Blog Post

Flash and 64-bit systems

Edit: This is for Gutsy only
I just spent a few hours combing the community documentation and the Ubuntu Forums looking for the best resource for installing Flash on 64-bit systems. Wow, I was mesmarized by all of the information to do such an easy task.

If you are using a 64-bit system, you do not have to:

  1. install a 32-bit edition of Firefox
  2. download the Adobe Flash Player from their website
  3. don’t have to mess with Pango
  4. and a whole slew of others…

I was successful using the following commands in order to get not only get Flash to work with Firefox on a 64-bit system, but also Konqueror. Granted, Konqueror and Flash aren’t best of friends right now with Gutsy, and either is OpenOffice.org with Kubuntu Gutsy. Anyways, here is exactly how I did it, and I would like you all to give it a shot and let me know if it works for you. I am doing this all command line, so bear with me.

First, install flashplugin-nonfree from the repos:

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

Second, wrap the flashplugin-nonfree with nspluginwrapper:

nspluginwrapper -i /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so

Third, create a link from the new file located in your home directory to the Firefox plugins directory:

sudo ln -s ~/.mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libflashplayer.so

If you are using Firefox, you are good to go. Those of you using Konqueror just have to go into the plugin settings in the Konqueror configuration and scan for new plugins. It should be there and working. If you have issues with this, could you please let me know. Thanks. And if you are using Kubuntu Gutsy, I know that Konqueror locks up when going to websites with flash animation or movies embedded. Thanks everyone.

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  • gl.

    I’m stuck at the very beginning – apt does not find flashplugin-nonfree. Do I need to add some sources?

  • I was really hoping for a simple solution to this. At the moment I have to use Swiftfox (installed by the oft reviled Automatix) to view sites that insist on Flash. However, I get this…

    phil@Phils:~$ sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Package flashplugin-nonfree is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package flashplugin-nonfree has no installation candidate

    Any suggestions?

  • gl.

    Yes, that’s precisely the error I get as well.

  • llonesmiz

    The feisty package only is available for i386, the gutsy one can be installed on amd64. (According to packages.ubuntu.com)

  • gl.

    Well, but the point is precisely to get flash working in firefox on a 64 bit system 🙂 ! So this tutorial is working for gutsy only … ? Or is there a way to force the package onto a 64 bit feisty?

  • No dice. Dead on step #1.

    I’ve seen a number of sites make this out to be dead easy but that statement seems to be made on certain assumptions that aren’t yet clear.

    magnus@kraken:~$ sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
    Password:
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    Package flashplugin-nonfree is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package flashplugin-nonfree has no installation candidate
    magnus@kraken:~$

  • bruce89

    I don’t see what’s wrong with gnash, it works for most flash things these days.

  • Robert

    Looked promissing indeed but I also get the “Package flashplugin-nonfree has no installation candidate” error message (feisty fawn amd64).
    I’ve got universe/multiverse-repositories enabled. I also tried enabling backports & medibuntu-repositories: no go.

    @bruce89: are you able to watch youtube-clips using gnash?
    I’m not…..

    greetz,
    Robert

  • If you are using Ubuntu Gustsy, just install flashplugin-nonfree, and all the steps will be done.

  • Same problem here, using 64bit Feisty.
    And Gnash still doesn’t cut it, sorry…

    But there is a solution that worked for me: the special install script found here:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=476924

    Enjoy!

  • Johan

    Last I tried nspluginwrapper, it was very unstable and would frequently crash the browser. Has this improved?

  • Sorry everyone, I didn’t explicitly state that this was for Gutsy only and not for Feisty. I am doing this for the system documentation for Kubuntu, but I wanted to see if it worked for Ubuntu as well.

    Simply installing flashplugin-nonfree on a 64-bit system doesn’t cut it. All it does it put the flash plugin in the /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree directory and doesn’t install to the /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ directory. If you simply copy or link the libflashplayer.so into /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ it still doesn’t work, as Firefox doesn’t recognize the plugin. You have to wrap it first with nspluginwrapper in order to get it to work.

  • Are you sure you need to manually do the nspluginwrapper bit? I installed flashplugin-nonfree by accident when I was testing some changes, and it did all the setup for me. The flash plugin appeared in firefox as if by magic, after a firefox restart of course.

  • When we tested last night and today, nsplugwrapper was the only thing that would get Firefox to acknowledge it as a plugin. I will have to do further testing because everyone I have worked with on IRC had to do it this way and it worked every time so far. But seeing the comments here, it will obviously need further testing.

  • sudo ln -s ~/.mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libflashplayer.so

    It is a bad idea.
    A virus can infect other user trought firefox in this configuration.
    Don’t let Ubuntu became more vulnerable !

    Please do instead
    sudo cp ~/.mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libflashplayer.so
    sudo chown root:root /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libflashplayer.so
    sudo chmod 775 /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libflashplayer.so

  • I don’t see how this could make Ubuntu more vulnerable. I am linking to my personal account which doesn’t have root priviledges for one. I don’t see how there could be a difference between linking to an unpriviledged account and copying the file and then giving full privileges to UID root and GID root. Can you please explain/backup your claim to it making Ubuntu more vulnerable?

  • This is great news!
    Now for the follow-up question: can you get both Flash *and* Java working in 64 bit Firefox?
    And on a non-Firefox-related note, will Cedega run ok on 64-bit Ubuntu? I’ve had no problems using it for gaming on 64-bit Gentoo, but no success with it on 64-bit Mepis (Dapper based).
    These are the 2 issues (Firefox and Cedega) that conspire to keep me from using my CPU’s full potential. I don’t even consider the 64-bit version anymore when trying a new distro out, because it’s not worth the time/headaches.

  • Hey … in gutsy installing flashplugin-nonfree package should work out of the box on amd64 (e.g. no manual nspluginwrapper run needed) … if not its a bug and please report it. Otherwise we won’t be able to fix it …

    Thanks,

    – Alexander (asac)

  • Jon

    Wow, why is Adobe so lazy to make a 64-bit version? :/

  • JMischief

    worked well for me… except that i’m working on debian and the npwrapper.libflashplayer.so is located in /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/

    thanks for the hint! i’ve flash back 🙂

  • I don’t see how this could make Ubuntu more vulnerable. I am linking to my personal account which doesn’t have root priviledges for one. I don’t see how there could be a difference between linking to an unpriviledged account and copying the file and then giving full privileges to UID root and GID root. Can you please explain/backup your claim to it making Ubuntu more vulnerable?

    If a virus run under your account, it will infect ~/.mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so (because you have the right to write into) and infect any other user trought Firefox (you are breaking the security model here).
    Making a copy, chowning it to root and chmoding it to 755 avoid this scenario.

  • Mabinogi

    f a virus run under your account, it will infect ~/.mozilla/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so (because you have the right to write into) and infect any other user trought Firefox (you are breaking the security model here).

    This is absolutely untrue.
    you don’t magically get the right to modify files simply by linking to them.
    Symbolic links do not have any real permissions of their own, they’re just pointers to the real file. All the permissions of the real file still count.

  • Mabinogi

    Actually, I retract that, you’re right. That’s a very silly thing to do.
    I thought it was creating a link _in_ the users directory, not creating a link _from_ the user’s directory.

  • Jim

    Actually, you shouldn’t have to install the wrapper separately. It is a dependency of flashplayer-nonfree. It also installs it correctly (running Flash through the wrapper and creating a link to the new file in the plugins directory).

    Unfortunately the latest Flash beta does not work well with the current version of nspluginwrapper. I hope it is updated to handle it before the new version is released or we will all be experiencing some crashing browsers. Also, no version seems to work well in Opera.

  • Jesper

    Package flashplugin-nonfree is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package flashplugin-nonfree has no installation candidate

    I get this error even trying to install flashplugin-nonfree from the Gutsy repositories.

    The only package I’ve got from Gutsy is the kernel, is that enough?

  • Wicked, this worked 100% no problem. I KNEW that if I looked long enough I’d find a really easy way. As it turned out I stumbled on you with my 2nd google search attempt and was up and running in about 30 seconds. I imagine others are having troubles because they’ve limited their repositories.

  • Windsor

    Worked like a charm first try. With cut-and-paste this took me all of at most 30 seconds, following your instructions. I’m on Gutsy x64 / current 64-bit FireFox. Thanks very much!

  • Thomas

    Hi, I installed flash today.
    I am using kubuntu 64-bit.
    I did the following
    sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
    in a terminal window (konsole)

    after that, i got a whole lot of text feedback, telling me that it downloaded both the nspluginwrapper and the flash plugin, and installed the whole thing.

    Then in konqueror (i don’t use firefox nonono, i am konqueror fan number 1) in the settings, plugins, scan for new plugins. Load arbitrary flashified website: (i chose some videos on youtube) and this just worked, straight outa the box.

    I AM POSITIVELY SURPRISED! HALLELUJAH!

  • link141

    Hi,
    First of all, thanks for this post, and your wonderful blog.

    I just got shiny a new laptop, which I installed the Kubuntu 7.10 64-bit edition on. When I realized that adobe didn’t support 64-bit linux yet, I searched the web for howtos. Using your directions (and directions from other sites) I was able to get it installed and all (I had to download flash, as the “flashplugin-nonfree” package is messed up). I got it to be detected in konqueror (which is my favorite browser by the way), but whenever I go to a website that uses flash, such as youtube, the only thing I get is audio. There’s just a blank spot where the flashplayer goes that remains blank (it will also take the image of any windows or dialogs that were over it last). I don’t if there’s anyway to fix this, if anyone has experienced the same issue, or what. If anyone can give me some advice on how to get this working, I’d be grateful.
    Thanks

  • link141

    Nevermind, I already fixed the problem. It turns out that Adobes latest revision of flash 9 uses Xembed, which Konqueror doesn’t support. To get flash working, I downloaded the first revision from their website (in the 70mb regression versions package) and performed the same procedure. Flash now works beautifully in Konqueror.

  • Pingback: vybeauregard.net :: news» Blog Archive » Flash in 64-bit Environments()

  • It’s amazing that Adobe continues to release new versions and not support 64-bit Linux. I switched from XP to Vista for about a month after it was released, then went Ubuntu. Yesterday I switched from 32-bit to 64-bit Ubuntu. The only downside has been flash. There are days like today, where Adobe pulled their 05/15/08 version of Version 10. So it breaks the package “flashplugin-nonfree” because the package is expecting to be able to install that version.

    Other than that, 64-bit seems fine.

  • Animesh

    The solution is copy pasted in many sites, but it works in only 10% of the cases.

    With newer firefox release 3.03 and flash 10 it doesn’t work, with 64 bit.
    In my system I had tried everything and nspluginwrapper closes the connection when flash pops up. about:plugins reports everything is perfect. Same issue with opera too. Any smart ideaz??

    I think flash on Linux will take some time to come, coz adobe won’t be supporting 64 bit for a long long time. Adobe sucks anyway. Swfdec looks promising but still a long way to go……

  • lightinthedark

    I found a more complete answer at this site:
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/debian-26/64-bit-flash-plugin-699901/
    There I found that by changing my sources to include Sid (unstable) I could install the alpha version of flash 10 which runs natively on a 64bit os (such as my amd64 install of Lenny). Hope it helps someone else too.

  • DarkPhoenix

    Here is a work around I invented that DOES work:

    How to make Flash work with 64 bit browsers – Works for FLV type Flash Video.

    We tell our 64 bit browsers to point to 32 bit programs all the time to open content. It does not Have to be embedded in the browser itself which is part of the the problem isn’t it? ( aside from the fact it would not be using less resources due to it’s being 32 bit)
    So big deal.. just point the browser to use a 32 bit external flash application. But HOW?

    I DID IT !!! Read On…

    I have done more searching and I have found a working partial solution.. BUT it’s the LONG way.

    The trick is find a program that lets you download flash files..( I am using the free, Sothink Video Downloader) In my case it’s .flv files like flash movies from You Tube I want to stream. (and I assume you are using firefox or seamonkey.. I don’t yet know how to do this for an IE 64 bit browser) You won’t be able to play the stream in the browser But, when your video downloader program finds the flv file on the page it will open and ask you were to download the file.. IT will have captured the .FLV URL from the you tube page.

    Copy and paste that .flv url back into the address bar. (You do not have to let your downloader program finish downloading the file) At this point the Helper Application will open a dialog box and then you point the FLV extention to the external flash player of your choice. I am using the SoThink Flash Player because it’s small and free and takes little resources. Also check the box that says Always use this program to open this type of file.

    Now you are set up and the file will play through your external player. The next time you want to view a you tube page, simply start the flash download app you have and copy the flv url and paste it back into the browser and poof, it will play. ( You do not have to continue with the download.. we are using this video downloader just to grab the flv url. )

    If you get good at this, the process will take only a few seconds to do manually. This will work with some places but not all. It only works with the commercials at the beginning of HULU tv shows.. not the tv show itself.. I think this is because the flv url is too deeply embedded. I have not tested this with Google Video, just HULU and YouTube.. But it should work as long as you can capture the .FLV URL.

    Well folks it’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Of course until Adobe makes a windows 64 bit flash plugin it’s much easier just to use the 32 bit browser.. but hey.. this was bugging me so I had to try it!

    In a Nutshell: First you use a tool to capture the flv url from the page then you feed it back into the address bar so the helper application will ask you to open it with an external player.. I used SoThink Video Downloader to capture the flv url, and SoThink Flash Player to pop up and play the file.. works nice as long as you can capture the flv url.

    Perhaps some of you could take this idea and help me streamline the process or figure out how to get the deeper embedded flv url from hulu and places like it.

    I would like to find a way to automate the process, perhaps with an extension. I feel if all the bugs could get worked out this would be a nice alternative until Adobe makes the proper plungin.

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