How to get Netflix to run in VirtualBox on Ubuntu 12.04 without freezing!

First, do this.

So, my latest project has been to get Netflix! Well, I moved to Ubuntu a few weeks ago and alas Netflix has no Linux client. WTF!?

Well, I thought to myself, as I always do, “I should be able to get it running in a Virtual Machine!” And, once I got it up on Windowz XP, it loaded, then froze..and then again…and again.

So, after some Googling I found this solution. I tried it, and it worked for awhile, but then it froze…again. It basically has you set your DNS servers to Google’s (on the VM).

OpenDNS

I use OpenDNS, not Google. So, I thought that maybe I should give OpenDNS a try and changed my VM’s DNS to OpenDNS’s.

Now, I don’t know if this works because my host machine is with OpenDNS and my VM is on OpenDNS too, but it’s working right now.

Other Notes: Using Chrome on the VM, 3D hardware acceleration on the host, VM has 3 GB RAM and super-dooper tweaks I can’t remember. 

Howto Ubuntu 12.04 Open Source Radeon Drivers and Power Management

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You can check out my hardware profile here…

Okay, I’m not sure if I am like the rest of you, but sometimes I feel like giving up on Linux. Yesterday it was because I couldn’t get full screen video to play without being choppy and slow. Not to mention using Unity (which I like) in 3D with the fglrx proprietary drivers made my desktop choppy and slow as well.

Well, after telling myself, “Dammit! I hate having to go back to Windowz!” I did what a true Linux-er would do and started Googleing my way out of the problem. I landed on a page where a user said he preffered the open source Radeon driver over the fglrx drivers, and I thought, “what the hell.”

Installing the Driver/Removing fglrx

So, I finally found my way to this page, which gave a great how-to on removing the old fglrx drivers fully and installing the new open source Radeon drivers.

sudo apt-get remove --purge xorg-driver-fglrx fglrx*  
sudo apt-get install --reinstall libgl1-mesa-glx libgl1-mesa-dri fglrx-modaliases  
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

sudo apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg-core

Do a restart and notice how fast everything is! At least it was for me. Video could run full screen at 1080HD on my HD TV, YouTube the same and my UI was also faster and snappier!

Power Management

So, once I got this done I noticed my laptop getting hot and the fan acting like there was a fire nearby! So, I went, again, Googling for my solution.

I reached this page and found out that there is power management built into the driver, but they aren’t enabled by default.

I enabled the profile and auto power options in the terminal, on the fly, by:

echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
echo mid > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

Startup

So these changes do not stick around the next time you restart your computer or wake it from sleep mode. So, I ran into this page and found out how to make these changes stick:

Step 1: Create hook:

gksudo gedit /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/radeon-power_profile

Step 2: Fill file with in the desired setting:

#!/bin/sh

echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method
echo auto > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

exit 0

Step 3: Make it executable:

sudo chmod +x /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d/radeon-power_profile

And now my laptop is not running as hot and the fan is not mondo-hyper all the time. And…. it performs, visually, at least as well as when I was on Windowz. Is that so much to ask for?

Speed issues in Google Chrome on Ubuntu 12.04

I’m not sure if at this point I’ve shared that I’ve made a move to Ubuntu, and I’ll admit it’s been alright so far. But, I still keep running into grandma-can’t-fix-that issues. The one I had this week was video issies with the speed of YouTube videos hiking up to 3-4 times the normal speed. Super annoying!

But, I was able to find a fix, here’s what I did:

Note: I am still having problems with this from time to time. This helps, but still creeps up!

It turns out the Chrome uses a built-in Flash plugin and another one, the one you probably have installed in Ubuntu. So, what you have to do is disable the built-in plugin to get things to work right.

Just browse to chrome://plugins/ and click Details on the right. From there, you’ll see two Flash files being used. Disable the one that is /opt/google/chrome.

And then, when you’ve fixed it, test it out on one of my favorite videos!