The first public release of Moonlight, which provides a Linux client implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight rich Internet application (RIA) technology, was made available this week.

Moonlight, an open source project, supports the Silverlight 1.0 profile for Linux.

According to a Moonlight' >blog post by Novell Vice President of Engineering Miguel de Icaza, the lead on the Moonlight project, Moonlight comes in two forms. In one form, no media codecs are supported but it is easy to install. In the other form, source code compilation is featured with users able to optionally compile FFMpeg codecs themselves.

Moonlight is intended to work on the Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 browsers, but recent changes in Firefox 3 prevent Silverlight and Moonlight from working on that browser. A Greasemonkey script is available that will work around this bug for some sites, de Icaza said.

A "windowless" mode is supported in Moonlight that enables Silverlight content to blend with other HTML content on a page. But this is only supported by Firefox 3. Users of older versions of Firefox might find Silverlight applications and Web sites that do not work correctly since many Silverlight applications depend on this functionality.

The Moonlight team, meanwhile, is transitioning APIs to support the upcoming 2.0 release of Silverlight. De Icaza asked that users finding any bugs please file them for the team to fix.