Windows Media playback through Moonlight and Firefox for Linux

Moonshine Desktop Player

With Moonshine you can...

Moonshine leverages the Windows Media capabilities from Silverlight, provided by the Moonlight browser plugin on Linux, and the Firefox web browser framework to enable the playback of embedded Windows Media content on the web and local files on a user's desktop.

Install the Browser Plugin

Moonshine requires the Moonlight plugin. Before installing Moonshine, please install Moonlight.

Moonshine requires Firefox 3.0 or newer and JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that Moonshine will not run properly.

After you've installed Moonshine, try testing it out at C-SPAN.

Install the Desktop Player

In addition to the Browser Plugin above for viewing content on the web, Moonshine offers a Firefox-based Desktop Player to allow you to play Windows Media content on your local computer.

Currently this must be installed from source. The source code also builds the browser plugin, so if you build Moonshine from source, you do not need to install the plugin through Firefox using the above download links.


While Flash is now the typical format for delivering streaming video over the web these days, lots of content still exists that requires an additional browser plugin to view the media. Historically, this content has not been well supported on Linux. Moonshine aims to fill this gap by leveraging the Moonlight plugin, otherwise known as Silverlight for Linux.


Moonshine is a browser plugin that proxies the Moonlight plugin, claiming support for Windows Media content. When Firefox comes across content advertised as Windows Media, it loads the Moonshine plugin which in turn loads Moonlight.

Moonshine then loads its media player application, written in Silverlight, into the proxied Moonlight plugin, which is able to play back the Windows Media content.

The desktop player is Firefox with the standard web chrome replaced with controls to drive the media experience.

What about the Codec?

Windows Media support is included in Moonlight, and is provided directly by Microsoft as part of their commitment to Silverlight compatibility on all platforms. Moonshine simply leverages this support by loading a Silverlight media player application into the browser for Moonlight to run.

Source Code