Netflix Player by Roku Runs Linux

roku netflix linuxThis $100 dollar wonder runs Linux. At least this is why I believe it does. By looking at their agreements we can see:

Certain components of the software included with the Roku Product are subject to separate license
terms, including “free” or “open source” software (“Separately Licensed Code”). Some of the Separately Licensed Code is licensed
under the terms and conditions of the “free” or “open source” license and is not subject to the License above or the Limited
Warranty below. As required by the terms of the relevant Separately Licensed Code licenses, Roku makes the “free” and “open
source” code provided under such licenses, and Roku’s modifications to such code, available on Roku’s website, at no charge. The
following third party software is also included.

Which does not defiantly mean that it runs Linux but:

This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (

Which also does not defiantly mean Linux, but:
With it’s small form factor and the fact that it is sub-$100 and it runs off of flash memory, I believe it does.

If this is the case, then I would love to see how to stream Netflix on a normal Linux/Mac box without having to use IE.

I believe that if they are implementing IE and Windows media formats behind the scenes that they might be infringing on some sort of License agreement with Microsoft. Which sucks.

Leave comments!!!!!!


5 thoughts on “Netflix Player by Roku Runs Linux”

  1. I would have to agree with you. I don’t really see XP running on something that small.

  2. I am just waiting for the open source community to get under the covers and open this thing up. I would love to have this run as a music/movie server. All of my home videos, music, photos sitting on my network can be streamed to this box and displayed on the tv. It is just waiting for firmware to open up the 5.1 sound and higher resolution…color me excited.

  3. Yeah, I would probably agree with you. I don’t think they should make a deal with Microsoft. However, I do think that you are wonderful!! 🙂

  4. To answer your question as to how the Roku Netflix Player streams Windows Media VC1 on a Linux box… The hardware is based around a system on a chip called NXP PNX8935 which includes hardware based VC1 video processing.

    I imagine (but can’t prove) that the VC1 video bitstream is totally processed in hardware. I do not work for Roku, Netflix, Microsoft, NXP or any other mentioned party.

  5. According to the product manual and frequently asked questions at ROKU and NETFLIX it is indicated that netflix licensed some DRM stuff from Microsoft. Apparently Roku employees have confirmed that the device runs Linux. I ordered two of them about a week ago but do not yet have shipping info on them. I was first under the impression that you could associate up to 3 of the devices with an unlimited Netflix account. I have since seem something indicating the limit is 4. If I am happy with the performance of the two I ordered I will probably order a 3rd one.

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