "Live kde" 4.14.21
    This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, while the 64-bit iso supports booting on UEFI systems. The 64-bit iso images support booting on UEFI systems. The 32-bit iso images support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems. Iso images are isohybrid.

Security News

  • Free tool protects PCs from master boot record attacks [Ed: UEFI has repeatedly been found to be both a detriment to security and enabler of Microsoft lock-in]
    Cisco's Talos team has developed an open-source tool that can protect the master boot record of Windows computers from modification by ransomware and other malicious attacks. The tool, called MBRFilter, functions as a signed system driver and puts the disk's sector 0 into a read-only state. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions and its source code has been published on GitHub. The master boot record (MBR) consists of executable code that's stored in the first sector (sector 0) of a hard disk drive and launches the operating system's boot loader. The MBR also contains information about the disk's partitions and their file systems. Since the MBR code is executed before the OS itself, it can be abused by malware programs to increase their persistence and gain a head start before antivirus programs. Malware programs that infect the MBR to hide from antivirus programs have historically been known as bootkits -- boot-level rootkits. Microsoft attempted to solve the bootkit problem by implementing cryptographic verification of the bootloader in Windows 8 and later. This feature is known as Secure Boot and is based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) -- the modern BIOS.
  • DDOS Attack On Internet Infrastructure
    I hope somebody's paying attention. There's been another big DDOS attack, this time against the infrastructure of the Internet. It began at 7:10 a.m. EDT today against Dyn, a major DNS host, and was brought under control at 9:36 a.m. According to Gizmodo, which was the first to report the story, at least 40 sites were made unreachable to users on the US East Coast. Many of the sites affected are among the most trafficed on the web, and included CNN, Twitter, PayPal, Pinterest and Reddit to name a few. The developer community was also touched, as GitHub was also made unreachable. This event comes on the heels of a record breaking 620 Gbps DDOS attack about a month ago that brought down security expert Brian Krebs' website, KrebsonSecurity. In that attack, Krebs determined the attack had been launched by botnets that primarily utilized compromised IoT devices, and was seen by some as ushering in a new era of Internet security woes.
  • This Is Why Half the Internet Shut Down Today [Update: It’s Getting Worse]
    Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.
  • Major DNS provider Dyn hit with DDoS attack
    Attacks against DNS provider Dyn continued into Friday afternoon. Shortly before noon, the company said it began "monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack" against its Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. The attack may also have impacted Managed DNS advanced service "with possible delays in monitoring."
  • What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage
    Friday morning is prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard. This morning’s attack started around 7 am ET and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. Dyn reported a third wave of attacks a little after 4 pm ET. In all cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers throughout the US—primarily on the East Coast but later on the opposite end of the country as well—was stopped by a flood of malicious requests from tens of millions of IP addresses disrupting the system. Late in the day, Dyn described the events as a “very sophisticated and complex attack.” Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.
  • Either IoT will be secure or the internet will be crippled forever
    First things first a disclaimer. I neither like nor trust the National Security Agency (NSA). I believe them to be mainly engaged in economic spying for the corporate American empire. Glenn Greenwald has clearly proven that in his book No Place to Hide. At the NSA, profit and power come first and I have no fucking clue as to how high they prioritize national security. Having said that, the NSA should hack the Internet of (insecure) Things (IoT) to death. I know Homeland Security and the FBI are investigating where the DDoS of doomsday proportions is coming from and the commentariat is already screaming RUSSIA! But it is really no secret what is enabling this clusterfuck. It’s the Mirai botnet. If you buy a “smart camera” from the Chinese company Hangzhou XiongMai Technologies and do not change the default password, it will be part of a botnet five minutes after you connect it to the internet. We were promised a future where we would have flying cars but we’re living in a future where camera’s, light-bulbs, doorbells and fridges can get you in serious trouble because your home appliances are breaking the law.
  • IoT at the Network Edge
    Fog computing, also known as fog networking, is a decentralized computing infrastructure. Computing resources and application services are distributed in logical, efficient places at any points along the connection from the data source (endpoint) to the cloud. The concept is to process data locally and then use the network for communicating with other resources for further processing and analysis. Data could be sent to a data center or a cloud service. A worthwhile reference published by Cisco is the white paper, "Fog Computing and the Internet of Things: Extend the Cloud to Where the Things Are."
  • Canonical now offers live kernel patching for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users
    Canonical has announced its ‘Livepatch Service’ which any user can enable on their current installations to eliminate the need for rebooting their machine after installing an update for the Linux kernel. With the release of Linux 4.0, users have been able to update their kernel packages without rebooting, however, Ubuntu will be the first distribution to offer this feature for free.
  • ​The Dirty Cow Linux bug: A silly name for a serious problem
    Dirty Cow is a silly name, but it's a serious Linux kernel problem. According to the Red Hat bug report, "a race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel's memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system."
  • Ancient Privilege Escalation Bug Haunts Linux
  • October 21, 2016 Is Dirty COW a serious concern for Linux?
  • There is a Dirty Cow in Linux
  • Red Hat Discovers Dirty COW Archaic Linux Kernel Flaw Exploited In The Wild
  • Linux kernel bug being exploited in the wild
  • Update Linux now: Critical privilege escalation security flaw gives hackers full root access
  • Linux kernel bug: DirtyCOW “easyroot” hole and what you need to know
  • 'Most serious' Linux privilege-escalation bug ever discovered
  • New 'Dirty Cow' vulnerability threatens Linux systems
  • Serious Dirty Cow Linux Vulnerability Under Attack
  • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux PCs at risk
  • Linux just patched a vulnerability it's had for 9 years
  • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability has existed for nine years
  • 'Dirty Cow' Linux Vulnerability Found
  • 'Dirty Cow' Linux Vulnerability Found After Nine Years
  • FakeFile Trojan Opens Backdoors on Linux Computers, Except openSUSE
    Malware authors are taking aim at Linux computers, more precisely desktops and not servers, with a new trojan named FakeFile, currently distributed in live attacks. Russian antivirus vendor Dr.Web discovered this new trojan in October. The company's malware analysts say the trojan is spread in the form of an archived PDF, Microsoft Office, or OpenOffice file.

today's howtos