Mono Silverlight


Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight framework, developed by the Mono project team. It allows users to run Silverlight applications on Linux and other non-Windows platforms. The project was discontinued in 2012 as it was unable to keep up with Microsoft’s Silverlight updates and due to the decreasing popularity of browser plugins.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight, which is a web application framework that allows for the creation of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).
  2. Developed by the Mono team, Moonlight is compatible with Linux and other Unix/X11 based systems and is designed to bring Silverlight functionality to those platforms.
  3. Though the Mono Silverlight project was officially discontinued in 2012, its contributions to web development remain significant as it promoted cross-platform compatibility and showcased the potential of open-source implementations of proprietary technologies.


Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is significant in the technology realm as an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight framework.

It was specifically designed for Linux and other operating systems, aiming to bring compatibility across platforms and expand the range of applications that could benefit from Silverlight’s features, such as multimedia, graphics, and animation.

With the involvement and support of Novell and the Mono Project, Mono Silverlight facilitated the development of feature-rich web applications, offering both developers and users more options and flexibility.

Its cross-platform compatibility represented a critical step in creating a more inclusive and innovative online experience.

Despite its discontinuation in 2012 due to a shift in web technology trends, Mono Silverlight remains an important milestone in the ongoing evolution of web development.


Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight, designed for the Linux operating system and other non-Windows platforms. Its primary purpose is to provide a range of multimedia and rich internet application experiences, similar to those offered by Microsoft’s proprietary Silverlight technology, to a wider array of operating systems.

Moonlight is developed and maintained by the Mono project, which is focused on creating tools and frameworks that allow developers to build cross-platform .NET applications. With the advent of Moonlight, Linux users were able to access streaming services, and enjoy interactive and visually-rich web applications that were initially exclusive to Windows users.

It aimed to bridge the gap between various operating systems and provided an inclusive platform, supporting an extensive range of multimedia codecs and formats. Although Microsoft discontinued Silverlight, and Moonlight development has ceased, Mono Silverlight played a crucial role in the advancement of multimedia support and rich web applications for Linux and other non-Windows operating systems.

Examples of Mono Silverlight

Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, developed by the Mono Project team. It was primarily designed to bring Silverlight applications to platforms other than Windows, such as Linux. However, Moonlight development was stopped due to Microsoft’s decreasing interest in Silverlight. Below are three real-world examples of when Mono Silverlight was in use:

NBC Olympics website (2008): For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, NBC provided streaming video of the events on their website using Microsoft Silverlight. At that time, Moonlight (Mono Silverlight) enabled Linux users to access this content, as Microsoft’s own implementation was not supported on Linux.

Linux-compatible Silverlight applications: Before its discontinuation, Moonlight provided a way for developers to create and deploy Silverlight applications compatible with Linux platforms. This allowed for wider reach and accessibility of web applications designed using Silverlight technology.

Educational tools and training resources: In its active days, Moonlight enabled various educational institutions and training resource providers to offer their Silverlight-based interactive learning applications to Linux users. By doing so, they could reach a broader range of students and professionals using non-Windows platforms.

Mono Silverlight FAQ

What is Mono Silverlight?

Mono Silverlight, also known as Moonlight, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, developed by the Mono project for Linux and other Unix/X11-based operating systems. It allows running Silverlight applications on non-Windows platforms.

How does Mono Silverlight relate to Microsoft Silverlight?

Mono Silverlight is an open-source alternative to Microsoft Silverlight. It provides compatibility for running Silverlight applications on non-Windows platforms such as Linux, macOS, and BSD. While it is not developed by Microsoft, it is designed to be compatible with Silverlight applications created for the Windows environment.

Which platforms does Mono Silverlight support?

Mono Silverlight supports various non-Windows platforms including Linux, macOS, BSD, and other Unix/X11-based operating systems.

What languages can be used to develop Mono Silverlight applications?

Developers can primarily use C# or any other .NET-based languages such as VB.NET and F# to create Mono Silverlight applications. JavaScript can also be used when creating client-side functionality in a Silverlight application.

What do I need to develop Mono Silverlight applications?

To develop Mono Silverlight applications, you will need the Mono framework and Moonlight SDK, as well as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as MonoDevelop or Visual Studio.

What is the current status of Mono Silverlight?

As of May 2012, the development of Mono Silverlight has been officially discontinued. This is because Microsoft has decided to shift its focus away from Silverlight in favor of HTML5 and other web technologies. However, you can still find the necessary resources and tools to develop and maintain existing Mono Silverlight applications.

Related Technology Terms

Terms related to Mono Silverlight:

  • .NET Framework
  • MonoDevelop
  • XAML
  • Moonlight
  • Microsoft Silverlight

Sources for More Information


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