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HowTo: Linux Update the Adobe Flash Player [ Firefox and Chrome Plugin ]

The Adobe Flash Player plugin is use for viewing multimedia, and streaming video and audio, on a Firefox web browser. The same plugin is used by Google chrome and other browsers. Keeping your third-party plugins such as flash player up to date helps Firefox run safely and smoothly.
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Download 64 Bit Linux Flash Player Beta Version

Finally, Adobe has released 64 bit preview version of its most popular flash player today for Linux / Solaris UNIX operating system. There is no Windows or Mac 64 bit version exists but Linux / UNIX is the first OS to get it. Indeed a good news; now we have both Java and Flash plyaer for 64 bit platforms. No need to use nspluginwrapper. From the blog post:

Furthering Adobe's commitment to the Linux community and as part of ongoing efforts to ensure the cross-platform compatibility of Flash Player, an alpha version of 64-bit Adobe Flash Player 10 for Linux operating systems was released on 11/17/2008 and is available for download. This offers easier, native installation on 64-bit Linux distributions and removes the need for 32-bit emulation. Learn more by reading the 64-bit Flash Player 10 FAQ.

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.

Please note that you need 64 bit Linux operating system and 64 bit Firefox version to use this new 64 bit player.

Install Flash Player 10 Under Ubuntu Linux

Adobe flash player version 10 (code-named "Astro") has been released and available for download. It has many new features such as:
+ Visual performance improvements
+ 3D effects
+ Custom Filters and Effects
+ Advanced Text Layout
+ Enhanced Drawing API
+ Performance improvements and much more.

You must uninstall any currently installed Flash Player before installing the beta under Linux or Mac / Windows computer. Open Firefox and type following at url box:

(Fig. 01: Flash Player 9 installed)

Method #1: Install Ubuntu flash 10 Player

Visit this url and grab .deb file. Uninstall old flashplayer 9 ( if installed ):
$ sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree
Now, install Flash 10 (make sure Firefox is not running):
$ sudo dpkg -i install_flash_player_10_linux.deb
Start firefox and type about:plugins. You should see list of plugins including Flash 10.

Method #2: Install Flash Player 10 Final in your home directory

If you need to install flash plugin in your home directory, type the following commands. To uninstall type the command:
$ cd ~/.mozilla
$ rm flashplayer.xpt libflashplayer.so

Visit adobe website to grab flash player 10 tar.gz (tar ball). Download and install flash player 10 (please exit any browsers you may have running):
$ cd /tmp
$ wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz
$ tar -zxvf install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz
$ cd install_flash_player_10_linux
$ ./flashplayer-installer

Sample output:

Copyright(C) 2002-2006 Adobe Macromedia Software LLC.  All rights reserved.
Adobe Flash Player 10 for Linux
Adobe Flash Player 10 will be installed on this machine.
You are running the Adobe Flash Player installer as a non-root user.
Adobe Flash Player 10 will be installed in your home directory.
Support is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/
To install Adobe Flash Player 10 now, press ENTER.
To cancel the installation at any time, press Control-C.
NOTE: Please exit any browsers you may have running.
Press ENTER to continue...
----------- Install Action Summary -----------
Adobe Flash Player 10 will be installed in the following directory:
Mozilla installation directory  = /home/vivek/.mozilla
Proceed with the installation? (y/n/q): y
NOTE: Please ask your administrator to remove the xpti.dat from the
      components directory of the Mozilla or Netscape browser.
Installation complete.
Perform another installation? (y/n): n
Please log out of this session and log in for the changes to take effect.
The Adobe Flash Player installation is complete.

Now open Firefox and type about:plugins:

(Fig. 02: Flash Player 10 installed)

You can now view any flash based site (see featured demos and videos on official site) or video from Youtube video sharing site :)

(Fig.03: Flash 10 demo featured at official site)

Flash 10 64 bit Linux version

However, there is no 64 bit version of Flash 10 exists for Linux systems. You can install and use Flash, Java, Real Player 32 bit plugins under 64 bit Linux Firefox version

Why Linux don’t support mp3 and selected wifi cards out of the box?

This question is asked again and again. Why Linux don't support mp3, allow watching DVDs and selected wifi cards out of the box?

Short answer - copyright/IP laws prevent shipping all these software(s) and technologies/plugins with each Linux distribution. However some distribution comes with all these goodies but they are not free (try Linspire, which is not free but support is included for many common software). You need to purchase a subscription.

In the United States and many other countries, companies or developers or manufacturers must pay patent royalties to use an MP3 player or MP3 Encoder or Windows movie decoders. There is also conflicts between patent licenses and the licenses of application source code, so mp3 support is not provided out of box. This has been done for legal reasons. No one wants to get sued for breaking patent laws.

Most of these drivers are "restricted" because they are not available under a completely Free licence.

In short GNU/Linux and other distro try to follow rule:

  1. If something is proprietary, it cannot be included in Linux
  2. If it violates United States federal law (most popular distros are manufactured in USA), it cannot be included in Linux
  3. Patent-encumbered software etc

Following packages/drivers/encoder are not includes in most distros:
=> Nvidia /ATI graphics card
=> Vmware player kernel modules
=> Wifi chipsets
=> MP3 Support
=> Real Media and Player
=> CSS encrypted DVDs (DVD Playback)
=> Cryptography
=> Adobe Flash Player etc

The patent holder is not ready to give an unrestricted patent grant, as required by the GPL license. To get mp3 support for your distribution you must use third party repositories (or vendor site) to download application.

So how do I get working mp3 and other stuff?

You need to download RPM files or add selected repositories to your distributions. Following list summaries the work around for popular distribution:

Debian Linux

Use apt-get to install required software. However you may find Debian-multimedia repo good to install few codecs.

Add debian-multimedia.org repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:
# vi /etc/apt/sources.list Append following line:
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sarge mainORdeb http://www.debian-multimedia.org stable mainJust update all packages list:
# apt-get update
Use apt-get command to install multimedia packages such as mp3 players, DVD players etc.

=> Download and more information available at debian-multimedia

Ubuntu Linux

Use Automatix which is a graphical interface for automating the installation of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based linux operating systems. See how to install and use automatix to run mplayer music player

For Intel Centrino wifi card and other graphics card you need to use Ubuntu binary only package called linux-restricted-modules. Common modules are:
=> nvidia-glx/ATI graphics card
=> vmware-player-kernel-modules
=> Wifi chipsets etc

Most of above are restricted formats and as an end user you need to download and install them on Linux desktop system.

Under Ubuntu Linux linux-restricted* package is installed by default. You can always update this package to get bug fix and stability via update manager or type following commands:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install package-name
$ sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-x.x.xx

Always use latest kernel. Replace x.x.xx with your kernel version number. Use uname -r to find out kernel version. If kernel version number is 2.6.17 use package name linux-restricted-modules-2.6.17

Fedora Core (Red hat and friends)

Dag's RPM/ RPMforge.net repositories provides support for following Linux distributions:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Fedora Core
  • Old Red Hat Linux
  • Yellow Dog Linux
  • Aurora Linux
  • CentOS
  • Scientific Linux
  • TaoLinux
  • WhiteBox Linux
  • Lineox
  • BLAG

See how to play mp3 under Fedora Core Linux.

Download and more information available at following urls:
Dag's rpms

Don't forget to check out your distributions help documentation and official forum/mailing list :)

Please note that I am not a lawyer but just trying to answer a question which is asked by new Linux desktop users again and again. Hope this small how to provide answer and work around. If you have a better solution or thoughts on how we can help to solve this problem please comment back :)

Other possible solutions

If possible, use patent unrestricted formats such as Ogg Vorbis or FLAC.

Further readings

Updated for accuracy.