Saturday, April 23, 2011

Installing Adobe Flash "Square" on a 64-bit Linux Distribution, Firefox 4

In the past month I set myself up a beautiful pure 64-bit Gentoo system on my Thinkpad X61. It's not completely ready yet, as I have yet to compile my custom kernel that should allow the wacom screen to be recognized.

Installing 64-bit Flash "Square" should be the exact same procedure on any major GNU/Linux distribution, so there shouldn't be any specific instructions. Also, this instruction set ignores the "proper" distro way of doing things.

Ubuntu has an install-flashplayer deb that does things for the user. Which is preferrable, as the way I am about to describe does not provide automatic updates. And before we continue, I should stress that Flash Square is a PREVIEW and flash is inherantly insecure due to it being a proprietary offering and ubiquitous on the web.

This method installs flash in "userspace", or in a way that does not require admin privileges. This method reduces the consequences if your computer is comprimised through flash by not being able to touch your system.

1. Download Flash Player "Square" from Adobe's web site:

Check under the heading "64-bit Release Flash Player Downloads" and choose what should be the last option: plugin for 64-bit linux

(I shake my head at Adobe. Flash doesn't run in the kernel; they should change it to "linux-based OS" or the proper "GNU/Linux" label)

2. Extract the .tar.gz download. This can be done via command line by typing "tar -xvf [file]".

3. Make sure that the plugins folder exists. It didn't by default for my system. "mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/plugins/"

My first attempt at this failed because I created the plugins directory in .mozilla/firefox/.

4. Copy the file to the user's plugin folder. This command should work: "cp libflashplayer* ~/.mozilla/plugins/"

If you get any errors in the previous commands, you are probably in the wrong directory when typing them, you are typing the double-quotes (don't), or you aren't in the shell/command line. As well, this is for Firefox 4. Theoretically it should work for previous versions of Firefox, but I'm a little lazy to make sure.

And if you haven't checked out Mozilla's newest browser version, you really should. Startup times alone are much improved. Having a default page already cached helps, but the option to load your previously viewed tabs on last exit is convenient.

I have been doing some introductory coding in OpenGL, Freeglut and C++/QT lately. I hope to come out with some tutorials for those as well in the near future.

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