A quick reminder on 64-bit Flash

Yes, Flash sucks. But many of us need it for one site or another. And lots of us are running 64-bit Linux these days, where Adobe has famously refused (so far) to update the plugin for the recent serious vulnerabilities in Flash, leaving us between a rock and a hard place.

Just a quick reminder – the bad old way of doing things still works…that is, nspluginwrapper. First, get a copy of the Flash plugin from the Adobe web site. Don’t use the yum repo, as it pulls in Adobe Reader as a dependency of Flash (classy move, Adobe) which will result in even more 32-bit crap getting installed on your system than necessary. Just get the .tar.gz, and extract it into /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins (not /usr/lib64). Now do:

yum install nspluginwrapper.i686

(you’ll also need to install the x86-64 package, for most people it should be installed already, but check – thanks Hansvon!)

and it should do its stuff. Remove gnash if you installed it, then restart Firefox, and you should be good to go. If not, use about:plugins in Firefox, and mozilla-plugin-config (useful parameters – -l, -v) at the console as root to diagnose.

18 Responses

  1. LG
    LG June 26, 2010 at 7:53 am | | Reply

    I’ve been trying to make do with epiphany webm support. Figuring most of my Flash needs would be Youtube related. However it’s incredibly sad to see how many websites rely on Flash for critical navigation components of their site (mostly retail i.e. http://arcteryx.com)

  2. Hansvon
    Hansvon June 26, 2010 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    I’m using Adobe’s yum repo and the flash-plugin package doesn’t require AdobeReader ?!
    Also, I think you need both the i686 and x86_64 packages of nspluginwrapper.

  3. Stephen Moehle
    Stephen Moehle June 26, 2010 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    I found that installing alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 made flash work a lot better since it would play nicer with pulseaudio.

  4. Andreas Schneider
    Andreas Schneider June 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm | | Reply

    You should try lightspark. It looks like a promising project and works well with youtube.


    Maybe someone will create a package on rpmfusion. It requires ffmpeg.

  5. Isaac Fischer
    Isaac Fischer June 27, 2010 at 9:07 am | | Reply

    Here’s a question: Since Google Chrome is available in 64bit, and includes Flash, does it bundle the latest 64bit version of Flash, not currently under development?

  6. Aram Agajanian
    Aram Agajanian June 27, 2010 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    I found that installing nspluginwrapper.i686 would somehow also try to install some non-english builds of Adobe Reader. I got around that problem with the following command:

    yum install nspluginwrapper.i686 -x AdobeReader_sve -x AdobeReader_suo

  7. DH
    DH June 28, 2010 at 4:44 am | | Reply

    I’m not convinced that it actually MATTERS if you update this plugin. Adobe doesn’t exactly run tight code, its surely loaded with other vulnerabilities.

    Best bet is probably to stick with the latest 64bit (there’s no proof that the newer 32bit plugin is any more secure), and run one of those flash blocking mozilla add-ons. If you *really must* view the flash, then you can judge whether or not you trust the source enough to actually activate it.

  8. DH
    DH June 28, 2010 at 9:52 am | | Reply

    If you don’t run them, they can’t hurt you and knowing that there are probably LOTS of other equally “disastrous” defects in it, you really should be careful about running flash to begin with.

    Again, just because one bug was found doesn’t prove that it is safe, and it is definitely NOT WORTH running to begin with and certainly not worth installing nspluginwrapper for…

  9. Adam Williamson
    Adam Williamson June 28, 2010 at 10:00 am | | Reply

    “Again, just because one bug was found doesn’t prove that it is safe”

    This you can say of any piece of software.

    “Again, just because one bug was found doesn’t prove that it is safe, and it is definitely NOT WORTH running to begin with and certainly not worth installing nspluginwrapper for…”

    This isn’t a judgment you can make for anyone else, only for yourself.

  10. Andre Robatino
    Andre Robatino July 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm | | Reply

    You can use the Adobe repo on 64-bit without pulling in the Adobe Reader. Here’s a thread about what’s going on with the dependencies:


    and I also made a few comments near the end of the 64-bit Flash thread


    regarding this issue. It’s basically a matter of first getting the right packages installed from the non-Adobe repos first, after which it won’t try to pull the Reader in anymore.

  11. Ankur Sinha
    Ankur Sinha July 7, 2010 at 12:30 am | | Reply

    We have a page on the wiki for this :


  12. Thub
    Thub July 7, 2010 at 10:16 am | | Reply

    Personally, I’d rather enable Adobe’s repo. Yes, it does install some foreign language packages of Adobe Reader, but once I remove them, they don’t come back or cause dependency problems. Interestingly, the last time I used the repo on a new machine it didn’t install anything extra, so it’s possible they’ve fixed it.
    The advantage of using the repo is that they are actually really good about providing security updates in the repo, so you’re probably better off than the Windows folks as far as getting the fix fast. For me that’s worth the one-time hassle of removing the extra packages.

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