Silverlight Alternatives for Linux

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  • DevynCJohnson
    DevynCJohnson
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    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

    Moonlight (http://www.mono-project.com/download/) 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

    Pipelight (http://pipelight.net) 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
    • Widevine - 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 (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher/). 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 (https://www.winehq.org/). Then, run the IE-like web-browser that comes with Wine.

    Another alternative is to install Windows in VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org/) or QEMU (http://wiki.qemu.org). Then, install Silverlight in the Windows system and use Internet Explorer within the virtual system.

    Further Reading

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