In one of my earlier posts, I talked about setting up Ubuntu 64-bit on my Dell Studio 17 laptop. I provided some information on how I set up Flash on my system. This solution used the 32-bit release version of Adobe’s Flash plugin and nspluginwrapper to allow the 32-bit plugin to be used with the 64-bit version of Firefox. I had just a few problems with this solution:

  • Google Analytics would crash the entire browser if I tried to change the date range.
  • Hulu would always take at least a minute to load any video. Full length videos would sometimes take as long as five minutes to load.
  • Youtube would often times not work correctly.
  • Random parts of certain Flash applications would not work at all.
  • The new Hearts of Space Flash player didn’t work.
  • All too often, all Flash apps would fail. This resulted in every instance of Flash being replaced with a light-gray background.

Fortunately, I found a great solution to this problem: an actual 64-bit Adobe Flash Plugin.

That’s right. Adobe has finally released a 64-bit version of Flash. There are two important things to note:

  1. They actually released this back in November. It’s my fault for not knowing this until now, but I still wonder why it was so hard to find. Shouldn’t it be offered as an option on the download page?
  2. This is not an official release version; rather, it’s an alpha release. This means that the plugin may not be stable and doesn’t have full support currently. They have the following notice on the download page:
    This is a prerelease version of the Adobe® Flash® Player 10 software for Solaris and 64-bit Linux platforms. It is being made available for developers and consumers to test their content to ensure new features function as expected, existing content plays back correctly, and there are no compatibility issues.

Despite the fact that it’s an alpha release, I’ve had no problems with the plugin so far. It works great and fixes all the problems I listed above.

Installing

This is the sequence of steps you need to install the plugin:

  1. Download the Adobe Flash 64-bit plugin:
    [gaarai@home ~]$ wget http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/flashplayer10/libflashplayer-10.0.d21.1.linux-x86_64.so.tar.gz
  2. Extract the libflashplayer.so from the archive:
    [gaarai@linode ~]$ tar xvfz libflashplayer-10.0.d21.1.linux-x86_64.so.tar.gz
  3. Close Firefox
  4. Remove old Flash plugins. The follow commands are what my script uses to automate this process:
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo apt-get remove -y --purge -qq flashplugin-nonfree gnash gnash-common mozilla-plugin-gnash swfdec-mozilla libflashsupport nspluginwrapper
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo rm -f /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/*flash*
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo rm -f ~/.mozilla/plugins/*flash*
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/*flash*
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/*flash*
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper
  5. Copy libflashplayer.so to /usr/bin/mozilla/plugins/:
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo mkdir -p /usr/bin/mozilla/plugins/
    [gaarai@home ~]$ sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/bin/mozilla/plugins

Now you’re ready to load Firefox again and test it out.

Closing Thoughts

Now that Flash works properly, I can even make use of the Hearts of Space‘s new Flash player. When this new Flash player came out last week, I lost the ability to listen to the HoS programming. It was this straw that broke my tolerance for this issue and led me to search for a solution. If you don’t know about Hearts of Space, it’s “slow music for fast times” and is my favorite radio show. I’m happy to have a subscription to fill my day with Space.

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