[ S O L V E D ] Netflix Desktop has choppy video. Playing too fast in Linux

TESTED ON UBUNTU 's 15.10 (Wily) and 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) and  13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

it works on every edition after 12.04

REVIEWED 02/23/2016


I am a Linux user, most of my time use Ubuntu. My distro was 12.04 for some months, but now I' ve installed Ubuntu to 13.04 version. In any of the above versions I was running with the same issue. Choppy videos when using NETFLIX.
After trying lots of different kind of things to solve this problem (with any luck on mi side) I figure that the problem consists that the videos where running too fast,  in fast forward, like 2 times faster making videos unwatchable and sound sharper. That's when I started to do some benchmark tests, and process speed comparisons.
Then, I came to the conclussion that the speed of the whole "netflix-desktop" "wine" "silverlight" and maybe other process launched from netflix-desktop were obeying the speed of the pulseaudio daemon, and this last was running too fast in my box, a 4 core cpu processor.

THE SOLUTION. (tested on 32 bits and 64 bits ubuntu distributions)

By slowing down the pulseaudio daemon with cpulimit, all run like a charm !

1- Install cpulimit if you don't have it. 

$ sudo apt-get install cpulimit

2- Launch cpulimit slowing down pulseaudio and run netflix after that.

$ cpulimit -e pulseaudio -c 1 -l 10 & netflix-desktop

(although I use pulseaudio, it could work for other audio daemons, you should try)

-e pulseaudio (finds the pid by the name)
-c 1 (uses only 1 core)
-l 10 (limit the core to 10% of its speed for the chosen application)
& netflix-desktop (runs netflix-desktop inmediatly after cpulimit succeeds launching)

ENJOY !!! (please "like" it if you find it useful)


  1. Thanks so much! It worked like a charm for me.

  2. Thanks.. Worked on Mint 15.

  3. I am glad it worked for you too...

  4. Sadly, my 12.04 install says
    cpulimit: invalid option -- 'c'
    I copied and pasted from your blog entry above, any ideas? It says it's cpulimit (1.4-1) if that matters.

    Also, I'm curious to know if this is something that (should it work for me) I will need to do every time I fire up Netflix, or will it remain running in the background and only come into play when I use Netflix?

    Glad someone is addressing this.:)

    1. you have to use only one '-' check cpulimit -h for help... the c stands for cores...

    2. Getting the same result for 12.04:
      cpulimit: invalid option -- 'c'

      Used the line:

      $ cpulimit -e pulseaudio -c 1 -l 10 & netflix-desktop

      No result, still choppy.

    3. try playing around with those values...
      -c is the number of cores...
      -l limit up to 10% try reducing it...let's say from 1 to 10...

  5. Invalid option -- 'c'.

    Damn--so close, yet so far away. Thanks for working on this, though. I hope we figure this 'c' issue out.

    I am running Ubuntu 12.04 and am running a ThinkPad 15 with an Intel i3 (2 core) processor.

    1. just in case

      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install cpulimit

      and make sure to type it correctly "-c" no spaces.

  6. your post leads me towards the right direction

  7. Restarting pulseaudio with the command:
    $ pulseaudio -k
    Also does the trick.

  8. It worked well.

    $ pkill netflix; pulseaudio -k; cpulimit -e pulseaudio -c 1 -l 10 & netflix-desktop

  9. Your work is deserved to be appreciated hard working efforts done in your blog.

  10. thank you so much its better but the sound is still off a little bit
    i think i just need to fine tune it

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