Silverlight Substitutes for Linux



Silverlight is a framework used to run rich Internet applications. Netflix video streaming is an example of a service that uses Silverlight. Silverlight is a web-browser plugin used on Windows systems. However, how can Linux users enjoy web services and content that require Silverlight?

Moonlight is an open-source alternative to Silverlight and it works on Linux systems. Moonlight was developed by Novell as part of the Mono Project. Moonlight used Cairo for graphical rendering and it came with various codecs. Moonlight's development has been discontinued. However, Pipelight is an alternative to Silverlight and Moonlight for Linux.

Pipelight ( is an open-source alternative to Silverlight. Pipelight works in Firefox, Midori, Chromium, and Google Chrome.

To install Pipelight, run the following commands with Root privileges.
apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
apt-add-repository ppa:mqchael/pipelight
apt-get update
apt-get install pipelight
If that fails, then try these commands (with Root privileges).
apt-get remove pipelight
apt-add-repository ppa:pipelight/stable
apt-get update
apt-get install --install-recommends pipelight-multi
pipelight-plugin --update
pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight
Pipelight supports Adobe Flash, Widevine, and other plugins. To use any of those Rich Internet Applications, run the listed commands (with Root privileges).

Adobe Flash
pipelight-plugin --enable flash
Unity 3D
pipelight-plugin --enable unity3d
ViewRight Caiway
pipelight-plugin --enable viewright-caiway
Vizzed RGR
pipelight-plugin --enable vizzedrgr
pipelight-plugin --enable widevine
When running any of the mentioned Pipelight-related commands, be sure that all web-browsers are closed. If any are open during the execution of those commands, then close them and run "rm -rf ~/.wine-pipelight/".

If you are having any issues, run "pipelight-plugin --system-check" in a command-line and see if any errors were found.

If you plan to use Pipelight to use Netflix in Firefox, then you will need to obtain this addon ( With the addon, you need to change the web-browser's user-agent string to “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/33.0”. Doing so makes Firefox tell Netflix that Firefox is running on a Windows system. Otherwise, the Netflix server will not provide service because it thinks that Linux cannot support it.

Other Options
Linux users could also try installing Silverlight on Wine ( Then, run the IE-like web-browser that comes with Wine.

Another alternative is to install Windows in VirtualBox ( or QEMU ( Then, install Silverlight in the Windows system and use Internet Explorer within the virtual system.

Further Reading


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