Install Netflix Desktop App in Ubuntu 13.04

Install Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu 13.04

Netflix is the favourite way to watch movies and TV series for may people. Unfortunately, it is not available in most part of the globe. In one of my previous article, I showed you how to watch Netflix outside USA in Ubuntu.

But that was more of using the web version. As we are leaning towards “mobile”, apps are the preferred way to access a web program. Ubuntu too launched Unity web apps to support several websites. Desktop apps, like mobile apps, are more convenient when it comes to enjoy such programs. I mean it is better to install Spotify in Ubuntu rather than using the browser to listen to music.

As the tradition goes, there is no native Netflix client for Linux, at least not yet. It’s been over two years since we heard the “news” of Netflix coming to Ubuntu. It has not. There is no hope that it will come anytime soon. But you don’t need to loose heart. There are always other ways with Linux. We have an unofficial app that groups Wine together with Netflix in one package. And in this post we shall see how to install Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu 13.04.

Install Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu:

Installing the unofficial Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu or any similar Linux system is very easy. But it is a heavy application and requires around 150 MB of data. Moreover, since it is packaged with Wine, it requires several other files to download. So altogether, the procedure to install Netflix in Ubuntu is easy but a little time consuming.

Open a terminal and use the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

Remember that it will ask to accept EULA while installing. It will take sometime depending on your network speed. Once installed, you can go to Unity Dash and search for Netflix.

When you run it for the first time, it does some extra installation for Wine, just follow the instruction. Also, by default it opens in full screen mode. You can get rid of it using F11 key.

Uninstall Netflix in Ubuntu:

If you did not like this unofficial desktop app, you might want to get rid of it as well. I mean why keep an application when you are not going to use it. Let see how to uninstall Netflix from Ubuntu:

Remove the app using this command:

sudo apt-get purge netflix-desktop && sudo apt-get autoremove

Why keep the PPA? Lets delete the PPA from software sources:

sudo apt-add-repository --remove ppa:ehoover/compholio

And finally, get rid of extra Wine installation to clean up the uninstallation process:

rm -rf .wine-browser/

And that’s it. The tutorial completes with how to install Netflix desktop app in Ubuntu and how to get rid of it. I hope it was helpful. Questions, suggestions are most welcomed. If you liked the tutorial, then stay in touch with us for more such information. a+.

  • Katemari

    I tried it on linux mint and it didn’t work. It all seems to be installed properly but the app doesn’t run. Is it because of Mint?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      It may be if you are trying to run it from outside USA.

    • erythros


      I solved a similar issue on Xubuntu 13.04. After the PPA installation I clicked on the “Netflix Desktop” icon and went through the wine installation. Everything seemed complete, but Netflix Desktop wouldn’t run. I even rebooted twice to see if that was the issue. I opened Task Manager and watched as the programs opened by Netflix Desktop would start and then after 20 seconds, close themselves.

      Here’s what I did to fix the problem, open a terminal and run the following command:

      rm -rf ~/.wine-browser

      Then try running the Netflix Desktop.

      • Musashi

        Thanks, worked fine for me after this command!

      • Abhishek Prakash

        Thanks for the tip.

  • gabe

    All works until the siverlight plugin crashes when I try and watch something?