Adobe Flash player for 64bit Linux

Joor Loohuis, February 17, 2010, 6872 views.

If you're using 64bit Linux on the desktop, and you need Flash support, you've had a pretty rough ride so far. But things are improving.

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If you're using 64bit Linux on the desktop, getting Flash to work properly will have been a hit or miss proposition, tending mostly towards the 'miss'. Basically, there were two options:

  • use a 32bit Flash plugin, combined with nspluginwrapper. Numerous problems have been reported with this approach, including browser crashes. At the very least, this approach leads to 100% CPU load when the Flash plugin is running.
  • use Gnash, the GNU Flash movie player. The project has some admirable goals, but at this time it can't play all Flash. For example, I can't use Google Analytics, since some of the graphs are not displayed.

But things are improving, because Adobe have released an alpha version of the 64bit Flash player for Linux. Installation is a breeze, but first make sure you have removed any other Flash player software you may have installed on your system. Then unpack the tarball and put the shared object file that is in there in the proper install directory:

  • for Firefox, put it in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
  • for Opera, put it in /usr/lib/opera/plugins
  • for Google Chrome, put it in /opt/google/chrome/plugins

My first experiences so far have been excellent, but keep in mind that it's alpha software. If you experience problems, make sure there are no leftovers from other Flash players on your system. If the problems persist, file a bug with Adobe. Now that they're showing some progress, it's probably good to keep them 'motivated'.

Update June 12, 2010: Adobe has (for now) disabled the download of the 64-bits Flash player for Linux. They say they are still committed to providing this plugin, but we'll have to wait and see if and when this will happen. The 10.0 version of the Flash player has reported vulnerabilities, so I recommend not using it anymore.

Update September 17, 2010: Adobe has released a new 64-bits Flash for Linux. More information and downloads are available here.

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