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An alternative after the closing of 64-bit Adobe Flash Player September 11, 2010

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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EDIT: A new 64-bit alpha release for flash has been released on Nov 30 2010. The original 64-bit  Howto adapted. This post is about using the 32-bit version on 64-bit GNU/Linux.

The success of my post on how to install the beta 64-bit Flash Player worries me a little: over 160000+ views since publication (around Ubuntu 9.04). The combination of 32-bit flash, a wrapper and 64-bit Firefox, was/is problematic and crash-prone. Using the 64-bit alpha/beta flash binaries was a good-working alternative for the many 64-bit users (why install 32-bit when you paid for a 64-bit processor?) that for one reason or another needed flash.

Adobe, when confronted with a security-related bug, chose to get rid of Flash Player 10 altogether and push an upgrade to 10.1. Sadly, this meant the end of the beta program with no date on a 64-bit solution (may be somewhere in the future). In the mean time, running the old beta is an option. However, the security bug is still there. Adobe released a new 64-bit preview release of Flash.

A workaround, that does not feel like one, is running chromium – the free sibling of Google’s chrome – with 32-bit flash. Chromium  architecture tames the normally crashy 32-bit flash by running flash as a separate process. It works fine and stable. What a surprise… and everything can be installed from the Ubuntu repositories.

To install chromium and 32-bit flash on your 64-bit computer do this from a terminal (Accessoires-Terminal):

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser flashplugin-installer

Now you can run flash on you 64-bit computer without worrying about the security vulnerability of the previous Flash version.


1. Install 64-bit Adobe Flash Player on Ubuntu (updated to 10.04 and closing of 64-bit beta) « *n*x - September 11, 2010

[…] An alternative after the closing of 64-bit Adobe Flash Player […]

2. Frederik - September 11, 2010

You call running a 64 bit Firefox with a wrapper and 32 bit Flash plug-in problematic, but running a 64 bit Chrome with its built-in wrapper and 32 bit Flash is fine? To me it is exactly the same, except that for solution 1 you need a third party wrapper and in solution 2 the wrapper is built in the browser itself…

claudio - September 11, 2010

It’s exactly the same binary and (nsplugin) wrapper on both cases. The only difference is that Firebox can not handle the setup well – at least on all the computers I’ve tried – and chromium can. It’s just a question of time before a new firefox that supports process separation is added to Ubuntu and other distributions. In the mean while, it’s a great “workaround” as most people don’t even know that chromium exists and it is included in the repositories…

3. john - September 12, 2010

I have a problem that is different than crashing. Often I can’t get any response out of flash buttons. In these cases rollover works but clicking play or on suggestions from utube has no effect. I have the same problem in both firefox and chrome! Is chromium really that different from chrome?

claudio - September 12, 2010

Hi John,

This post fixes the problem. It’s a nspluginwrapper thing, so I works with firefox and chromium. I haven’t installed chrome so I don’t know if it uses nspluginwrapper (the system one or built-in).

4. Philip Paeps - September 12, 2010

I don’t really understand why people think they need Flash at all? Especially now that HTML5/Video “exists”. I don’t have Flash installed and don’t notice any problems.

claudio - September 12, 2010

Flash sucks terribly.

However there is a big chance your significant-non-technical-other needs access to a crappy site (school, webshop, etc) that uses flash. Personally, I have flash installed but blocked.

5. wannes - September 16, 2010

New native 64-bit flash for linux

I haven’t tried it yet.

6. claudio - September 16, 2010

Thx, wannes!

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