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Why Is Adobe Flash On Linux Still Broken?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the where-there's-a-will dept.

Linux 963

mwilliamson writes "As I sit reading my morning paper online I still cannot view the embedded videos due to auto-detection of my Flash player not working. One in every three or four YouTube videos crashes the browser. I remember sometime back reading that Adobe has a very small development team (possibly only one) working on the Linux port of Flash. It has occurred to me that Flash on Linux is the one major entry barrier controlling acceptance of Linux as a viable desktop operating system. No matter how stably, smoothly, efficiently, and correctly Linux runs on a machine, the public will continue to view it as second-rate if Flash keeps crashing. This is the worst example of being tied down and bound by a crappy 3rd-party product over which no Linux distribution has any control. GNASH is nice, but it just isn't there 100%. I really do have to suspect Adobe's motivation for keeping Flash on Linux in such a deplorable state."

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Flash sucks (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636405)

Adopt Silverlight!

Re:Flash sucks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636479)

Adopt Silverlight!

I'm going to rape your mother, slit her throat, and then drown you in a bucket of her blood you worthless troll.

Re:Flash sucks (5, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636757)

See, thats marked as troll, and the poster probably was trolling. However, is there a real difference between flash and silverlight? They're both controlled by a single company. If Moonlight (the linux based open source version based on mono) takes off, shouldn't that put more pressure on Adobe to fix their crappy linux port?

Of course, I'd take silverlight more seriously if it worked better on Windows. Several computers I've set up have had problems installing Silverlight.

Flash (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636407)

Flash (and Silverlight, et al) are a threat to the Internet generally. I wouldn't run Flash even if they bothered to create a version that runs on my OS (64-bit Linux).

The more of use that don't use Flash, the better.

Flash as a service delivery platform (5, Insightful)

wimmi (263136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636499)

Flash is a great channel to provide commercial products (video, ads, DRM'ed shit).
It's no threat at all when Flash isn't abused as website critical table of contents.

To comment on the OP: have you already tried the version 10 release candidate? It's supposed to support new audio API's and hardware acceleration.

Re:Flash as a service delivery platform (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636561)

So it's true - if the OP and the subsequent comments are representative of a real problem: Pr0n is what drives the success of a net platform!

Elephant, meet room.

Re:Flash as a service delivery platform (0, Offtopic)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636881)

speaking of that, video codecs are a WAY bigger problem than flash. Anyone can live without flash. I'd put codecs and games way before flash any way. And if Red Alert 2/Oblivion/Generals/Starcraft can't run on Linux, I'm installing Windows.

Re:Flash (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636603)

Agreed. Flash is like Aids as it infects the internet. I mean not only do we get terrible performance on the flash platform regardless of how good or bad the hardware is under it, but we also get a platform built for know-nothing coders and lazy developers who either don't know how or are too lazy to use javascript/css etc. Atleast with java, I would get decent performance with a core2duo. Hell, most of the flash (especially those trash internet games) plays like its running on a 300Mhz computer. And don't even get me started on flash video. Full screen mode that is completely software drawn? NO THANKS, I'd rather have my hardware accelerated avi video or dare I say it.... wmv?

Re:Flash (2, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636609)

I wouldn't run Flash even if they bothered to create a version that runs on my OS (64-bit Linux).

I'm using Flash on 64-bit Linux right now. No problems with YouTube, although some sites appear to be using crap detection scripts that give me a "You must upgrade to Flash 9 to view this" when in fact I am running Flash 9.

That being said, I'd be much happier if Flash were displaced by SVG or some other form of markup. Binary blobs suck.

Re:Flash (2, Interesting)

vk2 (753291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636741)

Lucky you. I have a very different experience with flash on Ubuntu-8.0.4.1-amd64 ; After about 6 to 8 flash videos (Youtube.com, news websites etc) flash doesn't work anymore (gives me a blank white window) until I restart Firefox. The same cycle continues ad-infinitum. Since I fiddle with Oracle databases all the time on this machine - I got the brilliant idea to upgrade my machine to use 4G of RAM and now I cannot happily browse without restarting Firefox every now and then. Finally switched over to my backup desktop with 32 bit Ubuntu and I am back to normal again.

Re:Flash (3, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636853)

My bad - sort of.

I'm using 32-bit Firefox 2.0.0.16 on 64-bit openSUSE 10.2. (I get tired of waiting for them to upgrade, and I can't get it to compile, so I just grab the 32-bit binary from mozilla.com and plop it in my ~/bin.)

BTW, the Flash 10 installer wouldn't run ("OS not supported"), but copying libflashplayer.so to ~/.mozilla/plugins and restarting the browser did the trick.

Re:Flash (5, Insightful)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636677)

I don't disagree that flash is bad for the web, but in order to convince developers not to use it, there needs to be a valid alternative. If youtube didn't use flash for video, what would they use instead? Animated gifs? Expecting a site like youtube to just not serve video because there isn't a free software way to do what they want to do is unreasonable.

We really need at least some form of video integrated into the browser, and it looks like we might have it in firefox soon [slashdot.org] , (better many years too late than never). Then, we can at least give sites the option of serving video to browsers that support theora but not flash.

Re:Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636689)

I don't mind embedded Flash so much. I absolutely cannot stand when the entire site is Flash. I see a site like that I will almost always not even bother with it if there is no non-Flash version alternative.

Offtopic, there is another thing I hate on a webpage, and that is Quicktime. Maybe it works perfectly and super great on Macs. On my Windows machines if there's anything that gives me trouble it is Quicktime on web pages Especially if it is some MIDI bullshit. Almost always leads to a locked up browser that I have to force kill.

Re:Flash (3, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636883)

Flash (and Silverlight, et al) are a threat to the Internet generally.

BS. Flash is a great way to deliver rich content on a website. It's only a threat if you think the Internet should stay in the same configuration it was in in 1983, when a 1200 baud connection was considered fast and if you wanted porn you had to print it out and hold it two feet in front of you.

Considering the level of citizen journalism that sites like YouTube and LiveLeak have enabled, all thanks to Flash, I think you need to seriously rethink your stance against that platform.

Open Source Flash? (4, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636423)

So there is no version of Flash that is open source then?

The disadvantage of not being able to play Flash is mostly on sites like YouTube. But some other sites are also using Flash for the interesting content.

So the big question is - is it possible to implement a Flash player for Linux that's open source?

Re:Open Source Flash? (4, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636481)

There is Gnash (http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/) but it still has a way to go

Re:Open Source Flash? (5, Funny)

dotgain (630123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636579)

As do many packages that begin with 'G', I have to say...

Re:Open Source Flash? (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636483)

So there is no version of Flash that is open source then?

The disadvantage of not being able to play Flash is mostly on sites like YouTube. But some other sites are also using Flash for the interesting content.

So the big question is - is it possible to implement a Flash player for Linux that's open source?

Gnash aims to do exactly this, but as the summary states, it's not quite there, AFAIK it can watch youtube videos, which is a big plus, but it definitely isn't ready to replace Flash

Re:Open Source Flash? (4, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636581)

I've never been able to make any Flash site at all work with gnash (I'm currently using gnash 0.8.2). Though I'm using 64-bit Linux, so maybe that's the problem. Though I thought gnash was supposed to be written well enough that it wouldn't matter.

I don't want to install Adobe's player. The source isn't available for public scrutiny and it's a major piece of infrastructure. AFAIK it's sending encrypted ICMP packets to Adobe telling them every piece of Flash I download or some such stupidly evil thing.

OH RLY (4, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636877)

Have some tcpdump or ngrep logs to show such behavior? Or maybe your tinfoil hat is too tight.

Re:Open Source Flash? (2, Informative)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636527)

So there is no version of Flash that is open source then?

The disadvantage of not being able to play Flash is mostly on sites like YouTube. But some other sites are also using Flash for the interesting content.

So the big question is - is it possible to implement a Flash player for Linux that's open source?

I was going to mod you down for not RTFS [especially the part about GNASH], but instead I'll answer your question.

Yes, it's called Gnash.The Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] should tell you all you need to know.

Re:Open Source Flash? (5, Interesting)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636535)

It's not just the "interesting" content unfortunately.

There's a BBQ restaurant nearby that I occasionally order to-go from. If I was out of the house and wanted to get something on the way home I would pull their webpage up on my iPhone and order after looking at the online menu. Well guess what happened a couple months ago? They had their website redesigned with flash and provided no alternate webpage for those of us without flash players.

The use of flash in this case provided nothing for the site other than some fancy animation when the page first opens. I emailed the admin but have had no luck getting access to the old site provided via the new main page :(

Re:Open Source Flash? (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636751)

Forget the admin -- he/she probably got paid for doing the Flash work and is glad to have the bucks. What you need to do, is walk in and ask to talk to the owner. Tell him/her his website design is causing him to lose business because you can no longer order dinner on your way home. This causes you to patronize other shops. As a small business owner myself, I can tell you that that sort of feedback has a 99.99% chance of getting serious attention. There's always an outlier here or there of course.

iphone, no flash? (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636845)

I may be the only one here who finds this news. Although this is of course at least partially a symptom of my not caring about he iphone in general.

However, as my wife wants the iphone, I have to ask how this problem works. I thought most systems used flash for youtube - which leads me to the question of how does the iphone use youtube if it doesn't use flash?

Re:Open Source Flash? (2, Informative)

Evan Meakyl (762695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636541)

It seems that you don't know what GNASH is!

If I am right, GNASH [gnu.org] is a GNU Flash player under GPL, whose base is gameswf [tulrich.com] , which was originally created for the interface of a game on XBOX.

I mainly know gameswf for having worked with it, it is nice and very promising, but lacked some important functions and need (in my opinion) a code redesign.

Re:Open Source Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636575)

Did you try the beta for Linux?

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

Re:Open Source Flash? (1)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636787)

Did you try the beta for Linux?

Flash 10 for Linux [adobe.com]

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Open Source Flash? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636605)

As others have stated, there's Gnash. However, there's also Swfdec.
http://swfdec.freedesktop.org/ [freedesktop.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swfdec [wikipedia.org]

Re:Open Source Flash? (4, Informative)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636615)

There is two versions of Flash decoding libraries, one called Gnash and another called Swfdec. I still wonder why they don't work together, but hey, they are open source and both has kinda different visions how to deal with Flash proprietary stuff. I have tested Swfdec for a while and I can say that Ads surerly works, so do YouTube videos - but not perfectly. I personally think one of them will achieve 90% of all Flash stuff playable in next year or two, so it is kinda very ok. To be honest, Adobe also opened up Flash spec a bit more and as far as I heard both teams are busy implementing stuff from it.

So, in short, it is possible, but it takes time. As it is not pressing problem - there is Adobe Flash player for Linux officialy - so everything progress slowly. But it goes forward.

Re:Open Source Flash? (5, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636627)

This is not so trivial as not being able to play YouTube videos. There are many commercial sites that use flash for almost their entire content.

Along with that, I can tell you about a buddy of mine who works in the advertising industry: we were talking about Firefox and web sites and I mentioned to him about how much I hate flash and all the flashy crap (no pun intended) that distracts and pisses me off when I surf the web... so much so that I use Flashblock. His reply was, "yeah me and everyone I know in this industry try to get the programmers to put as much flashy flash stuff up on our different marketing web sites and advertising banners as possible... and loving it! We won't stop." (Paraphrased, but pretty damn close.)

So you see, just like photo shop, the graphic arts and marketing industry are major players driving this piece of crap scourge (sorry for not letting my real feeling for flash content show... it wouldn't be appropriate here).

Re:Open Source Flash? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636683)

You can extract Flash Video URLs from YouTube pages and play them with MPlayer, VLC, Totem etc. There are even Greasemonkey scripts replacing the Flash applet with a video that plugins like totem-mozilla can play. Google it :).

I for one refuse to use the proprietary Flash Plugin and I do not think we can rely on proprietary plugins in the long run.

Re:Open Source Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636715)

So the big question is - is it possible to implement a Flash player for Linux that's open source?

Others have already mentioned Gnash. If you want to roll your own, I recommend you have a look at Tamarin, the VM part of the player already open sourced by Adobe. The SWF specs are now open, too, without the restrictive license. Add renderer, stir, bake for 40 minutes.
Remember, just because it took them several man-years, that doesn't mean it can't be done on a long week end, right?

Won't fix broken Web Sites and Media. Bad Laws. (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636727)

Of course it's possible to implement Flash with free software, but that won't solve the problem. Free software is a powerful enough development method to overcome CSS, the Windows API, SMB, and DX. What task do you think is out of reach? The problem then is one of a legal framework that makes it impossible to distribute free software that works with broken media like DVDs and websites that use Flash. There are technical solutions but legal solutions are better. Software patents and the DMCA must go.

There are several technical solutions to broken media. One is for individuals to ignore bad laws and just get DeCSS. A better one is to code around YouTube like Clive does. You can also simply avoid non free media, after all the Internet Archive, Wikipedia and Creative Commons have multiple lifetimes worth of excellent entertainment and education. Most of these send a clear message that Flash, Silverlight and other non free media is broken. Competing technology and it's users are going to win.

Legal solutions are better. We would not have problems with broken media if people were allowed to share their solutions. Laws that prohibit people from sharing free software are always wrong and should never have passed. Modern copyright law is at odds with its purpose and must be reformed.

Re:Open Source Flash? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636729)

So there is no version of Flash that is open source then?

There is, and it's mentioned in the summary -- Gnash.

The problem is that neither Gnash nor libswf are anywhere near feature-complete, and aren't necessarily any more stable than Adobe's version. As you say:

The disadvantage of not being able to play Flash is mostly on sites like YouTube.

None of the open-source implementations, last I checked, would run YouTube, or any embedded video.

Now, my preferred approach would be to get rid of Flash wherever we possibly can, as the first poster says. YouTube could easily be implemented with the HTML5 Video tag, which is supported in Safari, and in newer builds of Firefox 3 -- and it could fall back to Flash pretty easily, probably even transparently, given the right library.

The problem is, I can't exactly walk into Mountain View saying "You guys realize that Flash is destroying the Web, right? That's pretty evil, right? Um, hello?"

By the way, regarding your sig:

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker would destroy civilization.

That's not entirely fair. There are many reasons why architecture isn't a good analogy, but I won't go into that now... Instead, I'll simply cite a case of a "woodpecker" destroying civilization. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Open Source Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636863)

YouTube could easily be implemented with the HTML5 Video tag, which is supported in Safari, and in newer builds of Firefox 3

Actually, it could be done with the HTML 4 <object> element type from 1997. Unfortunately, browser vendors haven't bothered doing anything but the bare minimum regarding this element type. YouTube went with Flash because it was the best available option. Flash was the best available option because browser vendors fucked up <object> . The only reason why the <video> element type is actually being implemented adequately by browser vendors is because HTML 5 has hordes of raging fanboys and HTML 4 hasn't.

WFM (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636439)

works for me

Re:WFM (1)

brezel (890656) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636841)

same here. ff3 almost never crashes on me due to flash but fullscreen support just plain sucks.

Is it real? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636441)

is it real?

Flash on Firefox 3 Is Fixed (2, Informative)

rjbond3rd (614332) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636445)

Are you still on Firefox 2? I had those problems but they went away with the upgrade to Firefox 3 (I'm on Ubuntu).

Fixed in FF2 as well (0, Flamebait)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636793)

Running Slackware 12, with FF 2, and it works for me.. I watch a lot of youtube - it's never been a problem.

Interestingly, FF on my fedora box at work will hang randomly when I leave a flash site (especially Youtube) - it doesn't appear to be dependent upon the video or site, because I can re-visit the same one and have no problems.

I'd say it's a distro problem, not a flash problem.

Re:Flash on Firefox 3 Is Fixed (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636801)

I had a coworker fed up with Vista on his brand new toshiba laptop. He took my recommendation and put Ubuntu 8.04.1 on it. He LOVED the speed difference, and actually found it easier to use. However, Flash crashing all the time was one of the main reasons he got rid of ubuntu. He has a couple of roomates, that watch different shows than him, so he uses Hulu and other websites to watch TV. Having firefox crash so often, and sound issues, made him go find a cracked copy of XP, which was also much faster than vista on his laptop. I had suggested a few fixes, but he was nowhere near a technical user, and I could hardly fault him for not wanting to dive into config files he didn't understand.

Can SVG hack it? (1)

Ageing Metalhead (586837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636447)

Can any native browser comply with the W3 SVG validation tests? AM

Crashes on Windows XP too (4, Insightful)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636463)

Flash 9.0.124.0 crashes all the time on my wife's Windows XP system running Firefox as well. Most of the time it exhibits as not being able to play sound. So it definitely isn't limited to Linux. Flash is just crap.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636525)

And yes she is running Firefox 3.0.1 on Windows XP.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636823)

I'm using the stock Firefox on Gutsy -- I've found that youtube tends to crash Firefox when I go to a subsequent movie before the first one has completed. If I open links in new windows, it barely ever crashes even when jumping in the middle of a vid. It's sort of a pain, but I just alt-tab back and pause the one I didn't want to finish, and by the time I'm back at the current video, it has loaded enough to start playing. This also works fairly well with tabs, but not as well as new windows.

Anyway, the only time I get a crash is when switching vids midstream in the same window.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636847)

I had the "no audio" and flash video froze after a few seconds on Windows XP SP2, Firefox 3 with Flash 9.
Upgrading to the Flash 10 release candidate has completely solved that - Available here. [adobe.com]

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

Heather D (1279828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636555)

I have to second this. Flash has a well-earned nickname; Crashplayer. In my experience it's as bad on Windows as on Linux.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636641)

Once again a topic about Adobe Flash and its crashes...

The current Flash plugin crashes on all Pentium 2, Pentium MMX and K6-1/2/3 processors.
To be exact: it crashes on all processors with MMX but without the MMX extentions introduced by Intel with SSE and by AMD with Athlon

Some time ago I posted instructions on the Adobe forum on how to binary patch the plugin.
I can't remember having had another crash afterwards.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636675)

The crashes I am seeing are on an Athlon 64 3200+ running 32bit Windows XP.

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636713)

Its far more likely that you have driver problems

Re:Crashes on Windows XP too (1)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636743)

Quitting Firefox and then restarting causes Flash to start working again, if it was a driver problem wouldn't that not fix the problem until the system was rebooted?

Flash does suck, as does Silverlight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636467)

That should be modded subtly insightful. There really is no alternative to flash. To quote Danny DeVito, "there's no winning... only various degrees of losing."

I fixed this ages ago (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636485)

I used to have this happen to be on Ubuntu 8.04. I fixed it by downloading the official version of Flash from the Adobe website and replacing all of the versions of the .so on my computer. Wouldn't you know it, it worked again. I think the problem is that the version in Ubuntu 8.04 was hacked up to support PulseAudio. When I removed PulseAudio, suddenly audio didn't work anymore (in addition to, you know, the crashing all the time), but when I replaced the .so, it did again. So I recommend going to the Adobe website and getting the official version, because it does work.

Poor flash not the bigges barrier (0, Offtopic)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636489)

Poor Flash is the one major barrier? Pah - there are a number of more pressing issues, like poor wireless support (on the driver level), poor opensource drivers and closed drivers being difficult to configure manually, poor multimedia support on the API level (using SDL helps a bit though), iffy ACPI support on a number of systems, negligible vendor preloads, and probably a number of other things.

That said, excellent flash support would certainly be nice.

Mod Parent up...AND... (2, Insightful)

jddj (1085169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636709)

..frankly Adobe (and other major software vendors) is one of the main barriers to adoption of Linux as a desktop platform.

I'm on Mac OS Leopard and the only thing it'd take to make me move to Linux is to be able to get the Adobe, Microsoft and other suites of professional applications on Linux. That's na' ga' happen. Wouldn't be prudent for Adobe, Microsoft, et al.

And Gdammit (beta), don't tell me that GIMP is just as good as Photoshop. Just don't. It's not, just not, just so very NOT. And there are a million other reasons that the other Adobe tools rock so thoroughly more than the best creative tools you can find on Linux.

So Flash - a product from a giant software vendor that you need serious power-tools to create well (yes, I'm quite aware that the SWF spec is open) - is broken on Linux, AND you can't get the power-tools to create it. I'll shed the tiny tears for Flash (which sucks, in most cases), and the big tears for Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks (new version is gonna rock), Lightwave 3D, MS Excel, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and a hundred other tools that are must-haves within their disciplines.

I ask myself the same question (5, Informative)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636491)

I've noticed, at least since I switched from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3, that when Adobe Flash Player 9 ( or 10 ) is installed the browser exhibits sporadic lockups and crashes when navigating the Web -- not just when viewing Flash video or a site that makes heavy use of Flash, although that does seem to increase the odds of the browser eating itself.

After the release of Firefox 3.0 I opted to install Adobe Flash Player 10 Beta. The performance was much better as was the video quality and I didn't experience as many crashes. This all changed when Adobe updated the Beta and the details can be found in the bug report that I filed here [mozilla.org] . To summarize, after the update, Flash Player 10 would cause the browser to segfault and lockup so frequently, sometimes even upon startup, that the browser became unusable -- I had to downgrade to Flash Player 9. Currently there is someone from Adobe assigned to work on the "problem" whatever it is, but I haven't heard anything in weeks.

jdb2

Half-broken (2, Informative)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636497)

I experienced frequent Firefox crashes due to Flash in my Ubuntu box, which went being upgraded from 6.06 to 7.04 to 7.10 to 8.04. But then my hard disk crashed and I had to reinstall Ubuntu 8.04 from scratch. It's been now three months of this fresh installation, and in this period Flash has never, ever, crashed my Firefox. It's been rock solid.

My wild guess then would be that your setup is half-broken much like mine was. Try that old Windows trick of wiping your hard disk and reinstalling your Linux distribution, whatever it is. It might be the solution.

Now, this doesn't mean Flash in Linux isn't still full of bugs. It not respecting transparencies and correct depth levels in pages is a major annoyance. But at least crashing isn't part of the list anymore, at least for me.

Are you fucking serious? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636607)

My wild guess then would be that your setup is half-broken much like mine was. Try that old Windows trick of wiping your hard disk and reinstalling your Linux distribution, whatever it is. It might be the solution.

Are you truly that inept at troubleshooting a pc, that you wipe the entire fucking OS to fix minor problems? Please stop giving people advice. About anything. Ever. Ok?

Re:Are you fucking serious? (0, Troll)

douthat (568842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636771)

My wild guess then would be that your setup is half-broken much like mine was. Try that old Windows trick of wiping your hard disk and reinstalling your Linux distribution, whatever it is. It might be the solution.

Are you truly that inept at troubleshooting a pc, that you wipe the entire fucking OS to fix minor problems? Please stop giving people advice. About anything. Ever. Ok?

Are you so inept at fixing a pc that you think wiping the entire OS is some sort of monumental task? Is troubleshooting for 3 hours better than wiping your OS clean in 30 minutes? (you have your home directory on a separate partition, right?)

Re:Half-broken (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636805)

Yeah, I wanted to say almost the same thing.

My buddy few days ago, told me his flash/firefox is crashing all the time, however.. my firefox(iceweasel)/flash isn't crashing at all.
I sometimes watch youtube for hours, opening 5-10 videos at the same time, everything works like a charm.

It only crashes when I open specific porno tube site, but I think it's not related to Flash, since in opera, it works ok.

Iceweasel ver: 2.0.0.14
Flash ver: 9,0,31,0

According to:
http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_15507 [adobe.com]

It's not the latest, but it works... so try that.

Just one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636503)

"It has occurred to me that Flash on Linux is the one major entry barrier controlling acceptance of Linux as a viable desktop operating system."

Just one major barrier? Only one? You sure about that?

Works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636507)

Running gentoo 2008.0 amd64 on an intel processor, firefox 3.0.1
flash 9.0.124.0
nspluginwrapper 0.9.91.5-r1

everything works flawlessly. Maybe you need to rebuild your flash

Treat MS as they did Adobe with ES4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636509)

Adobe has a gun and should use it:
"http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?guid={AE3FB7A4-EE47-436B-ADF0-0C45AC172F8C}&siteid=rss"

They just don't care. (5, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636511)

They just don't care because there are no real competitors to Flash. For most mainstream sites today, Flash is mandatory. (And no amount of boycott will change that.)

I think the best way to fix this is by subversion and infiltration. Boycotts don't work. They haven't worked with Vista and won't work with Flash.

The Linux community needs to stop thinking it can "boycott" things like protocols, and file formats and instead, work to make alternate applications that can work with those file formats and protocols to eat the other guy's lunch.

Re:They just don't care. (2, Informative)

calc (1463) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636585)

There are already at least two applications that do this: swfdec and gnash.

http://swfdec.freedesktop.org/wiki/ [freedesktop.org]

http://www.gnashdev.org/ [gnashdev.org]

Re:They just don't care. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636701)

But it can't do Flash 9.

Re:They just don't care. (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636897)

Wikipedia Foundation is pushing OGG and Theora in Firefox 3.1 as a new way of streaming content w/o Adobes crap flash. I have some problems with Flash but most of the applications run surprisingly well on Linux and compared to the windows media or quicktime plugins watching flash video is a treat.

Re:They just don't care. (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636887)

While I fully agree that boycotting doesn't work, it must be noted that proprietary file formats and protocols are often patent encumbered.

I already have given up Adobe Flash (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636523)

Every time I install Ubuntu, I just add FlashBlock and I am set. Life is too short to waste my time to Flash enormous appetite for CPU power. For casual user it actually works - just avoid 10 tabs and 5 windows. Yes, I am waiting for Swfdec and Gnash to knock Adobe out of it's monopoly for Flash player. I would like to both teams come together and try to finish stuff, but it is up to them.

Suggest reading Adobe's blogosplat (4, Informative)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636539)

I suggest the read of penguin.swf blogosplat [adobe.com] which is Adobe's blog for posting new version of flash for linux (such as the recent Flash 10 beta or the new alpha)

Broken Flash = Bad soundcard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636543)

With a real soundcard that has HW mixing, Flash works fine, no crashing or hanging..
A Sound Blaster Live is pretty cheap these days :D

It's not Flash, it's Pulseaudio (3, Informative)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636549)

You'll have Pulseaudio tell you different, but if you use a pure Alsa for your sound, you'll find Flash--and everything else that uses sound--runs MUCH better.

I have no idea why Pulseaudio has been thrust into various distributions, it's cumbersome at best, outright broken at worst. There's nothing Pulseaudio brings to the table that's needed. Application volume sliders? Anything that outputs volume already has a volume slider, why do I need another one? Sound over the network? Is this REALLY a feature people want at the expense of a huge majority of programs not working? And what's wrong with ESD for this?

So do yourself a favor, and remove all the Pulseaudio stuff from your distro.

Re:It's not Flash, it's Pulseaudio (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636721)

PulseAudio, unlike ESD, can handle multiple audio outputs at once.

It used to be that if I had flash open in Firefox, I couldn't pause and play something in mplayer.

Just because some applications have issues with it doesn't make it crap; it's a major improvement.

Re:It's not Flash, it's Pulseaudio (1)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636785)

And through alsa, you can just use dmix, which will let you do the software mixing--play sound through any number of applications.

Flash will get routed through dmix by default. But if you use Pulseaudio, it locks the soundcard, and you get the issue of no sound in Flash. It's why there is all this libflashsupport nonsense. I have sound through Flash, totem, and anything else that wants sound. ESD also sits nicely on top of dmix so I have system sounds as well.

Pulseaudio is a solution without a problem.

Re:It's not Flash, it's Pulseaudio (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636731)

Anything that outputs volume already has a volume slider, why do I need another one?

Some applications and/or games forget something this simple. While they do allow "muting", they assume that the host environment (i.e. Adobe Flash) already provides a volume control. In some other cases, the volume control is logarithmic rather than linear, resulting in sounds being too loud for a "middle" setting.

This alone isn't a reason to use PulseAudio, but rather to use that feature.

and on X64 it's even worse (5, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636553)

Since switching to a 64-bit version of Ubuntu, I've been getting flashbacks to Win 3.1 and the trials and tribulations of installing printers and other drivers.

far from the now mature process of download/click/wait/enjoy, the process involved getting just the right software version, installing it manually in the correct location, maybe hacking around with .INI files and then crossing your fingers that the mean-time-between-crashes was longer than the time it took to print your document.

So it is with installing flash on FF3/U_x64. The process basically sucks and as said, provides a sufficiently bad user experience to turn normal people off Linux for years.

Probably... (4, Insightful)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636557)

"I really do have to suspect Adobe's motivation for keeping Flash on Linux in such a deplorable state."

This is an irksome statement. I doubt Adobe has an interest in making Linux look bad. Isn't there a saying, "never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence."

Probably what would work better here is, "never ascribe to malice what can be explained by business sense." Linux is 4%ish of the desktop market so it would make sense that 4% (or less, but certainly not more) of Adobe flash development go to linux porting. 4% of their development just isn't going to make Flash as good as it is on other platforms, and I doubt they are receiving a lot of money from linux distros to change this.

Yeah it sucks if you use linux but no need to point a finger at Adobe. Its simple dollars and cents (or sense).

Flash has problems everywhere (2, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636563)

Flash doesn't work completely reliably on any platform I have tried. I find that Adobe Flash on 32bit Linux works about as well as the OS X version (meaning: it's usable but it does have occasional problems).

The main problem people are having is that there is no 64bit Linux version of Flash, so all you can do is run it in some emulated environment.

Because adobe doesn't care about you. (2, Insightful)

Max_Abernethy (750192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636567)

Adobe cares about the folks buying expensive site and server licenses. Those guys don't really care about you because there aren't enough of ya to have much impact on their website's success, so why should adobe invest in your platform, besides the bare minimum quality implementation as a hedge in case desktop linux becomes more important some day. There's no economic incentive.

what does it say (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636583)

What does it say if Adobe only has 1 employee (if that) working on the linux Flash port and he's doing a better job than GNASH and open source development?

If you really feel so strongly about Flash's importance, maybe you should help turn GNASH into a viable solution.

This post reads like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636589)

Dear Internet,

why isn't Adobe fixing their products that run on an operating system that is for them a niche market? Why can't I watch my youtubes on linux?

This is what keeps people from the linux, please fix it now Adobe, even though you have very little to gain.

Love,
Someone you won't make money from ever

Why exactly is this on slashdot? This one paragraph of "ye olde flash whine" without any links hardly constitutes something newsworthy.

I guess I'm just lucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636593)

The diversity of Linux makes it difficult. Read the early posts on the developer's blog [adobe.com] for details.

I guess I'm just lucky, but I don't have any problems under either Gentoo or Ubuntu, at least not with Flashplayer 9. With the FP10 alpha I had similar problems, but that's an alpha and I was happy it was released along the Win/Mac versions. I haven't tested the RC yet, I only just now found it was out.

Cut them some slack. The situation for Flash on Linux has improved tremendously. I think that shows that Adobe has recognized the importance that market has, and given some time, I'm sure they'll fix the remaining issues.

And yes, 64 bits. I know. But AFAIK there isn't one for Windows 64, either (is there?), so it's more than just a recompile as some suggest.

stop subjecting your wife to a server OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636597)

to use the standard linux zealot language...

I see your pissy entitlement and raise you a 'code it yourself'

Missing option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636599)

When you look to BUY an Adobe product, there doesn't seem to be a "Linux" choice (only Mac or Windows).

Works fine for me... ;) (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636613)

I've got Ubuntu Dapper Drake on my work machine, still running FF 2 (haven't gotten around to upgrading to 3 yet), and the Flash plugin works fine. I think it causes the browser to crash maybe once every few months, and then it's always 1) when I've had the browser open a long time without restarting, and 2) some complicated, overstuffed SWF gets opened and it just tips things over the edge.

Aside from that (and the wmode thing), I don't really have any trouble with Flash. And lest you think I don't use it enough, I work for a website that has Flash embedded on nearly every page, sometimes multiple times, and we host hundreds of Flash games. So it's not like I'm not loading a lot of Flash.

Latest version? (1)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636635)

I've been running the latest and greatest since August 1 (latest flash, firefox 3) before then, it wasn't uncommon for flash to freeze firefox 2. Is it the same content each time, or is this a cumulative crash? For me it seemed pretty random--mostly when I was trying to close a tab with flash content--but I've yet to find something that kills firefox 3.

Ymmv, etc., etc..

Maybe it's you? (1)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636645)

I'm using the newest version of Flash on Ubuntu 8.04.1 (32-bit, because I don't actually need 64-bit at this time) with no major problems whatsoever. The only minor problem I have is that if I watch too many videos in a row, Firefox's RAM allotment chokes and crashes the browser.
 
I'm curious, kdawson ... What distro/bit-type/browser are you using?
 
Hopefully, competition from Microsoft will force Adobe to get its act together. (That will be the last nice thing I say about Microsoft this year.)

Re:Maybe it's you? (2, Interesting)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636747)

Ubuntu 8.04 and flash works just fine on x86 for me as well. Just install it from apt, don't get it from adobe.

And what about Shockwave? (1)

John Utah (1318581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636659)

I wish they would write a version for Linux (good luck though!)

That's funny... (1, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636671)

No matter how stably, smoothly, efficiently, and correctly Linux runs on a machine, the public will continue to view it as second-rate if Flash keeps crashing.

I have the same problem with Flash on Windows. What does that mean to the public?

no reason to fix it (3, Interesting)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636679)

Linux users dont buy software. There is no revenue stream there. Plus, the user base is too small. Businesses are not charity, they aren't going to cater to a group that is more likely to pirate their goods than buy them. Sure, flash is free, but flash is used for distributing media and generating ad revenue. However, will linux users patronize advertisers? Its not likel bases on their other non-purchasing behavior.

Re:no reason to fix it (2, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636905)

Linux users dont buy software. There is no revenue stream there.

Windows users don't buy Adobe Flash player. There is no revenue stream there.

Who is pirating more? Windows or Linux users? Have you seen some illegal Linux installation? Businesses are more likely to "pirate" Linux by violating license of OSS products.

I am Linux user and I do buy software that runs on Linux.

This story also needs an update. (4, Insightful)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636691)

There's various bug reports about this with regards to Pulseaudio and Flash--as well as numerous othat applications--in all major distributions that have packaged Pulseaudio by default. I'm not going to link all the bug reports in a slashdot comment, but you can search for them yourself.

The story and summary seems to be calling out Adobe on this issue, when it's not really their fault. If PA didn't have as many compatibility issues with alsa applications as it has, Flash would work fine.

It's unfair to call out Adobe on this issue. It expects a working alsa implementation, and when it has to use Pluseaudio's version of the virtual device, it crashes. Adobe doesn't have any control over the faultily implementation. So if there's a story that's about Flash crashing fine, but let's put the blame where it belongs here.

Apple's iPhone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636703)

Yeah, good thing Apple is pushing for a Flash-free web, then, eh - and providing the tools to achieve that, as well.

Works fine for me in Debian SID...BUT (1)

westyvw (653833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636717)

I dont have any problem with flash, its a little slow initializing in Konqueror, but that must be due to the nsplugin loading. Also works fine in Iceweasel 3. I dont experience crashing, I didnt even know that was a problem. However, the biggest complaint I here from the Linux users I talk to is performance, full screen isnt so good. OpenGL acceleration would be nice. I dont like flash either, but it works.

Seriously... (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636733)

s/ On Linux//;

Flash on Linux is terrible.

Flash on the Mac is an abomination.

Flash on Windows is fairly crappy, but at least when it works it's not the massive CPU hog it is on other platforms. When it works.

There are some very smart guys at Adobe, but I've yet to be convinced that they're actually allowed to do their job across most of the product range.

iphone (1)

brianna (85192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636781)

i think the iphone's lack of flash support is going to force more and more web developers to offer alternatives to flash or to drop flash altogether.

Flash needs Some Work (1)

DaveLG526 (1058564) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636835)

In terms of Flash and YouTube there really are issues yet no one seems to care. Many, many people have issues with YouTube videos freezing after 2 seconds of initial play. There are tons of suggestions as to how to fix this but none seem to work 100% or all the time. I thought the de-select JAVA option for Firefox solved the video issue but it is not a 100% fix either. Given the popularity one would think YouTube, Adobe and FF people could come to a fix. Also, why isn't Adobe supporting Linux now that Microsoft is pushing their Silverlight platform.

Once again, Lobbyists (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636861)

He even said it himself in his article: "It has occurred to me that Flash on Linux is the one major entry barrier controlling acceptance of Linux as a viable desktop operating system." Adobe's two biggest cash cows are Windows and Mac users. Why should anyone that earns such a lot of money and has close ties to the aforementioned companies be interested in supporting the Open Source community. As we all now, that's communist bullshit and kills the software industry. Right? Right? It's another typical example of how so called standards are used to limit the degree of freedom in a market and why big companies are so particularly bad for human evolution (I consider technological innovation and knowledge culture evolutionary traits).

RE: Why Is Adobe Flash On Linux Still Broken? (2, Insightful)

dbialac (320955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636893)

Probably the very low user penetration. It has occurred to me that Flash on Linux is the one major entry barrier controlling acceptance of Linux as a viable desktop operating system. I've been hearing that argument for years. I remember back in 1999 hearing how Linux would be ready for the desktop in 2001. Years have passed since then and it still isn't. The underlining problem is that Linux and its components create a system written by developers for developers, and it always will be. But the thing is, there's nothing wrong with that. The fun of linux is the fun of being able to tweak everything, and lets face it simple systems like Mac and Windows just aren't as fun in that way.
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