Sneaky software installs

The Mozilla Plugin Check page was released today, so I loaded it up to see the latest changes. “Looks good,” I thought, and skimmed the list of plugins it displayed for me. Quicktime, Silverlight, Flash, and… Woah, wait.

Silverlight?

On my OS X box? How the fuck did that get there? I sure don’t remember installing it. Grrrr!

A little web searching later, and I found my answer. It’s silently installed with Flip4Mac (a set of Quicktime components to allow playing Microsoft proprietary media formats on OS X), which I had installed a week or two ago to try something, and then promptly forgot about. The installer doesn’t have a word to say about it, unless you click a little “Customize” button on the 5th screen on the install:

That really annoys me. Silent, sneaky software installs are evil, evil, evil.

At least Flip4Mac includes an uninstaller, so I ran that. It’s actually a package, so you’re confusingly prompted to “Select the disk where you want to install the uninstaller software.”, but it was otherwise painless. Now to just restart my browser, check about:plugins, and…

GAHHHH! It’s still there. Their uninstaller uninstalls the Flip4Mac bits, but not the Silverlight plug. Solution:

rm -rf /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/Silverlight.plugin/

It’s finally dead, Jim.

About Justin Dolske

Mostly harmless.
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8 Responses to Sneaky software installs

  1. Hmm… I haven’t touched Flip4Mac in a while (I rarely ever use WMP hence never need to bother). That really stinks.

    Good catch. I’ll be sure to uncheck that box when installing/upgrading in the future.

  2. Arthur says:

    Thankfully I didn’t quite get tricked into installing it myself, but almost!
    Blogged about it here too:
    http://blog.artooro.com/2009/10/06/latest-flip4mac-wmv-beta-installs-microsoft-silverlight-by-default/

    I needed the latest version of Flip4Mac to view GoToMeeting recordings.

  3. Omega X says:

    Well, at least its not an entire browser or networking components no one will ever need. I’m staring at you Apple.

  4. Fred says:

    Silverlight is related to watching WMV’s is it not?

  5. Lionel says:

    @Fred: no, Flip4Mac is. Silverlight is Microsoft’s Flash.

  6. eh says:

    You should probably give a more user-friendly method of removing it, rather than jetting straight to the CLI. I mean, sure you’re comfortable with that, but Joe Six-Pack who comes across this blog after a Google search might have absolutely no clue what your last monospaced line means.

  7. Arthur says:

    Here’s an applescript application which anyone can run to remove Silverlight
    http://blog.artooro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Remove_Silverlight.zip
    Should call it the “Silverlight Removal Tool” :)

  8. Yo says:

    So you install a tool to allow you to view Microsoft proprietary media formats on OS X, and yet you are surprised that it includes.. wait for it… another technology that allows you to view Microsoft proprietary media formats on OS X?

    That’s like installing Adobe air and bring surprised in comes with Flash. Come on. Chill out!

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