Pipelight Installation - A Linux replacement for Silverlight

Some websites like Netflix.com or NBA.com use a framework called 'Silverlight' to run rich web applications, including streaming video. Unfortunatly it is only available for Windows and OS X at the moment.

If you are simply interested in watching Netflix on linux you can download the Netflix Desktop with these three commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop


Thankfully there is a Linux browser plugin called 'Pipelight' that allows users to run Silverlight in a Linux web browser. Pipelight is also being developed to emulate Flash, Shockwave, and the Unity web player. The project was started by Erich E. Hoover and and is still in the development process.

Set up

**It is highly recommended that you shut down your browser before running the commands below"

Read through the commands so you understand the process, and at the end I will list all the commands. You can copy and paste them into a text editor and run them after you close the browser.


First check if you have a previous version of Pipelight installed.

apt-cache policy pipelight

A program NOT installed on your computer

This command will return, "Not installed " if the program does not exist on your computer.

Pipelight installed
This command will return the version and other information if the program is installed on your computer.

If a previous version of pipelight exists remove it with

sudo apt-get remove pipelight

Adding Pipelight

To install Pipelight we use the following commands

This first command accesses the Personal Package Archive, and adds the Pipelight repository.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:pipelight/stable

The Pipelight repository lists details about the files

Next you run an update command, getting the latest version of pipelight, among other things.

sudo apt-get update

Finally you install the actual pipelight source files with the following command.

sudo apt-get install pipelight-multi

Adding Silverlight

Now we have to install Siverlight, which will be emulated through Pipelight.

sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

You will be asked to accept a license agreement.
Silverlight License Agreement

After you Accept.


Next time you launch your browser you should see silverlight become enabled.

Silverlight Installer

One Last Thing

Some websites like Netflix check the users browser agent.

This is when the server asks for the users device and browser, which is returned as the Users Browser Agent. You can see what yours is here.

If you are using Firefox: install UAControl or User Agent Overrider extensions and use one of the following user agents:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:23.0) Gecko/20131011 Firefox/23.0

If you are using Chrome: install User Agent Switcher extension and user Windows Firefox, found in the extension preferences.

If you are using Internet Explorer: Here is a link to change that.

The Commands

Since the commands we run effect how the browser works, it is important we close the browser before running the commands.

Here are the commands required. Copy and paste them somewhere so you can access them after closing the browser. Then then them one at a time.

apt-cache policy pipelight
sudo apt-get remove pipelight
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:pipelight/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pipelight-multi
sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight


If you are having trouble with any of the steps above or something is not working feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

You can also read more about PipeLight here.


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