Flash

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This page contains information on Flash, a proprietary format for delivering audio and video content, primarily over the Internet.

Contents

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 When Adobe releases a newer version of the Linux Flash plugin, it makes packages available for Fedora, but Fedora cannot include Adobe's plugin as long as it is unavailable as free and open source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.

There are other open alternatives to Flash itself, including the patent unencumbered and free WebM, Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio formats. Fedora has complete support for such open formats, and Fedora includes several web browsers including Firefox, Epiphany etc that plays Ogg and WebM files directly, without any need of third party and proprietary browser plugins.

YouTube and WebM support

Google has open sourced an implementation of 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. Current versions of Fedora support WebM by default.

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 especially videos that include advertisements but majority of them should play just fine. Here is a sample video for testing.

Flash plugin

You have to chose either based on the hardware architecture you are using.

x86_64 (64-bit)

sudo yum install http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-x86_64-1.0-1.noarch.rpm -y

x86 (32-bit)

sudo yum install http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm -y

Install the Adobe Flash web browser plugin

The first command imports the GPG key for the Adobe Flash plugin repository and the second command installs the plugin itself.

sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
sudo yum install flash-plugin -y

Checking the plugin

Type the following text in the Firefox address bar:

about:plugins

A section similar to the following should appear:

Flash-check-2.png

This information tells you that the Adobe Flash plugin has been successfully installed.


Also check the Adobe Flash Player test page

Installing the plugin on Chromium web browser

Follow all of the instructions in the Enabling Flash Plugin section. Then:

On 64-bit, create a symbolic link that tells Chromium how to find the 64-bit plugin:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib64/chromium-browser/plugins/libflashplayer.so

On 32-bit, create a symbolic link that tells Chromium how to find the 32-bit plugin:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/chromium-browser/plugins/libflashplayer.so

Exit all Chromium windows and restart Chromium. In the Chromium address bar, type "about:plugins" to check whether the plugin loaded. You may have to re-run Chromium with the --enable-plugins command line switch to force Chromium to re-scan its plugins folder.

Installing Gnash

Note.png
Free alternatives to Adobe Flash
There is a free and open source alternative called Gnash available in Fedora's software repositories. Gnash can play flash videos but the audio portion of flash is often under the MP3 format which is patent encumbered. Since Gnash uses Gstreamer, you can get additional codecs from other Third party repositories but Fedora unfortunately cannot include them. There is also another free and open source alternative called Lightspark

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

sudo yum remove nspluginwrapper -y
sudo yum install gnash-plugin -y

If you use Konqueror as your web browser,

 sudo yum install gnash-klash -y

If you would like to have a desktop flash player,

 sudo yum install gnash -y

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.