One of the intricate aspects of open source software is in implementing support — where it is even possible to do so — for the wide realm of codecs, formats, and a plethora of proprietary technologies that users have come to rely on. One such technology is Microsoft’s Silverlight framework, which until early this year was not available to Linux users.
This changed in January, when the first version of the Moonlight Project was released, providing Linux users with Open Source Silverlight support. Also included, provided that Moonlight has been obtained via Novell and meets certain other conditions, is a license to Microsoft’s free but closed-source Media Pack, containing codecs needed to decode audio and video streams. Read more »
It’s a real surprise that Microsoft supports a technology that works on Linux. But we don’t have to wonder, since Silverlight as a technology relies on it’s user base to end up as success or failure, it makes perfect sense. And that’s likely the only reason Microsoft has worked with Novell / Mono to create a Silverlight plugin for Linux.
Moonlight is an open source implementation of Silverlight for Linux/Unix systems. It comes in the form of a Firefox plugin, version 2 is currently in beta 3 and available in 32bit and 64bit versions. Simply download the *.xpi to your Firefox plugin directory (if Firefox doesn’t automatically detect and install it correctly for you) and you’re good to go.
I have come across some sites where the detection of Silverlight is negative, and as a result keep prompting the user to install Silverlight. As soon as I find a solution or workaround I will update this post.