UPDATED: Netflix Cancelled, Moved to Hulu Plus & Amazon Prime for GNU/Linux Client

UPDATE 10/2014 - Netflix streaming now works perfectly in Ubuntu GNU/Linux on Google's Chrome browser!! Hooray!! Thank you Netflix for embracing HTML5 and cross-platform-compatibility! 

Every so often, you have to rearrange things to keep them working right. It's kinda like the fork of OpenOffice to LibreOffice. Well, up until tonight, I was streaming Netflix to my Roku box. Not anymore. Tonight, I cancelled my Netflix account and opened Hulu Plus account instead.

I know that Hulu Plus is more geared towards providing TV shows whereas Netflix is movies and TV shows. And I pretty much liked Netflix, except that they refuse to even acknowledge the desktop GNU/Linux operating system. Here's where Hulu.com is so much better than Netflix. Unlike, Netflix, Hulu.com provides their "Hulu Desktop" application for GNU/Linux. To me, Hulu.com's actions of providing a GNU/Linux client for their streaming service shows their good corporate citizenship, respect for Technology as an Enabler for Humankind, and(perhaps most importantly) their willingness to give something back to the community that provides so much in terms of Free Software.

Free Software and GNU/Linux power devices and technology all around us. From the majority of our great Internet, to the Android and Chrome OS operating systems, to TVs, to embedded devices. GNU/Linux/FOSS also provide the building blocks for countless other applications, software for devices(yes, even the Roku), and other scientific and technological works.

As with many of my technology choices, tonight I used my dollar-vote to send Netflix the message that because we are living in the year 2011. I expect technology companies to include support for the most universal of operating systems: GNU/Linux. There's absolutely no good technical reason at all that Netflix cannot provide a streaming client for GNU/Linux. And after Netflix's recent hypocritical article "Why we use and contribute to open source software", I've decided that I was giving my money (and support) to the wrong company.

So after writing my response to Netflix's blindness for open source, entitled "Netflix Supports Open Source? Really? Where's the Linux Client?", I've put my money where my mouth is. I've cancelled Netflix from my credit card.

So there it is. My subscription is a mere $120 per year for Netflix. But hopefully my actions can trigger others to help out. This is, afterall, how good open source software works. Humans working together to remove restrictions from Technology and provide something for everyone to use, extend, modify, and share to the world over. GNU/Linux/FOSS will help us cure disease, take care of our planet, advance us to rewarding futures, and take us to the furthest corners of space.

In closing, I have to mention Netflix's blindness to users - that Netflix's cancellation questionnaire doesn't even provide a field for telling them how you feel in your own words. Instead, you are given some radio button choices as to why you've cancelled. And of course, none of the pre-selected answers say "I cancelled because you don't support GNU/Linux" - Unbelievable! So I've written it here for you Netflix. Take heed, and rethink your future strategy.

Good Bye and Good Riddens Netflix. And unless you're ways change, here's hoping your more open-Interoperable-Technology providing competitors eat your lunch!

UPDATE 02-22-11- Here's another reason to dump Netflix: "Amazon Prime Members Now Get Unlimited, Commercial-free, Instant Streaming of More Than 5,000 Movies and TV Shows at No Additional Cost"

Humans Enabled - That's what Technology is For!

Shannon VanWagner


  1. You're right and I'm a wimp for not saying Good Riddance as well. And while I'm at it, thank you again for your Droid tethering article.

  2. Hopefully Amazon will solve the problem for us by providing a GNU/Linux compatible(or accessible) competing product like they already do with their MP3 sales.. Here's an article that mentions it:


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