Pipelight is a new open-source project for getting Microsoft Silverlight applications to run within web-browsers on Linux, including the widely sought after Netflix Player on Linux. The Pipelight project for Silverlight in Linux browsers works with any browser supporting the Netscape Plugin API (e.g. Firefox) and consists of a Linux library loaded by the web-browser and also a Windows program started in Wine. The fake Windows program simulates a browser and loads the Silverlight DLL libraries. The Pipelight work by the developers included implementing the necessary Digital Rights Management support for Netflix within Wine.
Pipelight consists out of two parts: A Linux library which is loaded into the browser and a Windows program started in Wine. The Windows program, called pluginloader.exe, simply simulates a browser and loads the Silverlight DLLs. When you open a page with a Silverlight application the library will send all commands from the browser through a pipe to the Windows process and act like a bridge between your browser and Silverlight. The used pipes do not have any big impact on the speed of the rendered video since all the video and audio data is not send through the pipe. Only the initialization parameters and (sometimes) the network traffic is send through them.