Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Support and discussions for the x86/x64 Linux version of Pale Moon.

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Baloo
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Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Baloo » 2020-06-29, 15:46

I spent quite a bit of time researching yesterday how to get Silverlight working in Pale Moon for Linux, and am documenting my results for anyone interested in attempting to watch Netflix or Hulu in Pale Moon on Linux. I so far, have been unsuccessful.

Apparently, there were two different Silverlight plugins developed for Linux: Moonlight, and Pipelight. I was unable to find a functioning package for either in any modern distro, and also unsuccessful in building Moonlight from source.

Some more research on Google led me to find that Moonlight had also developed an XPI for Firefox. The original download links on the Moonlight website are all dead, but someone on this website was gracious enough to upload it to a Google drive. Apparently this was never in the Classic Add-Ons archive, as I could find no mention of this extension there. Forgive me if I am breaking a rule by posting this XPI, I am unaware if it even has been altered in any fashion from the original, and the Web archive does not have any backups of the original download link, so use at your own risk.

This XPI led to success using the regular test page here: http://bubblemark.com/silverlight2.html. Under this add-on, Silverlight seems to function well.

However, Netflix was non-functioning upon first try. Apparently, in order to get video and audio working using the Moonlight XPI, a Microsoft Media Codec pack entitled " silverlight-media-pack-linux-x86" .so" for x86 browsers, and "silverlight-media-pack-linux-x64" .so for x64 browsers is required to be present in the plugins folder of the browser. There were apparently multiple versions of this codec pack. It was required to be downloaded from Microsoft, and at one point hosted here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=133816. However, this link is completely dead, and all web archive instances of it did not have the file backed up. I have been unable to find this Media Codec Pack to download. According to this question, the codec being hosted by Microsoft didn't last very long.

There apparently seems to be some talk on this Italian blog post about a Ubuntu packaged entitled "libavcodec51-unstripped" being a replacement for the Microsoft Media Codec Pack, but I am unable to find it.

In WINE, Microsoft Silverlight.exe installs, but I cannot get the Pale Moon browser in Windows, running in WINE to recognize it. This is in contrast from Adobe Shockwave, which when installed by MSI in WINE, is recognized by the Pale Moon browser. I am unable to locate where exactly the files are installed in order to attempt to place the proper files in the plugin folder in Pale Moon Browser running in WINE. If anyone has gotten Silverlight working in Pale Moon running in WINE, I would greatly appreciate any direction.

If anyone knows how to build a functioning version of Moonlight or Pipelight from source for a modern distro, I am all ears. Or, if someone can find the Microsoft Media Codec file for x64 browser, we even better could get Silverlight functioning.

As a note to Pale Moon's developers, apparently there is now an alpha version of something called OpenSilver, which is an open-source implementation of Silverlight that runs via WebAssembly. https://opensilver.net/ I understand Moonchild's thoughts on Webassembly, that it is by default blocked in Pale Moon so that things like cryptocurrency miners can't run in the background. But I wanted to know if this OpenSilver Webassembly implementation could possibly solve the issue of Microsoft Silverlight support in the Pale Moon browser.

That's all I've got for now.
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Lunokhod » 2020-06-30, 03:19

libavcodec seems to be in ffmpeg (unstripped probably just means the package was not "stripped" of symbols after compiling):
https://ffmpeg.org/libavcodec.html
There are older versions in the AUR - but not v51, there are v54, 55 & 57 eg:
https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/ffmpeg-compat-57/
Pipelight has some info here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pipelight
But silverlight itself will soon be retired:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... of-support

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Baloo » 2020-06-30, 04:42

I found the packages for Pipelight and Pipelight-multi in the Ubuntu repository. After installing Pipelight and Silverlight, after starting Pale Moon for Linux a prompt appears, and runs the installer for Microsoft Silverlight for a brief second, but then seems to crash. The browser then boots normally. This is both before and after I attempted to place the libsilverlight51.so file that pipelight generates into the Pale Moon plugins folder. I'm Not sure what is going on there. But it was worth a try.
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Lunokhod » 2020-06-30, 14:03

This is in the AUR and was also an Ubuntu package, it is outdated it seems:
aur/wine-browser-installer 1-7 [93 / 0.479802]
Browser installer for wine-silverlight, shared between netflix-desktop and pipelight
https://launchpad.net/netflix-desktop

There are also some standalone players, so you could possibly avoid using other browsers if not actually use Pale Moon (if they worked):
aur/netflix-qdesktop 0.91-1 [15 / 1.468774]
Netflix web-app based on qtws
aur/qtwebflix-git 0.1.r173.ga50ef71-1 [25 / 0.863103]
Standalone HD Netflix Browser using qt5-webengine (also supports Amazon prime, HBO Go, Hulu, Crunchy Roll)
aur/silos 0.1.36-1 [2 / 0.489198]
Web-app container, with multimedia apps (YouTube, Netflix, Twitch, VVVVID, and RaiPlay), productivity suites (Microsoft Office 365, Skype, Google Office, Trello, and Gmail), and others (WhatsApp web and
Wikipedia)

But those seem to use widevine. There were some attempts to get widevine working in Pale Moon and there might be some limited support in Basilisk. That would probably be where future development would take place, if anywhere I guess.

There used to be all sorts of plugins frequently used in the past, mozplugger (which was a bundle of them I think), totem plugin, flash, java - various types available, and moonlight.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-06-30, 14:44

I dunno where you are getting your info but Pale Moon has and will never have DRM.

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Re: Another Blast from the Past

Post by stevepusser » 2020-07-01, 04:00

The first thing I'd check is any of those services even still support Silverlight, which I most sincerely doubt.

I ported both plugins over for MX Linux years and years ago and we set up an auto-installer there, and it worked fine, but, jeesh, nobody's even brought that up for years. It used Wine, as I recall, and was an amazing kluge.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Baloo » 2020-07-01, 05:18

Steve - Would you be willing to place the ports into your Pale Moon repository for those who wish to download? Netflix still supports Silverlight according to many users on here who use it in Windows to watch videos.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23742?rel=related
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Lunokhod » 2020-07-01, 20:03

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2020-06-30, 14:44
I dunno where you are getting your info but Pale Moon has and will never have DRM.
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/UXP/issues/962
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilisk_(web_browser)

Probably things have moved on since, from what you say.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Moonchild » 2020-07-01, 22:23

Pale Moon != UXP
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by ron_1 » 2020-07-01, 22:27

Lunokhod wrote:
2020-07-01, 20:03
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/UXP/issues/962
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilisk_(web_browser)

Probably things have moved on since, from what you say.
Your links are for Basilisk. This is a discussion for Pale Moon.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by stevepusser » 2020-07-02, 04:18

Baloo wrote:
2020-07-01, 05:18
Steve - Would you be willing to place the ports into your Pale Moon repository for those who wish to download? Netflix still supports Silverlight according to many users on here who use it in Windows to watch videos.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23742?rel=related
Shoot--here's the old thread for it: https://forum.mxlinux.org/viewtopic.php ... 43#p381943

Note that it requires a patched version of Wine also, which wine-staging provided at the time. Just yesterday the MX 15-16 releases reached EOL along with Debian Jessie, so I'll have to try and find out where our debianized source files were moved to.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by stevepusser » 2020-07-03, 04:43

Well, here's a separate repo for it: https://build.opensuse.org/package/show ... ight-multi

I remember that it would automatically download and install Silverlight and other plugins, but have no idea if those URLs still exist. You had to read the instructions and do that on the command line.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by moonbat » 2020-07-03, 04:58

I downloaded the .deb for Ubuntu 18.04 (I'm on Mint 19.3 Xfce) but it reports a dependency on wine-staging, and I can't find any such package in existing repos :(

Code: Select all

>dpkg -i pipelight-multi_0.2.8.2-1obs_amd64.deb 

Selecting previously unselected package pipelight-multi.
(Reading database ... 381317 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack pipelight-multi_0.2.8.2-1obs_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking pipelight-multi (0.2.8.2-1obs) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of pipelight-multi:
 pipelight-multi depends on wine-staging; however:
  Package wine-staging is not installed.

dpkg: error processing package pipelight-multi (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:
 pipelight-multi
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Baloo » 2020-07-03, 05:34

I managed to get the pipelight-multi and pipelight 2.8.2 packages installed and working in Debian Testing with your repo. However, installing Silverlight 5.1 through Pipelight then simply brings up an "installing" screen every time Pale Moon for Linux is booted. Not sure if that's a problem with Wine, or the Silverlight.exe in Pipelight, or what. Steve, if you're able to get this possibly running, it would be a godsend for Linux users. Since Chromium just broke for me due to a ffmpeg bug crashing the browser on any playback. Not that I like the browser anyway, but would like to watch media in Pale Moon where possible.

EDIT: Running pipelight-plugin --system-check gives back the following errors:

Checking Wine version ...
Version: wine-5.11 (Staging)
Patched Wine version: FAILURE

Checking libraries...
00c8:err:module:__wine_process_init L"C:\\windows\\system32\\--check-libs.exe" not found
Libraries: FAILURE

So I'm not sure if WINE is too new for pipelight or what.
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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Lunokhod » 2020-07-03, 14:18

Old Debian packages are still available if you search about:
https://www.debian.org/distrib/archive
Go to a mirror address then get the relevant Packages.gz at say (path varied as required) debian/dists/jessie/non-free/binary-i386/ and gunzip it to find the location of the correct binary version, then go back up the mirror tree to pool/wherever and find it. There might be an easier way to do this idk :D
You can also get back to Debian Jessie on ELTS
https://wiki.debian.org/LTS/Extended
No idea about wine but you would be lucky to get a C binary built with a very old version of GLIBC and the kernel to run on the latest versions, a rebuild would be required and possibly some tweaks to the code to get it to build, although C doesn't change much, other languages or libraries do though.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by stevepusser » 2020-07-04, 19:16

Wine-staging evolved from wine-compholio, and both had the patches necessary for pipelight to work at the time. I don't know if they left those in after pipelight pretty much fell by the wayside, since I handed over the MX wine-staging builds to another packager there a couple of years ago. Like Fedora, we just package it as "wine".

Debian users can add a wine-staging repository run by the wine developers on the OBS; I'm sure a little web searching will turn that up.

Lots of users over on MX forums are getting crashes with Debian's latest Chromium that was pushed onto Buster's security updates. So far, ungoogled-chromium from its Buster repo on the OBS is a lot more stable, as well as still providing va-api video hardware acceleration, which Debian removes for Buster builds. Va-api does require some extra tweaking of Chromium be done after it's installed, as well as the extra va-driver packages, and hardware that supports it.

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Re: Silverlight for Pale Moon for Linux: A fruitless search

Post by Baloo » 2020-07-07, 17:52

stevepusser wrote:
2020-07-04, 19:16
Wine-staging evolved from wine-compholio, and both had the patches necessary for pipelight to work at the time. I don't know if they left those in after pipelight pretty much fell by the wayside, since I handed over the MX wine-staging builds to another packager there a couple of years ago. Like Fedora, we just package it as "wine".

Debian users can add a wine-staging repository run by the wine developers on the OBS; I'm sure a little web searching will turn that up.

Lots of users over on MX forums are getting crashes with Debian's latest Chromium that was pushed onto Buster's security updates. So far, ungoogled-chromium from its Buster repo on the OBS is a lot more stable, as well as still providing va-api video hardware acceleration, which Debian removes for Buster builds. Va-api does require some extra tweaking of Chromium be done after it's installed, as well as the extra va-driver packages, and hardware that supports it.
Yeah, I was running Wine-Staging with Pipelight and couldn't get farther than a "Wine 5.1 is installing" dialog box every time I booted up Pale Moon. So the browser must have recognized the plugin, but I couldn't get it to actually install. Chromium on Debian Testing and Sid just had a serious bug that would break all video and audio playback if FFMpeg is installed, but that seems to have been fixed in the most recent update.

It's a shame, but it seems like the only option for video playback on Linux is Chromium and Firefox. I'm all out of ideas and trying at this point. Not that I watch much Netflix at all anyway, but it's just good to chronicle for other users. Only other thing I can think of is watching Netflix through Kodi.
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