Virtualbox + XP + Firefox = Netflix in GNU/Linux

virtualbox-icon-512x512Having recently wrested control of my machine from Windows Vista, I’ve had to implement a workaround for Netflix streaming media. Netflix, unfortunately, has yet to see the mistake in building their streaming architecture on Microsoft’s near-dead Silverlight platform. Until they recognize the error of their ways, I need a workaround. I’ve settled on virtualizing XP, as Silverlight (and Moonlight, for that matter) will not successfully run Netflix in WINE. (As a side note, WINE runs Excel 2007 — one of my must-have Windows apps — flawlessly and, ironically, faster than my Windows installation used to.)

So, I installed VirtualBox OSE from the Lucid repo (a few versions behind current, but no worries) and installed my XP Pro SP3 image on a small virtual hard disk. It took entirely too long, although I had shortcut the process by ripping the CD to my hard disk using dd (+1 for GNU!):

(Seriously … dd is bloody brilliant. One of the most useful tools in the GNU suite.) Anyway, it works like a charm and I’m not without my new love, Archer, despite no longer running Windows.

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