Originally Published: Thursday, 26 April 2001 Author: Kristina Pfaff-Harris
Published to: howtos/howto Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Installing Macromedia Flash

Kristina teaches us where to get Macromedia's flash plugins for linux and how to install them on various browsers.

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Here is a very short guide to installing the Macromedia Flash/Shockwave player under Linux. I suggest that you get the versions of the browsers listed, since I can't guarantee that Flash will work under any others. All testing was done under kernel 2.2.16, so your mileage may vary under lower or higher kernel revisions. However, it seemed to be pretty easy to get Flash to work, assuming that the rest of your system (sound, etc) is configured correctly. I'll explain how to get Flash working in Netscape, Mozilla, and Konqueror. There is a section here on Opera 5, but this version of Opera does not yet support plugins.

First, you'll want to go to http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi and get the flash player for Linux. I suggest you use Netscape to download it, since with other browsers, I got a "Your operating system is not supported" message.

You'll end up with a file called "flash_linux.tar.gz". Save it to an appropriate directory (I used /usr/src.) and unpack the package:

cd /usr/src
gunzip < flash_linux.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
This will create a directory "/usr/src/flash_linux" with two important files in it: libflashplayer.so and ShockwaveFlash.class. We'll be copying these files into various plugin directories for the browsers.

Netscape 4.75 Linux

First, you need to copy the files to the Netscape plugin directory. On my system, this is "/usr/lib/netscape/plugins." If you don't have such a directory, try:

find / -name plugins -print | grep -i netscape
Note: If you're not root, you'll get a lot of "Permission denied" messages. Ignore them. One of the directories you "find" should be /something/something/netscape/plugins. I'm going to use /usr/lib/netscape/plugins for my example, though:
cp /usr/src/flash_linux/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/netscape/plugins
cp /usr/src/flash_linux/ShockwaveFlash.class /usr/lib/netscape/plugins
Once you've copied the files, if you're running Netscape, get out of it and restart it. You should now be able to view your favorite Flash site.

Opera 5

(Static Version)

First of all, Opera 5 for Linux does not handle Flash nor Java. From the way it's configured, I assume that it *will* one day support Flash and/or Java, and at that time, you might be able to configure the plugin as follows. For now, though, I recommend you get a free browser such as Netscape or Mozilla for those times when you'd like to view Flash.

If you run Opera 5, and click Help, About, under Configuration Information it will tell you the Plugin Directory. (On mine, this is /usr/lib/opera/plugins.) However, the install from rpm of Opera did not make this directory (probably because this version has no support for plugins), so first, try:

mkdir /usr/lib/opera
mkdir /usr/lib/opera/plugins
Then, copy the same flash files as above into this directory like so:
cp /usr/src/flash_linux/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/opera/plugins
cp /usr/src/flash_linux/ShockwaveFlash.class /usr/lib/opera/plugins
At any rate, perhaps when Opera supports plugins someday, you'll be ready.

Mozilla 0.8.1

Mozilla 0.8.1 on my system wanted to have its plugins in /usr/local/mozilla/plugins. I found this with our old friend "find". Mozilla, not surprisingly, works just as happily with the Netscape plugins as does Netscape:

cp /usr/src/flash_linux/libflashplayer.so /usr/local/mozilla/plugins
cp /usr/src/flash_linux/ShockwaveFlash.class /usr/local/mozilla/plugins
Close Mozilla, re-run it, and you have Flash there too!

Konqueror 2.1 - KDE 2.1

After installing KDE 2.1, and starting KDE, I found that Konqueror had already found and recognized my Netscape Flash and other plugins. However, when I went to a Flash site, nothing happened. Don't be alarmed if this happens to you: you must first configure the browser to handle Java, and maybe Javascript as well.

First, bring up the KDE "Control Center" and go to "Web Browsing", "Konqueror Browser", and click on the "Java" tab. In the Java area, check "Enable Java globally" at the top, and in "Path to Java executable" toward the bottom, put the path to your Java binary. (Mine is "/usr/bin/java". If you're not sure where your java is located, try 'find / -name java -print'. If nothing comes up, you'll need a Java interpreter. Konqueror.org recommends Blackdown's 1.3 release, IBM's 1.3 release, or Sun's 1.22 release. There are problems with Sun's JRE 1.3.)

While you're in the tabs, you may want to enable JavaScript (JavaScript tab) as well, and check that "Enable plugins globally" is checked in the "Plugins" tab. Then, click "Apply" and close the window. I did not have to close and restart Konqueror before it took effect. I have noticed that on some sites (such as Romp.com) which serve swf files through a Javascript popup window, the Flash animation could not be viewed or loaded. However, most other sites which display Flash inline worked fine. Occasionally, a Flash animation caused a segmentation fault in Konqueror's Netscape plugin handler. When this happened, reloading the web page often fixed the problem.

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