Pipelight: How to install Silverlight on Ubuntu 13.10

Many streaming services use Silverlight as a plug-in to play their videos and among these we see Rai, Mediaset Premium, Netflix and, if I'm not mistaken, even the latest Infinitytv along with many others. Silverlight is a plug-in conceived by Microsoft, so this is closed and developed only for Microsoft and Mac operating systems.

There are few alternatives to use silverlight on Linux environments. The ones I know are Moonlight e Pipelight. The first has always had compatibility problems, has never had a good efficiency in reproducing movies that run with Silverlight and even now is obsolete. Pipelight instead works really well on Linux and is compatible with most browsers: Firefox, Chromium, Rekonq, Opera, Midori, etc. and among these I tested both Firefox and Chromium which, let's say, are the most used ones.

Like all the guides, this one has been tested by me on Ubuntu 13.10 but it also works on the Kubuntu derivatives, Lubuntu, etc, and I also hope for the previous versions.

At the end of the article I also wanted to insert a link for a collection of signatures that wants to abolish the use of Silverlight by Rai. Please lose a few seconds to take a look


To install Pipelight, it is recommended to close the browser, however I have run the installation with Firefox running and it went well.

If you have already installed Pipelight, remove it, otherwise skip this line and proceed

$  sudo apt-get remove pipelight

add the repositories of the stable version, then update and install Pipelight

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa: pipelight / stable
$  sudo apt-get update
$  sudo apt-get install pipelight



Now we can install the plug-in to make Silverlight work properly.

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

once done, you will have to accept the license.

This will install the 5.1 version. To install different versions instead you need to remove the current one and enable the desired version:

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --disable silverlight --enable silverlightX.X

Swallow X.X stands for the version and those supported are: 5.1, 5.0 and 4.0

To take a test after installation, visit this one link

NOTE: the last two lines of commands apply the plugin to all users of the system. To apply the plugin only to the current user, you need to execute the commands withoutsudo'. This applies to all plugins

Although the article is dedicated to Silverlight, I thought of including the other Plugins:


Pipelight also supports Windows Flash, MA to run on Linux, you must disable ALL flash plugins active in the system. I've never had any major problems with the Ubuntu Flash plugin and so I didn't try to activate it through Pipelight, but I'll explain the procedure anyway:


Let's start with deactivation in Chrome: in the search bar type 'Chrome: // plugins' then press Details top right and disable all Flash plugins that do not contain 'Pipelight' in the Path



Let's use the terminal to tell Firefox to use the Pipelight plugins and not the system ones:

$  sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flashplugin-alternative.so" "mozilla-flashplugin" /usr/lib/pipelight/libpipelight-flash.so 1
$ sudo update-alternatives --set mozilla-flashplugin /usr/lib/pipelight/libpipelight-flash.so

to return to using the old plugins just use the following command:

$  sudo update-alternatives --remove mozilla-flashplugin /usr/lib/pipelight/libpipelight-flash.so

if you have removed Pipelight, you will have to do this manually!

Shockwave player

To enable also the shockwave plugins the lines to follow and accept the license are sufficient.

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --unlock shockwave
$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable shockwave

The Pipelight page says that this plugin should have no conflicts with others, however it has given me problems, both with Chromium and with Firefox and the problem could be the Flash plugin. If you have problems you can try to disable the Flash or disable the backwards compatibility right-click and click on Preferences or use a User Agent that you find below.

To take a test you can visit the official page (removed) from Adobe


This plugin is still in testing but to install it run in the terminal

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable unity3d

then accept the license and give it a try here. Read User Agent later if something is wrong.


$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable widevine

and you can take the test here.

User Agent

Although plugins are installed, some sites may not work anyway. This is because these sites have been designed to work only with certain operating systems (racist!), But we can remedy the problem with the User Agent


On firefox you can install one of the two extensions: UAControl o User Agent Overrider and use one of the following 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

to work the Unity3d plugin is recommended instead:

  • Mozilla / 5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_3) AppleWebKit / 534.55.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version / 5.1.3 Safari / 534.53.10

My advice is to use User Agent Overrider as an extension that adds a key after the search bar to quickly change the agent.

Chrome / Chromium

The extension is available for chrome User Agent Switcher. Once installed select from the list Windows Firefox 15 or try others if it doesn't work. In my case I ran the Unity webplayer with the Safari 5 agent.

From Ubuntu 13.10 the situation for Chromium changes however with regards to the Unity3d plugin because the APIs have been changed but you can try to run it from the terminal with the following command

$  chromium-browser --user-agent = "Mozilla / 5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv: 15.0) Gecko / 20120427 Firefox / 15.0a1"

Solutions and commands

If you have not closed your browser during installation and something is wrong, try the following command:

$ rm -rf ~ / .wine-pipelight //

Graphic acceleration

To enable / disable graphics acceleration, create a personal configuration file using the command

cp / usr / share / pipelight / configs / pipelight-silverlight5.1 ~ / .config /

if the version of Pipelight installed is lower than the 0.2.4 the file will instead be in the path / Usr / share /pipelight /pipelight-silverlight5.1

After creating this file open it with

gedit ~ / .config / pipelight-silverlight5.1

and remove the comment in the line overwriteArg = enableGPUAcceleration =true to activate acceleration, or in the row overwriteArg = enableGPUAcceleration =false to deactivate it. The comment is the # at the beginning of the line and does not execute the command if it is placed first.

Then save and close the file

Video with lag or slow playback

If the video has display problems you can try setting the value of windowlessmode from FALSE to TRUE, which is set to false by default because it may cause problems with the keyboard. So do some testing after changing the file.

As in the previous case, the personal configuration file must be created. For pipelight> = 0.2.4 you can use the command used in graphic acceleration just above, while for previous versions:

Pipelight> = 0.2.0 but <0.2.4

cp / usr / share / pipelight / pipelight-silverlight5.1 $ HOME / .config /

Pipelight <0.2.0

cp / usr / share / pipelight / pipelight $ HOME / .config /

and then edit the file


for information on plugins

$ pipelight-plugin --help

to show enabled plugins for all users

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --list-enabled

to unlock a plugin (create libraries)

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --unlock nounplugin

to enable a plugin

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --enable nomeplugin

to disable a plugin

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --disable nomeplugin

to block a plugin (delete libraries)

$  sudo pipelight-plugin --lock nounplugin

to disable all plugins

$ sudo pipelight-plugin --disable-all

to make changes only to the user in use, just run the commands without sudo



As I said I would have dedicated a space to a particular petition. Rai charges us the fee and makes its services available for free on its portal. This portal, however, is relatively free as it is necessary to use Silverlight to view the contents, and Silverlight has been created to work on Microsoft systems and for some time now on the Mac. So we should use these operating systems for an optimal experience. Linux, which is an open source system (what we want to enhance us at ITB) does not receive any support other than plugins tested by third parties such as Pipelight covered in this article.

On Change.org a petition was created to ask the RAI to use a new plugin, which is open source and therefore usable on any device (we pay all the fee). I don't know if it can really change things, but trying doesn't hurt, so if you'd like to try, sign the petition a this link to reach the quota of 15000 signatures as quickly as possible.

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