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How to start NetFlix in 'Puppy' direct from the Menu.....without opening Chrome

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#1 Mike_Walsh


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Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:05 PM

Starting NetFlix from the Menu in Puppy.....without opening Chrome itself


Object of tutorial; to start NetFlix as a Chrome 'app', independently of the browser, from a custom Menu entry.


Tools required; Chrome itself, plus the built-in packaging tools native to Puppy (primarily dir2pet).




Evening, all. 


I've been having a 'play around' this last day or two, and come up with a solution to something I've wanted to do for a long while:- 

To be able to launch NetFlix direct from the Menu.....without having to launch Chrome itself. This does, of course, specifically apply to those of you running Chrome, or one of the Chromium 'clones'. I haven't investigated how you could do this for FireFox (which can now run NetFlix), as I don't use it. 


This is in large part only possible due to Chrome's ability to turn the contents of a given tab into an 'App'.....which can then be started from the App Launcher. This is the icon of little coloured squares, with the title 'Apps', situated at the far left-hand end of your Bookmarks bar (common to all versions of Chrome; it's where you find the shortcut for the Web Store, for instance). You will, however, need to be running at least Chrome 37 or newer, as the Widevine modules (which make NetFlix possible), were first introduced with the release of 37. 


(Believe it or not, that very first Chrome with the WideVine modules will still play modern NetFlix, despite the browser being at least 4 yrs old.)


This takes the form of two sections. Firstly, enabling NetFlix as an 'App'.....which will allow it to launch in its own separate window. And secondly, using the 'app-id' unique to your NetFlix launcher (which I believe will vary from one individual's default profile to another) to create your Menu .desktop entry itself. 


Section 1:- Creating the NetFlix 'app'. 

a ) First of all, open NetFlix in Chrome. 

b ) Go into the Chrome Menu (the 'hamburger' symbol, top-right), then More tools->Add to desktop... You'll get a small window come up as below. (I apologise for the crap quality of this, but I had to use SimpleScreenRecorder to capture, followed by taking a screenshot of the 'paused' video, then editing it.....trust me, you really
 don't want to know!)  :rolleyes:  :lol:





Tick the 'Open as window' check-box, then click 'Add'. 

c ) If you now click on 'Apps' at the far left of the Bookmarks Bar, you should see NetFlix listed as an app within the App Launcher page.

d ) Place your cursor over the app, and rt-clk. You'll get the option to 'Create Shortcuts'. Click this, and you get two further options; 'Desktop', and 'Applications Menu'. For our purposes, just tick the 'Desktop' check-box. 

e ) Go into ROX's /root window, and open the 'Desktop' directory. You should find a .desktop entry, titled Chrome-[long string of letters]-Default.desktop. This does not, however, work by itself. It needs turning into a 'Puppyfied'  Menu-entry, which will work. 

That's the first part 'done & dusted'. You can launch NetFlix in a separate window at this point from its icon in the App Launcher, if you want to try it out; it'll open a separate window on top of the browser itself. You can then send this window to another desktop. 


Section 2:- Creating the Menu entry. 

a ) Now; here, I've done the work for you. D'l and install the 'NetFlix-MenuEntry.pet' from here:-




That will give you the Menu entry for launching NetFlix. You will, however, need to check one thing, since, as stated above, this probably varies from one user profile to another; I'm certain the string of letters that identifies NetFlix in my Google a/c will be different to the same string of letters in yours. 

b ) Go into/root/my-applications/bin, and open the Netflix entry with Geany. Compare the string of letters in the app_id 'switch' (--app-id=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, etc) with the string of letters in your own .desktop entry in /root/Desktop.....which you created earlier (see above). If they're different, replace the existing string of letters with your own 'string'. Then 'Save', and exit Geany. 

c ) The moment of truth! Go to Menu->Internet->NetFlix. All things being equal, NetFlix will now launch by itself, in its own window, without Chrome even being open.....or, you can do this on another desktop. This window can, of course, be re-sized, if you don't want it full screen. Like this:- 




Hope that's of some interest to some of you.....and remember; this same procedure can be repeated for literally any website. Chrome can make an 'app' out of any webpage, using existing, built-in tools, native to the browser.


(For anybody interested in creating Menu-Entry .pets for other Chrome 'apps', extract the .pet.....and study the content. To obtain the 'id_string' for any 'app', right-click on its icon in the App Launcher, once you've created it. Choose 'Create Shortcuts...in our case, you only need to tick the checkbox for 'Desktop', followed by 'OK'.


If you go into /root/Desktop, you'll now see a file titled 'Appname-[long string of letters]-Default.desktop'. That long string of letters is what you're after; that IS the 'app_id'. Edit everything where necessary to suit. Suitable PNG icons can usually be found for pretty much ANYTHING with a web search or two.)


Since you now have a Menu entry, you can also add it to the launcher area on the tray.....so you can launch it with a single click without even opening the Menu! Easy when you know how...


Have fun.

 Mike.  :wink:

Edited by Mike_Walsh, 10 November 2017 - 03:40 PM.

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