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Wine Media Movies Entertainment Linux

Netflix Comes To Linux Web Browsers Via 'Pipelight' 303

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the contents-may-explode dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With Netflix continuing to rely upon Microsoft Silverlight, the video streaming service hasn't been supported for Linux users as the Mono-based 'Moonlight' implementation goes without Silverlight 5 DRM support. However, there is now Netflix support for Linux-based web-browsers via the open source Pipelight project. Pipelight supports Netflix and other Silverlight-based web applications by having a Netscape plug-in that in turn communicates with a Windows program running under Wine. The Windows program then simulates a browser to load the Silverlight libraries. Netflix then works as the Pipelight developers implemented support for the Netflix DRM scheme within Wine."
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Netflix Comes To Linux Web Browsers Via 'Pipelight'

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  • Next step (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When Microsoft abandons Silverlight, Windows users will still be able to watch Netflix through Pipelight through Netscape through Wine through Cygwin through, er, I must have missed a few steps or what ?

    • by bmo (77928) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:21PM (#44613205)

      When Microsoft abandons Silverlight, Windows users will still be able to watch Netflix through Pipelight through Netscape through Wine through Cygwin through, er, I must have missed a few steps or what ?

      Not only that, Netflix is abandoning Silverlight too.

      http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238421/Netflix_to_dump_Silverlight_Microsoft_s_stalled_technology [computerworld.com]

      So we have....

      HTML5 in a container in Silverlight through Flash through Netscape 4.7 running in Wine through Cygwin, through an HP41cx calculator.

      --
      BMO

  • And then... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:06PM (#44613075) Homepage Journal

    The little cage drops over the mouse, and you win!

  • Ridonculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yelvington (8169) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:10PM (#44613113) Homepage

    At some point you just spend $130 and buy an Android tablet at wally world. Or a $50 Roku.

    • by Arker (91948)
      Or realize that their are a million sources for these videos and try one that doesnt work so hard to keep you out.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Much simpler to just ignore Netflix entirely. You do not need to see that movie or show.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      At some point you just spend $130 and buy an Android tablet at wally world. Or a $50 Roku.

      Throw another $50 / $130 on top of Netflix's monthly fee, and it doesn't turn out to be a very good deal at all...

      Besides, I already have my Linux box connected to my TV, handling all my TV/DVR, DVD/BluRay, Hulu, gaming, and other functions. Telling me I have to have a separate box just for Netflix just tells me I shouldn't get Netflix.

      Hulu works well enough on Linux. Though they've since hidden the project, they eve

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Throw another $50 / $130 on top of Netflix's monthly fee, and it doesn't turn out to be a very good deal at all...

        Are you kidding? I was paying that much per month for Cable...

        Besides, I already have my Linux box connected to my TV, handling all my TV/DVR, DVD/BluRay, Hulu, gaming, and other functions. Telling me I have to have a separate box just for Netflix just tells me I shouldn't get Netflix.

        I'm hard pressed to find a device *other than* your Linux box that doesn't do Netflix! In my large-family household, we have: My phone, Wife's phone, Son's phone, 3 Daughters' phones, my still-working, wifi-only old phone, my 7" tablet, Son's Xbox, PS3, Wif'e's iPad, and several laptops and desktops up to 3 or 4 generations old.

        I love Linux. I use it for work, at which it does fantastic. Reliable, cheap, powerful; it's a programmer's paradise! Bu

        • by evilviper (135110)

          Are you kidding? I was paying that much per month for Cable...

          Netflix isn't cable, and the fact that you've wasted more money before, doesn't make wasting money NOW a good idea.

          And you should be comparing Netflix to the real alternatives, not cable or other hypothetical options... Check the prices of Hulu, Amazon Video, Apple TV, etc. As I said, Hulu works extremely well on my Linux box.

          It's insane to suggest spending MORE money on a product from a company that has made it clear THEY DON'T WANT YOU AS A

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Yeah, that'd be the easy way out. Linux is built by people who'd rather take the steep mountain pass with blizzards and danger of rock slides than pay a buck to drive the toll road, sometimes because they don't have a buck but more often on principle against "restricted roads". Whether it's rational is highly debatable, but eventually what was a WTF route becomes an easy road.

      That unsupported device/application/service there, do you?:
      a) Buy the supported platform
      b) Buy a different product that does support

  • But the end goal is to get joe-on-the-street to watch NetFlix on Linux. And this does give good performance, with the usual linux gpu caveats.
    Drops frames on my AMD machine, but my roomie's nVidia is all smooth sailing even at SuperHD.
    • by Arker (91948)

      "But the end goal is to get joe-on-the-street to watch NetFlix"

      Sounds like something NetFlix should be interested in supporting. If they are not, why should I care?

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx. b c .ca> on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:26PM (#44613237) Journal

    First of all, claiming to "come to linux" but only working under WINE is not really coming to linux at all. You can run Windows Notepad under WINE as well.

    Secondly, WINE (with win32 compatiblity) is not officially supported on native 64 bit Linux systems unless you have 32-bit libraries installed. While this is probably fine if you are only installing binaries, but for distributions which install some applications by compiling them from source, it can cause some consternation when building some applications because the linker might end up trying to use the libraries in the 32 bit library directory instead of the 64-bit one which causes what's supposed to be an automated build process to fail, abruptly and unceremoniously. Although such errors are ultimately the result of faulty assumptions in the actual build script, and not the fault of actually trying to use both 32 and 64-bit libraries simultaneously on one platform, such errors are still frequent enough to be annoying... and I'd rather not deal with them.

    Finally... it's Netflix. Their movie selection sucks.

    • First of all, claiming to "come to linux" but only working under WINE is not really coming to linux at all. You can run Windows Notepad under WINE as well.

      Microsoft Bob Comes To GNU/Linux Via 'Virtual Box'

      /me shudders.

    • by Flammon (4726)

      Sheesh, take your negativity elsewhere.

    • by ediron2 (246908) on Monday August 19, 2013 @08:52PM (#44613839) Journal

      baloney.

      A pc with a Linux OS that lets me stream netflix via any means including WINE is 2nd place behind native linux code, but the movie did indeed 'come to linux'. I don't have to reinstall my OS or run in a VM? It's on linux. And who the fuck cares about notepad; MS OFFICE RUNS UNDER WINE (some versions, YMMV, some limitations may apply).

      Purism matters nothing in the crossover wars: if I can get netflix to stream on linux, it's better than if it won't.

    • You can run Windows Notepad under WINE as well.

      What?? Notepad already came to Linux?? Sweetness!

  • The Inevitable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:28PM (#44613241) Homepage
    Y'know, I read through the summary twice, and both times concluded that there's about a 1% chance of this whole mess working. Too many things relying on too many other things relying on too many other things.

    Although having the word "Netscape" in there.....
    • compholio (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nten (709128) on Monday August 19, 2013 @08:24PM (#44613637)

      I watch netflix in ubuntu. I accomplished it by adding one rep and installing one package. It manages the wine version, the windows firefox version, the silverlight version, and whatever other unholy nonsense is involved in making it work. The only glitch is that sometimes the audio is on fastforward when I first start watching something and I have to wait for it to go back to normal, then start the show over. This is on a relatively ancient macbook (it has an ethernet port), and it is still fast enough.

  • by apcullen (2504324) on Monday August 19, 2013 @07:56PM (#44613453)
    Wouldn't it be easier to run an android image in a virtual machine and just use the android netflix app?
    • Netflix frame rates suck in a VM. I did this on a very beefy computer and the winning solution was actually netflix-desktop in Ubuntu.
  • ... make a netscape plugin, that loads windows netscape plugins? Sortof like plugin-host.exe Firefox uses? Or is it like that already?
    • by gigaherz (2653757)

      The project is split in two parts: a shared library which is loaded into your Linux browser and a pluginloader which is executed in Wine. The shared library offers the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) to the browsers and acts like all other plugins, except the fact that it does not provide the API functions directly. When the library is loaded by the browsers it starts the pluginloader in Wine and sends all API calls to the plugin through a pipe. The loader will listen for this calls and send them to the Silverlight plugin. All handles, interfaces and objects which are only available at one side are recreated as fake objects on the other side, so that we can capture all calls and redirect them through the pipe. The real handles are replaced by fake 64 bit IDs during the transmission, which allows us to load 32 bit plugins into 64 bit browsers and vice versa without having to pay attention at the size of the real handles. The only real difference in the API between Linux and Windows is the handling of drawing and input events, which requires additional code inside the pluginloader.

      Yes, it is. Stupid summary making it sound more complicated than it really is.

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday August 19, 2013 @08:24PM (#44613635) Homepage Journal
    I was under the impression that Bluray players and smart TVs (especially samsung) run an embedded linux. How are they able to stream netflix?
    • by vux984 (928602) on Monday August 19, 2013 @09:02PM (#44613901)

      I was under the impression that Bluray players and smart TVs (especially samsung) run an embedded linux. How are they able to stream netflix?

      Netflix supports and has supported for a while now, non-Silverlight enabled playback. It even supports Windows 8.1 on IE11 via HTML5 rather than silverlight. I expect the Windows 8 modern UI netflix app also has no dependancy on silverlight.

      But you raise an interesting question, rather than attacking linux playback by way of a Wine+Silverlight 'pipeline', would it not be more straightforward to pipe it through whatever is happening with a chromebook or android device??

      • by PPH (736903)

        would it not be more straightforward to pipe it through whatever is happening with a chromebook or android device??

        I assume that the player (proprietary) takes some steps to check its environment and look for signs of output redirection, rooting, or other 'unapproved' modifications. This may include some key exchange and authentication with the hardware, including the display.

        If you could crack that and provide the player binary with a virtual Android environment, it might work.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Right, that's more or less what i was thinking, but isn't android and in particular the the google nexus stuff reasonably open already? Surely it wouldn't be that much to defeat the DRM. Its just a 3rd party app after all, so it shouldn't have deep hooks beneath the regular OS like the software that runs the actual cellular radio etc.

          And if so, it shouldn't be THAT hard to put the droid netflix code into a wrapper?

          I wonder if the existing android emulators can play netflix? I'll have to look into that... an

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

    I'll show my Netflix love when they are able to produce a native Linux binary.

  • I thought the whole point of these elaborate DRM schemes was to prevent the movies from being played in an emulated or virtualized envirnment where the video could be intercepted.

    If it does, why bother?

  • by Trogre (513942) on Monday August 19, 2013 @08:44PM (#44613775) Homepage

    On that note, has anyone else noticed Silverlight being pushed out to WSUS servers as another important Windows update? Three times?

    As in, when we choose "Do not install, and don't tell me again", it re-appears in the subsequent two update runs. This is the second time this has happened in as many years.

  • Send the encrypted content to the cloud on a Windows system running as a virtual machine in a Linux box. Have the Windows decrypt it and display it full-screen. Capture the output of the virtual machine and re-encode it. Finally, transfer the unencrypted content back to the user.

  • ...if you run Android! I'm no expert on programming, but if works in Android's flavor of Linux, why can't it be ported to the other distros?

    • it runs on android NON-ROOTED. if you are rooted, I think the app refuses to run.

      many things do root-detection on android and refuse to run. this is one of them.

      the bay is still our friend, for as long as DRM stays around.

    • by caseih (160668)

      But Android really isn't Linux. But even the parts of Android that are linux (the posix API that apps can reach out to), it's not x86. Hence you cannot just port netflix from android to a Linux desktop.

  • only fittingly, the first content you should watch on netflix after setting this up is a marathon of rube goldberg cartoons.

  • I've been using it for a year... plays netflix video just fine on my ubuntu laptop. http://www.compholio.com/netflix-desktop/ [compholio.com]
  • by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:11AM (#44614963)

    ... just to make a point:

    1) Emulate a Windows browser in wine or similar (or even a full VM), complete with the DRM stack
    2) Load Netflix and stream whatever it is you want to stream, but redirect the output to a framebuffer (netflix has no HDCP when run in a browser, does it?)
    3) Recompress the contents of the framebuffer using some fast but inefficient high quality algorithm and save it to disk
    4) Allow the Linux user to do whatever the fuck she wants with it, either watch it or reencode it for storage later

    The DRM folks can't win. VM tricks aside, the real analog hole is open pretty wide for video. I have a consumer-level DSLR that will shoot 6000x4000 video at 6fps with no frame limit and negligible noise. It demolishes anything a HDTV can display as far as resolution goes. Getting one of those electronic shutter triggers ($25 from Nikon) and syncing it with the frame updates would let you scrape every frame displayed in 4 (24 fps) or 5 (30 fps) passes through the source. From there you've just got to do a curves adjustment to restore the original source pixel values (accommodating for calibration issues on your monitor and such).

    Do this with a good monitor and I bet you could get really damn close to the original quality; modern SLR sensors and lenses are good enough for this. If you're too lazy to scrape it in stills mode, you can get a camera for under $1500 that will record near-losslessly-compressed 1080p video, and that you can use with reasonably inexpensive lenses that are essentially transparent.

    And it takes *one* person to do this and torrent the result. Netflix can't stop this sort of thing.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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