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Old 02-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
wrinkledcheese
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Flash and Slackware - How to get every ounce of performance


Hello there,

I've been trying to optimize every ounce of performance out of Flash as I can. While I try to steer clear of Flash development like the plague, it has it's place...unfortunately noone has put it in the trash bin yet.

What I'm wondering is what can I do to optimize performance. I've been looking around as best I could to find tips and tricks but essentially I haven't found anything worth mentioning. There was one Flash config settings about overriding gpu compatibility or something to that effect. I found no difference.

From what I gather, the issue is essentially Adobe's "the state of GPU drivers in Linux is the cause for the lack of hardware acceleration for Flash on Linux" stance.

However, the open source community wouldn't stand for that and if Adobe won't do anything about it I suspect someone else would. I was wondering if anyone has any performance dos and don'ts for Flash.

I suspect my best chance of gaining any real performance gain is to acquire hardware acceleration for Flash on Linux. If that existed I suspect that it would come in the form of an open source project. I found that there is an open source Flash project called Gnash but I haven't tried it yet.

Another question on my mind is how Adobe can have that stance when the two major GPU manufacturers - AMD/ATI and nVidia - provide native Linux drivers.

Is it possible to gain any performance out of the Adobe Flash platform for Linux or am I on a wild goose chase and I might as well keep using Virtual Box with Windows installed to get better performance?
 
Old 02-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
snowpine
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Can you describe your Flash performance problem in more detail, please, and give details of your hardware?

The best performance tweak I've found (on my hardware anyway, YMMV) is to download the video first and watch it from my hard drive using VLC (or your favorite media player of choice). Google "flash download linux" if this is a new concept to you.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
wrinkledcheese
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I already download flash videos using VideoDownload Helper Firefox add-on and then watch it in VLC.

Mostly the performance I can't get by downloading the FLV and running it in another application are Flash games. You know, when you're waiting for that open source project to compile for about an hour and just don't want to dive into another major task while you wait.

The CPU is pegged at 100% all the time and crashes when there is a lot going on. If I run the Flash program in Windows XP using a VirtualBox virtual system I get better performance even without video drivers installed.

Asus A8V Deluxe
AMD Athlon64 3500+ (maybe 3600+ I forget)
4GB DDR
Slackware64 13.37 w/ multilib
Adobe Flash 11.2 beta 64-bit
Firefox 64-bit

Last edited by wrinkledcheese; 02-23-2012 at 03:49 PM.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
snowpine
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Buy a graphics card? That might help take some of the load off your CPU.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
wrinkledcheese
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My bad.

I have an nVidia Geforce n6200.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
wrinkledcheese
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I should probably mention I also notice performance issues with a more current system.

Slackware64 13.37
Intel e5600 (maybe, again don't remember)
4GB DDR3
Some Gigabyte Board
Onboard graphics

When I upgraded the onboard GPU from 32MB to 396MB I noticed little, if any, performance upgrade. I tried convincing my boss to spring for a "anything-will-do" graphics card. From what I gather, Flash doesn't have _any_ GPU hardware acceleration in Linux. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The performance between the earlier listed system and this system is noticeable and while the earlier system's Flash crashes a lot more often, both systems do have issues with Flash crashing. Both also are pegged at 100%.

Last edited by wrinkledcheese; 02-23-2012 at 07:03 PM.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
wrinkledcheese
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I found this:
https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?...bug&id=2992148
Everyone should vote for this bug. While it only improves video performance, a heavy vote might help increase Linux Flash development.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
tommcd
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Alien Bob has libva and vdpau (for nvidia graphics cards) packages that enable GPU video hardware acceleration that may help for those who nvidia cards that support this: http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/deco...-video-in-vlc/
I don't think this will help with a nvidia gforce 6200 though.

Last edited by tommcd; 02-23-2012 at 08:02 PM.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
Hendronicus
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I've got the same card (GeForce 6200) and the same problem. Flash works far better on Windows. I'm thinking of going to Lightspark because all I use flash for is watching videos.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
wrinkledcheese
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If you install a version of Flash older than the one mentioned in the bug I listed in the post above and following the suggestions in the bug description, you may be able to increase video playback performance.

[EDIT]
I looked at Lightspark and I think I'm going to give it a try.

Last edited by wrinkledcheese; 02-23-2012 at 09:03 PM.
 
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
Hendronicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrinkledcheese View Post
If you install a version of Flash older than the one mentioned in the bug I listed in the post above and following the suggestions in the bug description, you may be able to increase video playback performance.
I tried that just now and it WORKED! Flash is using less than a third of the processor time that it was before. Thank you!
 
Old 02-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #12
Hendronicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrinkledcheese View Post

[EDIT]
I looked at Lightspark and I think I'm going to give it a try.
I still might do that too. My poor little Athlon 3200 is gettin' old.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 10:13 PM   #13
dugan
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Even on 11.2 beta? Which is multithreaded? Wow. That's disappointing...

It is amazing that the Linux version of Flash could be so poorly written, and remain so poorly written for so long. Instead of delivering, the Linux Flash dev team wastes their time writing whining blog posts blaming the platform for their inability to do their jobs.

Quote:
From what I gather, Flash doesn't have _any_ GPU hardware acceleration in Linux. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
You're technically wrong. If you have a recent NVidia card, you can force Flash to use CPU acceleration by creating an mms.cfg file. In my experience, this causes X to randomly lock up.

BTW, do make sure that your CPU frequency scaling settings aren't causing your system to be downlocked at the time that you're playing Flash videos.

Last edited by dugan; 02-23-2012 at 10:46 PM.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 10:35 PM   #14
T3slider
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All I can offer is a data point...I have a GTX 260 using the proprietary nVidia drivers (version 270.41.06 -- I've found it's best not to mess with nVidia drivers if they work...previous versions had some instability for me when my card, and thus support for it, were newer). I have the following in /etc/adobe/mms.cfg:
Code:
OverrideGpuValidation=true
My Flash performance is just fine (I can play fullscreen HD video with better performance than using HTML5 usually, though I don't because of bandwidth concerns...) and I haven't experienced a crash in months (I would guess about the time the nVidia drivers stabilized for my graphics card). Flash games do just fine as well. A GeForce 6200 is significantly less powerful than my card, but I had passable performance on my old PC with an integrated GeForce 6100 as well.

This does not, of course, mean that I don't dislike Flash (I do) but I will say that at least on my system I have no complaints...
 
Old 02-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #15
dugan
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I speculate that the reason the next, next release of Flash for Linux will be Chrome-only is because it's going to be a well-architected, high-performance Native Client app.

By "speculate" I mean "want to be able to hope".

Last edited by dugan; 02-23-2012 at 10:57 PM.
 
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