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Old 10-12-2017, 08:13 AM   #1
paxolin
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Installing Adobe Flash Player


It seems I canít just install flash player in Mint? (Cinnamon 18.1 64bit)
I searched in linuxquestions and found a couple of articles.

One was a link to here: https://community.linuxmint.com/soft...ugin-installer
I tried that, clicked on 'Install' and was told it was already installed Ė see screenshot.

Another suggestion I found said that I need to use the Package Manager. When I tried that it gave me a lot of options, none of which I understand Ė see that screenshot as well.

If I apparently already have Adobe Flash Player installed, I donít understand why I keep seeing messages telling me I need to install it to watch video content in Firefox or Chromium? They take me to the Adobe website.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:28 AM   #2
Rickkkk
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Hi paxolin,

I don't use Firefox, but I believe it requires the Netscape plugin API (NPAPI) for flash support. For Chromium, you need the pepper flash plugin.

In both cases, Mint should have packages available via its package manager - quite common.

Cheers - hope this helps - let us know if you require more assistance.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 08:44 AM   #3
paxolin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
Hi paxolin,

I don't use Firefox, but I believe it requires the Netscape plugin API (NPAPI) for flash support. For Chromium, you need the pepper flash plugin.

In both cases, Mint should have packages available via its package manager - quite common.

Cheers - hope this helps - let us know if you require more assistance.
Thanks for your fast reply.

I don't understand much about this at all, you mention 'Netscape plugin API (NPAPI)' and the 'pepper flash plugin' - whatever they may be.

In my screenshot of the package manager, I can't see either of those listed? Do I have to search for those specifically in the package manager, rather than 'Adobe flash player'?

If I find them, will it guide me through installing them easily would you know?
 
Old 10-12-2017, 08:50 AM   #4
Rickkkk
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Hi paxolin ... I have a Mint install in a Virtualbox VM - let me check it out and get back to you concerning the specific package names.

... but yes, searching for "flash plugin" while omitting any reference to Adobe will help ...
 
Old 10-12-2017, 09:00 AM   #5
Rickkkk
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Hi again paxolin,

Searching for "pepper flash" in Mint's Software Manager will find the right package for Chromium (and several other browsers ...) ...

I'll let other users more familiar with Firefox guide you as to the appropriate flash plugin for that browser ...

Cheers !
 
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
paxolin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
Hi again paxolin,

Searching for "pepper flash" in Mint's Software Manager will find the right package for Chromium (and several other browsers ...) ...

I'll let other users more familiar with Firefox guide you as to the appropriate flash plugin for that browser ...

Cheers !
Thanks again Rickkkk.

I'm not very technical, but I did search for 'pepper flash' in package manager and it came up with a result 'pepperflashplugin-nonfree'. Does that mean I have to pay to install/use it?

It also says it's for '1.8.2ubuntu1.1', but I have Mint, not ubuntu. I don't know why it would find that?
 
Old 10-12-2017, 09:38 AM   #7
Rickkkk
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Hi paxolin,

That is the one you need. The "non-free" business just means that it isn't 100% FOSS ("free open-source software") .. you will not have to pay to use it.

The mention of Ubuntu is because the version of Mint you are using is essentially a derivative of (based on) Ubuntu.

Also, I never really answered your question concerning Adobe. The pepper plugin is a linux alternative to Adobe's own proprietary flash plugin. Adobe stopped maintaining its own linux version of the plugin years ago. Some still use the old one, but newer versions of most browsers require something newer.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:07 AM   #8
paxolin
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Thanks again for all the detailed info.

I managed to install the pepper flash, (I noticed when I applied it, I saw 'dpkg' which I see when I install updates, and it just got on with it automatically) and in Chromium the video played first time.

Many thanks for your help.
 
Old 10-12-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxolin View Post
Thanks again for all the detailed info.

I managed to install the pepper flash, (I noticed when I applied it, I saw 'dpkg' which I see when I install updates, and it just got on with it automatically) and in Chromium the video played first time.

Many thanks for your help.
Excellent - glad you're up and running - don't hesitate to pop back for anything else.

Cheers.
 
Old 10-13-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
X-LFS-2010
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Adobe Flash stopped making linux releases many years ago (i've never heard why), an none of today's linux support the old flash releases (and if they did, the old release helps out on very few of today's web sites)

I have no idea how good any freeware replacements are, but I'd assume you will not be sailing smoothly on all websites - possibly even government ones you "must use".
 
Old 10-13-2017, 10:00 PM   #11
paxolin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-LFS-2010 View Post
Adobe Flash stopped making linux releases many years ago (i've never heard why), an none of today's linux support the old flash releases (and if they did, the old release helps out on very few of today's web sites)

I have no idea how good any freeware replacements are, but I'd assume you will not be sailing smoothly on all websites - possibly even government ones you "must use".
This is confusing to me. It's been a steep learning curve to get as far as I have with Mint.
Does this mean I can't use Linux for everything on the net, and I will need to use windows for some websites?
 
Old 10-14-2017, 06:37 PM   #12
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxolin View Post
This is confusing to me. It's been a steep learning curve to get as far as I have with Mint.
Does this mean I can't use Linux for everything on the net, and I will need to use windows for some websites?
No, you'll be fine with the linux alternatives already mentioned (pepper flash, etc. ...).

Cheers !
 
Old 10-15-2017, 06:55 PM   #13
Mike_Walsh
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Hi, paxolin.

Quote:
If I apparently already have Adobe Flash Player installed, I don’t understand why I keep seeing messages telling me I need to install it to watch video content in Firefox or Chromium? They take me to the Adobe website.
It's perfectly possible to have the flashplugin-installer installed without actually having Flash itself. That package does what it says; you run it to obtain Flash Player. To install FlashPlayer directly, you need the 'adobe-flashplugin' package. (I know, it is confusing...)

I don't want to 'muddy the waters', but I'd like (if I may!), to correct a few misconceptions here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rickkkk is correct in stating that the NPAPI Flash Player does indeed date all the way back to the original NetScape Navigator. I won't go into details, but this essentially provided the inspiration for MyCrudSoft's original Internet Explorer. At that time, Flash Player was developed by a company named Macromedia, who were later bought out by Adobe.

NPAPI was the standard 'application interface' (think 'plug' & 'socket'. The browser was always coded with a 'socket', into which the flash-player 'plugin' fitted.) It supported what was known as 'in-process' operation of browser plugins.

Google (via their sponsorship of the Chromium Project) released Chrome back in Autumn 2008. I've been using it ever since the very first 'beta' evaluation pre-release. At that time, Chrome itself used the NPAPI Flash Player. I'm hazy on the exact time-frame for this, but around a year later, Google, due to the age of the then already 'creaky' NPAPI interface, announced their intention to develop an alternative to NPAPI, known as PPAPI ( the 'Pepper' application interface), which supported 'out-of-process' browser plugins, designed to fit in better with the new, more secure browser 'sandboxing' technology which was then emerging. They would supply the specifications to Adobe, who would use their greater experience (and existing infra-structure) to produce what Google wanted.

Chomium (and by default, Chrome - since it's based on the Chromium code) were initially the only browsers to support the PPAPI interface. Since FlashPlayer was re-written for this, that version has since come to be known as 'PepperFlash', and it's long been known to be more secure.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

In 2012, Adobe announced their intention to cease development of the Linux version of the NPAPI FlashPlayer, and to provide only security updates for the next 5 years.....after which time, NPAPI would no longer be available. That version was stuck at 11.2.202 for the next 4 years.

In 2016, Adobe suddenly announced their decision to reverse their statement of 2012, and to start development of the Linux NPAPI FlashPlayer once more, bringing it up-to-date, and into line with the numbering scheme always followed by the Windows and Mac versions.....which is currently 27.0.0.xxx.

Until recently, you could only obtain PepperFlash by installing Chrome, since Adobe had a contract with Google to supply it for their exclusive use. For use in Chromium, for a long time the only way to obtain Pepper was to download Chrome, 'strip out' PepperFlash, then discard the rest of the package. Ubuntu, and many distros based on it, even had an automated script to do just that.

With the demise of the 32-bit Linux version of Chrome in April last year, the contract was abruptly terminated.....and Adobe, still being in possession of the PepperFlash code, and knowing the vast number of browsers out there that used PPAPI, decided to make it publicly available at long last.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The GNU Project, which provides most of the tools for modern Linux distros, experimented with producing a totally open-source alternative to Flash, known as GNASH. It was coded specifically to play .swf files, yet was never very successful, and development of the code-base ceased back in 2012. It's still 'officially' maintained.....but no new features or security upgrades have been forthcoming in the intervening years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash_%28software%29

If you wish to use this, you have to compile it yourself, as it is only available as a source code 'tarball'.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The whole sorry saga is a tangled mess of alternative versions for different browsers, and different ways of implementing it. FlashPlayer technology dates back to the early 1990s (Flash itself being an absolute security 'nightmare'), and nowadays has been largely superseded by the emergence of HTML5.....which is directly coded-in to all modern browsers. No need for 'plug-ins' any longer.

It's not surprising that Adobe have finally, after much pressure from the industry (Apple in particular) now set a termination date for the production of Flash as some time in early 2020 (the exact date to be announced nearer the time). After this date, if web-site operators and webmasters wish their sites to be compatible with current browser technology, they will have to re-code their sites to use HTML5. It won't be a short, easy process for many, which is why a lot of sites are 'dragging their heels', and taking advantage of the fact that Adobe have given them a 'grace period' by setting a date at long last.

Basically, if you use a Mozilla-based browser, you will use the NPAPI FlashPlayer, more commonly simply known as 'Flash'. If you use Chrome, or any of the multitude of Chromium-based 'clones', you need the PPAPI version, or 'PepperFlash'.

To confuse matters a wee bit further, there is a method available which permits the use of the PPAPI 'PepperFlash' plugin with the Mozilla NPAPI interface, known as the 'freshplayer-plugin.....developed by one Rinat Ibragimov (i-rinat @ Github).

Interestingly, you can use the very latest version of PepperFlash with the very earliest versions of Chrome to support PPAPI. The interface is still identical. I have an ancient version of Chrome (26), in a very elderly 'Puppy', using the current version of Pepper (27.0.0.159) with no problems whatsoever. It's not 'secure' (and never will be), but it's safer than it would have been with the original.

Hope that helps some of you to understand all this 'double-speak'!


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 10-18-2017 at 06:28 AM.
 
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:04 AM   #14
paxolin
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Thanks Mike for the very comprehensive reply.

It does seem incredibly complicated to someone like me who just wants to be able to use a computer without understanding all the technical details.
I'm sure other more competent users will appreciate the background info.
 
Old 10-16-2017, 09:59 AM   #15
Mike_Walsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxolin View Post
Thanks Mike for the very comprehensive reply.

It does seem incredibly complicated to someone like me who just wants to be able to use a computer without understanding all the technical details.
I'm sure other more competent users will appreciate the background info.
Oh, trust me, despite having thoroughly researched all the permutations involved in the different versions over the years, I too will be glad to finally be shot of the damn thing. It's so full of security 'holes' it'd make a Swiss cheese envious. But we have to keep it hanging around like a bad smell, 'cos too many sites haven't weaned themselves off it yet.....

2020 can't arrive soon enough for me.


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 10-17-2017 at 03:19 PM.
 
  


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