Pipelight is a special browser plugin which allows one to use Windows-only plugins inside Linux browsers. The main focus of the project is on Silverlight and its features, such as watching DRM protected videos. It works by creating a bridge between a Windows application, which handles the Windows-only plugin (e.g. Silverlight), and a native Linux browser plugin. The Windows application is run using a patched version of Wine, therefore requiring Pipelight users to move to this version. Pipelight can be used in browsers that support NPAPI plugins, such as Firefox. It does not work with Chromium.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Managing plugins
- 3 User Agent
- 4 Verification
- 5 GPU Acceleration in Silverlight
- 6 Custom variables
- 7 Troubleshooting
- 7.1 Pipelight stopped working after upgrade of chromium (version 35+)
- 7.2 Silverlight plug-in error with Firefox and apparmor
- 7.3 Videos playing very fast and no sound / bad sound quality
- 7.4 GNOME 3/Firefox fullscreen issues
- 7.5 Pipelight renders all Chinese characters as squares
- 7.6 No sound when using PulseAudio
- 8 Tips
- 9 See also
Installing from the AUR
Pipelight is available in the AUR as the AUR package.
Installing from the unofficial pipelight repositories
Pre-built Pipelight packages for Arch Linux can be obtained from the unofficial pipelight repository, which is maintained by the Pipelight developers. Since these packages are pre-built, it does not require the time expensive task of compiling wine from sources. If you are running a 64-bit system, you will need to enable the Multilib repository first.
Pipelight can be used to manage browser plugins including Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player/Shockwave Player.
Update the plugins:
# pipelight-plugin --update
To list all available plugins:
$ pipelight-plugin --help
Enable the plugin globally:
# pipelight-plugin --enable plugin
$ pipelight-plugin --enable plugin
Plug-in(s) not visible in Mozilla Firefox
If upon starting Firefox the enabled plugin doesn't appear under
about:plugins, try running the following command before starting Mozilla Firefox:
# pipelight-plugin --create-mozilla-plugins
Since some sites (e.g. Netflix) refuse to stream to a Linux browser, the user agent may have to be changed.
There is a test page available here. Alternatively, detected plugins can be listed in
GPU Acceleration in Silverlight
Silverlight applets may include an option called
enableGPUAcceleration which controls whether or not hardware acceleration should be used (i.e. use the graphics card for video playback). This option is under the control of specific website's administrator, but this option can also be forced from the client's side (see below). By default, GPU acceleration is only enabled on verified systems cards and pages that require it. Herein, system verification is executed through the bash script
/usr/share/pipelight/hw-accel-default that checks the graphics card vendor. Note that this script depends on the
glxinfo utility, which is part of mesa-demos. Make sure this package is installed if you want to Pipelight's graphics verification method.
Force hardware acceleration
To take control of the
enableGPUAcceleration option yourself and enable hardware acceleration by default, perform the following steps:
# nano /usr/share/pipelight/configs/pipelight-silverlight5.1
Change the following line:
# overwriteArg = enableGPUAcceleration=true
overwriteArg = enableGPUAcceleration=true
Disable graphics card verification
silverlightGraphicDriverCheck = true
silverlightGraphicDriverCheck = false
The selection of custom variables found in Wine-Silverlight and Pipelight are as following:
- Installs Wine to
/usr(to not conflict with ).
- Installs Wine to
- Allows setting a custom location.
- Allows setting a custom location. Default is
- Allows setting a custom location. Default is
- Location of Wine-Silverlight.
For example, to install Wine-Silverlight in
- wine-silverlight: set
- pipelight: set
Pipelight stopped working after upgrade of chromium (version 35+)
Silverlight plug-in error with Firefox and apparmor
If you are running AppArmor and Firefox, you may see an error when loading Silverlight plug-in. You will need to modify or create an apparmor profile.
Videos playing very fast and no sound / bad sound quality
One of the causes of bad sound quality or laggy playback might be the use of PulseAudio. Since Pipelight uses wine to handle the audio playback, changing the audio output module there can solve some problems. A good alternative to PulseAudio is alsa and can be enabled as follows.
First download, install and run the winetricks plugin.
$ wget -O ~/.wine-pipelight/winetricks http://winetricks.org/winetricks $ chmod +x ~/.wine-pipelight/winetricks $ WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-pipelight WINE=/opt/wine-compholio/bin/wine WINEARCH=win32 ~/.wine-pipelight/winetricks
Choose: "Select the default wineprefix" -> "Change Wine settings" -> "sound=alsa"
Then test whether this solves your problem (restart your browser and open a Silverlight video). If not, change the audio output device in wine to analog. Run the wine configuration utility:
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-pipelight WINE=/opt/wine-compholio/bin/wine WINEARCH=win32 /opt/wine-compholio/bin/winecfg
Open the Audio tab and change the Output device to
Out: HDA Intel - ALC1200 Analog
This may solve video lagging issues if PulseAudio was causing it. ALSA audio might still go through PulseAudio though, if you have pulseaudio-alsa installed. This is not a problem by itself, but you may have to restart PulseAudio. This is done by runnning:
$ pulseaudio -k
GNOME 3/Firefox fullscreen issues
In GNOME 3, fullscreen pipelight windows do not focus properly in firefox. This can be fixed using devilspie:
First, installfrom the official repositories,
$ mkdir ~/.devilspie
Next, create the following file:
(if (and (is (window_class) "Wine") (or (is (application_name) "Adobe Flash Player") (is (application_name) "Microsoft Silverlight") ) ) (begin (focus) ) )
Finally we need to make devilspie autostart. This can be accomplished by creating the following file:
[Desktop Entry] Name=devilspie Exec=devilspie Hidden=false NoDisplay=false X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
Pipelight renders all Chinese characters as squares
Silverlight will only use ”Microsoft Yahei” font to render Chinese characters, you need to install this font (probably from other Windows OSes) to support Chinese character rendering
Other known issues and solutions are often listed in the Pipelight FAQ.
No sound when using PulseAudio
If you are using PulseAudio you may get no sound from Silverlight applications. To allow wine to use PulseAudio you have to install
Test 1080p video playback
To verify your Pipelight installation and check its performance on high definition videos, you can use this video for testing purposes.