Use Flash, Silverlight, Unity web plugins in Linux

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Linux distributions have historically been unable to use the most updated version of Flash (except Google Chrome users ), Silverlight and other plugins such as Unity web. Moonlight has not been the best alternative for Silverlight either. It’s been slow, unstable, buggy and severely delayed; and, Unity web plugin for playing games does not have a native Linux port at all. Looking at the availability chart of important quality plugins, Linux users might feel that they are really losing out a lot of web goodness. This is where the Pipelight project comes in.

Pipelight is a project which enables the above mentioned plugins (Windows versions) and a few others to be run on Linux platform via wine. The novelty of Pipelight is that there is no lengthy installation procedure involved and the plugins integrate very nicely with the default Linux browser, Firefox.  In the  latest update of Pipelight, the following plugins has been updated:

  • Flash to
  • Shockwave to
  • Unity3D
  • Adobereader
  • FoxitReader
  • Roblox plugin

Note: Pipelight will not work with Chrome/Chromium as they have dropped support for NPAPI plugins. There is a suggested workaround for Chromium only though. More details can be found  here.


Installation is very easy . Pipelight offers detailed instructions for most popular Linux distributions. For installation in Ubuntu, just add the ppa using the commands below

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends pipelight-multi
sudo pipelight-plugin --update

For Fedora, use the following commands:

sudo yum install cabextract
sudo rpm -i

Now you only need to add our repository and install Pipelight which can achieved by executing (there are also Fedora 18 and Fedora 20 packages, just replace Fedora_19 with Fedora_18 or Fedora_20)

sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/pipelight.repo
sudo yum install pipelight
sudo pipelight-plugin --update

For installation instructions for other distributions click the appropriate links below


After installing Pipelight, you will need to enable the plugins you want to use. By default all plugins are disabled and you need to enable them through the pipelight-plugin script. Enabling a plugin is as easy as executing the following command in your terminal:

sudo pipelight-plugin --enable pluginname

To disable the plugin again use:

sudo pipelight-plugin --disable pluginname

If you do not want to enable a plugin for all users on your system, but only your current user, simply leave out the sudo.

You can get a list of all supported plugins by executing:

pipelight-plugin --help

Some of these plugins need to be “unlocked” first (this will create some extra file consuming some disk space). If you try to enable such a plugin, you will get an error tell you to execute

sudo pipelight-plugin --unlock pluginname

One problem you may come across is that Fedora uses SELinux and browsers are often not allowed to execute external programs which is required for Pipelight to work. For Firefox you can solve this issue by disabling the unconfined_mozilla_plugin_transition check via

sudo setsebool -P unconfined_mozilla_plugin_transition 0

Other browsers might require additional exceptions and you will need to take a look at the SELinux log if Pipelight does not work as expected.

List of plugins which are available through Pipelight are:

  • silverlight5.1
  • silverlight5.0
  • silverlight4
  • flash
  • unity3d
  • widevine

Additional plugins (experimental):

  • shockwave
  • foxitpdf
  • grandstream
  • adobereader
  • hikvision
  • npactivex
  • roblox
  • vizzedrgr
  • viewright-caiway
  • triangleplayer
  • x64-unity3d
  • x64-flash
Sayantan Das
I am a Sr. IT Consultant working at Srinsoft Technologies, Chennai. I have over 6 years of work experience with more than 4 years as a Linux System Administrator. I am a Linux enthusiast and a blogger. I am also a regular contributor to the Ubuntu Manual.
  • rpattabi

    This is awesome. Finally my firefox says flash is up-to-date. Thanks!

    • Sayantan Das

      Glad it helped! :)