This page contains information on Flash, a proprietary format for delivering audio and video content, primarily over the Internet.
Flash is non-free/proprietary software
Adobe's Flash plugin cannot be included in Fedora because it is not free/libre and open source software. Adobe does release a version of the Flash plugin for Linux, and this can be used in Firefox, Konqueror and other popular Internet browsers. When Adobe releases a newer version of the Linux Flash plugin, it makes packages available for Fedora, but Fedora cannot include Adobe's plugin as long as it is unavailable as free and open source software.
YouTube and WebM support
Google has recently open sourced the VP8 video format and combined it with Ogg Vorbis audio and an adaptation of the Matroska container, creating a new format for free and open video and audio called WebM. YouTube is switching over to using WebM extensively and Fedora has embraced this format as well.
Updates to the GStreamer multimedia framework in Fedora 13 and Fedora 12 enable users to play many YouTube videos directly without Flash via browsers such as Epiphany and Midori, which use Gstreamer. Fedora 12 users also need the webkitgtk update.
Once you have the updates installed, to enable support for it in YouTube, go to http://youtube.com/html5 and click on "Join the HTML5 Beta" link in the bottom of that page. Note that all videos are not available in WebM format yet, but this is expected to happen over time. Here is a sample video for testing. Fedora 14 will have more extensive support for WebM by default.
Enabling Flash plugin
Adobe offers several methods to install their 32-bit Flash 10 plugin. In general, the YUM version is preferred, since it allows the plugin to be updated automatically through Fedora's normal update mechanism. The YUM version simply installs the repository configuration files, after which you must install the Flash plugin separately.
To begin, refer to the Adobe site at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. Select YUM for Linux to download, and confirm (or the .tar.gz version for the 64 bit alpha; see bottom).
This will download the adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm file. Installation of the repository file adobe-linux-i386.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d/ can be performed by installing the .rpm file. Issue the following command within the directory where you have downloaded the repository rpm file.
su -c 'rpm -ivh adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm'
The .rpm file also copies the adobe General Public Key (GPG key) to /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux but does not import it. To import the key, type:
su -c 'rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux'
The system is now ready to fetch rpm packages from adobe using yum. To verify this, take a look at the /etc/yum.repos.d/adobe-linux-i386.repo file that was just created. You should see something similar to the following:
[adobe-linux-i386] name=Adobe Systems Incorporated baseurl=http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/linux/i386/ enabled=1 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
Notice that the file contains the URL where the packages are located, whether or not the repository should be enabled, whether rpm should check downloaded packages from adobe against the GPG key, and the location of the key itself.
On 32-bit Fedora
After completing the adobe repository configuration, run the following command to install the Flash plugin and ensure sound is enabled:
su -c 'yum install flash-plugin alsa-plugins-pulseaudio \ libcurl'
You may see messages indicating that
libcurl are already installed. This is not a problem. Note also that
nspluginwrapper is installed by default and will wrap the Flash plugin. If you have upgraded from a previous version of Fedora, make sure that
nspluginwrapper is installed and the latest version:
su -c 'yum install nspluginwrapper'
Next, you should check the plugin.
On 64-bit Fedora
32 bit wrapped version
These instructions will install a 32-bit plugin that will work with the 64-bit browser by being "wrapped" with nspluginwrapper.
After installing the repository configuration, run the following command to install the Flash plugin and ensure sound is enabled.
For Fedora 10:
su -c 'yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper.x86_64 \ nspluginwrapper.i386 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i386 \ libcurl.i386'
For Fedora 11:
su -c 'yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper.x86_64 \ nspluginwrapper.i586 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i586 \ libcurl.i586'
For Fedora 12 and 13:
su -c 'yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper.x86_64 \ nspluginwrapper.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 \ libcurl.i686'
You may see a message indicating that
nspluginwrapper.x86_64 is already installed. This is not a problem.
Adobe also has a pre-release version of a 64-bit plugin. Until this is supported via yum, you will need to do the following:
- Download the .tar.gz version from Adobe here.
- Use "gtar -xzvf" to extract libflashplayer.so and put it in either in
- Restart Firefox.
- OR: An rpm and a yum repo for the 64bit alpha flash can be found here
Checking the plugin
After the installation, exit all copies of Firefox and start it again to enable the plugin. Then type the following text in the Firefox address bar:
A section similar to the following should appear:
This information tells you that the Adobe Flash plugin has been successfully installed.
Installing the plugin on Chrome
Follow all of the instructions above. Then:
- create a Chrome plugin folder:
sudo mkdir /opt/google/chrome/plugins
- on 32-bit, create a symbolic link that tells Chrome how to find the 32-bit plugin:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /opt/google/chrome/plugins/libflashplayer.so
- on 64-bit, create a symbolic link that tells Chrome how to find the 64-bit plugin:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins-wrapped/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so /opt/google/chrome/plugins/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so
- Exit all Chrome windows and restart Chrome.
- In the Chrome address bar, type "about:plugins" to check whether the plugin loaded. You may have to re-run Chrome with the --enable-plugins command line switch to force Chrome to re-scan its plugins folder.
Troubleshooting and notes
In some cases,
nspluginwrapper produces SELinux AVC errors, some of which may prevent viewing Flash content. Changing the relevant SELinux boolean may resolve this problem, but eliminates a great deal of additional security when using
nspluginwrapper. To make the change, run the following command:
su -c 'setsebool -P allow_unconfined_nsplugin_transition=0'
libflashsupport package is no longer needed with Flash 10 and has been removed from Fedora. The Flash plugin now calls the appropriate ALSA functions directly, and in the default configuration ALSA delivers sound to PulseAudio.
Fedora includes a free and open source Flash player called Gnash. Gnash is very modular and includes plugins for Mozilla and Konqueror as well as a desktop player. You likely want the Mozilla plugin.
Use PackageKit or run the following as root user
yum install gnash-plugin
If you use Konqueror as your web browser,
yum install gnash-klash
If you would like to have a desktop flash player,
yum install gnash
Note that Flash often relies on MP3 for audio and Fedora cannot include support for it since it is a patent encumbered format. Gnash uses the Gstreamer multimedia framework and hence additional multimedia codecs can be installed separately. Third party repositories might provide such codecs.