How to install Microsoft Silverlight on Ubuntu [Guide]

pipelight-logoAre you an Ubuntu user that is frustrated with the lack of Silverlight support on Ubuntu? You’re in luck! This guide will teach you a trick that you can do to get Silverlight support right in your native Linux browser with Pipelight! Let’s get started!

Before We Begin

This guide will be making use of Pipelight, a plugin that brings Microsoft Silverlight to Linux.

Pipelight is able to work on other Linux distributions, but the process covered in this guide is specific to Ubuntu; it will work on all versions of Ubuntu.

Pipelight has been confirmed to work pretty much flawlessly with Netflix, Maxdome and Sumo 2.

Load this guide on your mobile device, if you have a browser open while this plugin installs, it could fail to install properly.

How To Install Microsoft Silverlight On Ubuntu

To install Microsoft Silverlight on Ubuntu, do the following:

  • To get Pipelight working we’re going to need to install two different PPAs. To enable these PPAs, we need to enter some terminal commands. Search for ‘terminal’ in the Unity dash and open it. Once the terminal window has opened, enter the commands below.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mqchael/pipelight

  • Once both of the PPAs have been enabled, you’ll need to update your software sources. Do this by entering the command below in your terminal.

sudo apt-get update

  • After software sources have been updated, we can finally install the plugin to your system. Enter the command below into your terminal to install Pipelight.

sudo apt-get install pipelight

  • Once the installation of Pipelight has finished, open your browser. We’re not done yet, Netflix will not work unless you trick it into thinking that you’re using a Windows PC. In order to do that, a user agent switcher is needed. If you use Firefox install UAControl and select something similar to Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:23.0) Gecko/20131011 Firefox/23.0 in UAControl. If you’re using Chrome/Chromium install User Agent Switcher and select Windows Firefox 15 from User Agent Switcher’s preferences (this can be found by going to the extension page in Chrome/Chromium.
  • If you chose not to close your browser while installing the plugin, enter the command below into your terminal and restart your browser.

rm -rf ~/.wine-pipelight/

Done!

Conclusion

Silverlight is a plugin that has long plagued Linux users. Since Silverlight is not available on Linux, sites like Netflix are a no-go. Luckily, Piplelight exists. Now you’re able to enjoy all of your favorite Netflix movies right on your Ubuntu powered PC. Enjoy!

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15 comments

  1. Chris Reynolds

    Just wanted to drop in and say this guide was perfect! I’m not a very experienced Linux user, but the guide was incredibly simple and worked without any problems for me. I was able to run the website I needed that required Silverlight no problem (Netflix didn’t run the greatest, but it still worked). Thanks for taking the time to make it!

  2. tom

    this does not work for comcast.com, idk why but this s$&# sucks trying to get it to work, how is ubuntu going to compete when it can’t even make a real adobe flash player.
    or a generic on that works

  3. tom

    said, reboot and when your back in terminal try it again, it will show you a code to push in to manual reconfigure this time, rather then the first time after it locked up on you, but when you reboot, the new time it will still have the same error, just now it offers a solution for you

  4. Said

    Hi Derrik!
    When trying to update software sources, appears the next message:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    E: No se pudo bloquear /var/lib/apt/lists/lock – open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
    E: No se pudo bloquear el directorio /var/lib/apt/lists

    (No se pudo bloquear) means “Could not lock or block”
    (No se pudo bloquear el directorio) means “Could not lock directory”

    OS linux mint kde 13, thanks!

  5. steffen

    Hi, I am stuck when it comes to install the pipelight app. Once I’ve typed “sudo apt-get install pipelight” and confirmed that I want the package installed I get stuck with MS EULA licence agreement in the terminal window. The text ends with but neither “enter” nor and mouse click gets me out there. So pipelight is not installed and UAControl does not allow me to select anything. Could you help?

    Thanks and bye, Steff

  6. kcharb30

    derrik,
    Thank you for this rundown on how to get silverlight running on Linux. I’m new to Linux having only installed it within the last three days. Originally i was watching cable through Brighthouse’s TV app. Was disappointed when I realized it used silverlight and was not supported for Linux. Have been reading alot of blogs saying alot of different things. Last of which was to give up cause it would never work. Found your instructions earlier today and it seemed straight forward so I decieded to give it a try. Took about ten minutes to work through and after i figured out how to set up UAcontrol it work perfectly. Thanks again.

  7. mukhi

    Q: why install silverlight? i know i can get the answer if i google it but i want a concise useful answer. please help. thanks.
    the same question goes for SQL server. these two programs take heck of space in a computer!