Personal Tech

Linux-using mates gone AWOL? Netflix just added Linux support

Brace yourselves, netadmins, streamer's promising more and chunkier vids everywhere

By Simon Sharwood

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If your Linux-using mates suddenly disappear for a day or two, we can explain why: Netflix has just revealed it's fully and formally available on the OS.

As the streamer points out, Chrome's worked for in-browser playback since 2014. But not officially.

As of Tuesday, however, “users of Firefox can also enjoy Netflix on Linux.”

Netflix reckons this is “a huge milestone for us and our partners, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla that helped make it possible.”

HTML 5 had a lot to do with it, too, because by enabling plugin-free video playback it meant Linux users were spared the the recurring security nightmare that is Adobe Flash, which recently made a meaningful Penguin-land after ignoring Linux for years.

The Venn diagram describing the world population of Firefox-and-Linux-using-Netflix-subscribers probably doesn't have a large central overlap. But Netflix doesn't care: it says the effort to get its wares into Linux is part of a wider plan to get higher-quality video into more devices.

“We launched 4K Ultra HD on Microsoft Edge in December of 2016, and look forward to high-resolution video being available on more platforms soon,” the company says. “We are also looking ahead to HDR video. Netflix-supported TVs with Chromecast built-in—which use a version of our web player—already support Dolby Vision and HDR10. And we are working with our partners to provide similar support on other platforms over time.”

Strap yourself in then, netadmins. Check your peering arrangements and routing tables, because Netflix is about send even more traffic out onto the Net. ®

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