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

last updated in Categories Mozilla

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.

As explained earlier you need to install the flashplugin-nonfree package under Debian and Ubuntu Linux to get flash support for Firefox and other browsers. You can check plugins status by visiting the following url:

Firefox Update Flash Plugin
Fig.01: Check Your Plugins


How Do I Update the Adobe Flash Player Under Debian or Ubuntu Linux?

Open a terminal window (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Switch to the root user by typing su – and entering the root password, when prompted:
$ su -
# update-flashplugin-nonfree --install

$ sudo /sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree --install
The update-flashplugin-nonfree command takes care of downloading, removing the installed Adobe Flash Plugin if it has been reported as insecure, or, if a newer suitable version is available, downloading a newer Adobe Flash Player and its installer from the Adobe download site. From the man page:

              To install, update or remove the Adobe Flash Player depending on
              downloaded  last  minute  information from Debian about suitable

              To remove the Adobe Flash Player.

(Fig.02: update-flashplugin-nonfree command line options)

Next, restart the Firefox and all other browsers. Again, check plugins status by visiting the following url:
Debian / Ubuntu Linux Update Flash Player For Firefox / Chrome Browser
Fig.02: Up To Date Flash Plugin Reported By Mozilla


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

23 comment

  1. I have found the firefox plugin “flash-aid” to be the best solution for firefox. It allows one to choose which library to use, which was important with Pandora didn’t work for me.

  2. Well, Firefox website says that I need to update Flash.
    I try make:
    setevoy@lizard:~$ sudo /sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree –install
    but get answer:
    sudo: /sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree: command not found

    รยงรยฏรยรโ€รยข? (What I make wrong?) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Linux lizard.dcv 2.6.32-31-generic #61-Ubuntu

    1. I know this is old, but it is because you didn’t do the first (kinda hidden) step where you install update-flashplugin-nonfree to /sbin/

      1. Hi, man. Thanks for replay, but look at post date:

        setevoy November 30, 2011

        anyway – thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. when i do
    $ sudo /sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree –install
    it says $: command not found
    what do i do?

    1. `sudo /sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree –install` is the command. $ implies the start of the shell line, not part of the command.

  4. Ummm..nope, it doesn’t. No candidates found. Have updated my sources.list even and still nothing. None of the sudo commands are working.

  5. Go back to Windows where you don’t have to bother over such issues. Always the same story in Linux, hours and hours of executing scripts and commands to just get the very basic things done that we take granted in Windows…

    1. that’s heresy in these here parts markus! LOL

      But you are right, I installed the latest Ubuntu in a virtual mode to try and the Flash player (11) is obsolete and wont and can’t update to the latest because Adobe won’t support Linux any longer. I’m a punter (horse racing) and our TAB website is written in and for Flash if you don’t have the latest version of flash you don’t get in.
      Apart for geeks I don’t see any point in having a Linux install, even for price, for G sake I paid $89 for a full copy of Win8 Professional, if you can’t afford that give up computing.

      1. yea, go back to good old MS….
        with its slow speeds and its crippled and dumbed down OS and its viruses and bad security.
        to think that people still pay for Windows OS today….

        anyway, for up to date flash in linux there are too many alternatives: chrome, chromium + pepper flash, wine, the open source flash alternatives, pipelight…
        It only takes an hour tops to implement a working solution if you wish to read a little about it.

      2. Why you would ever program an entire site in flash is beyond me. That’s like serving a mound of salt as an entree.

        You see, flash is a third-party plugin meant to display multimedia content through a proprietary protocol. It’s meant for doing things that aren’t possible with HTML, such as browser games, video players, etc. Flash is NOT suited for web design, and I am appalled every time I see a website coded in flash. From my analogy earlier, flash is like salt. It’s meant to be added sparingly, peppered throughout the site where needed.

        In other words, if your site won’t work becuase you coded it in flash, that is your fault for making a terrible design choice; not the user’s fault nor the fault of Linux for not supporting flash. Are you going to bash iOS and Android, now, for not supporting flash? Do you realize how large of a market share smartphones enjoy? Do you realize just how many potential users you are losing just because you couldn’t come to your senses and program your site in PHP/Python and HTML5/JavaScript/CSS?

        Not to mention, “it doesn’t support flash” is a terrible reason to shun a technology.

        Welcome to the future, where HTML5’s new specifications, Google, and even Adobe themselves, are actively working towards the obsolescence of flash, and the rise of HTML5 and Unity; get with the program, or fade into obscurity like those who couldn’t keep up in the past.

  6. your missing one thing choose which flash your updating try: first you need to switch over to administrator,
    First type ( su – ) your cursor should turn red in the Terminal
    Now type ( sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin ) and then add your password
    click y to start the down load. it will remove the old version of Adobe Flash Player and install a new version

    Good luck.

    1. su or sudo. Choose one.

      With su, you type in the password of the target account. With no arg provided, that means you’re logging in as root.

      With sudo, you type _your_ password, and have to be in the sudoers file.

      If your shell looks like this:

      $ su
      # sudo apt-get […]

      …then you aren’t understanding the purpose of sudo, or the necessity of avoiding logging in as root when using networked commands.

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