Monday, November 23, 2009

openSUSE 11.2: Making Flash work on Firefox

Update (23rd Nov 09): Please IGNORE this post (my bad) if you do not have any issues with getting Flash to work on Firefox, in fact, you should not have any issues here... With Thanks to astute readers woro and thuswa (see comments section). I had trouble because I should have used YaST Software Management to install Flash; instead I went and download/install Flash via Adobe's website... because I wasn't thinking and clicked a link to download Flash when visiting on my vanilla Firefox. D'oh! xpasti

Well! I'm back to blogging after 3 months...
senyum ... and all because I've taken ill and quarantined at home for the last 5 days... guess I've run out of things to occupy me... and recall how much I missed blogging... right, moving on... Alons-y!

You've probably heard that openSUSE 11.2 is out and what a fantastic (and concerted effort) launch and what a good all round package for a dot 2 (xx.2) release. I feel very optimistic for the enterprise grade SLED 11 SP1 in 2010. encem

One of the first things I always do with any new openSUSE is to install Adobe Flash Player onto Firefox. Its one of those ubiquitous proprietary software that does not come with a Free and Open Source package of Linux. A quick visit to the download page and got the RPM version (as of this writing, Flash version The default Firefox 3.5.4 will, quite cleverly, attempt to install the rpm via Install Software silently. A restart of Firefox should have Flash up and running right?... (rhetorical)... NO! What an annoying surprise.soal Here's how I got it to work after a little snooping around:

1) The default Firefox directory (/usr/lib/firefox/) does not have the usual /plugins sub-directory. Go ahead and create it, as root user, via:
mkdir /usr/lib/firefox/plugins

2) Now, go to the installed Flash directory (/usr/lib/flash/) and execute the setup script, as root, via:

3) Check that there is a softlink to the flash player lib in /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ directory

4) Now restart Firefox and to double-check by entering about:plugins in the URL address bar. This will list all plugins on Firefox and you should see an entry (towards the bottom) for Flash.

5) I also noticed that audio does not seem to work. Not sure why but the PCM volume setting is set to zero. Click the Audio Volume icon and choose Mixer and move the PCM volume up. Again, not sure why this is set to zero by default and having installed openSUSE 11.2 on two different systems, I noticed the same behaviour.

Molto Bene! Hope this helps. peace


  1. Huh? This howto is quite confusing for users as Flash in openSUSE 11.2 just works if you just install the package flash-player from the non-oss repository which is also preselected after an installation.
    There is a reason why we do not install Flash into /usr/lib/firefox/plugins.

  2. Yes I agree with woro. You should either remove this post completely or at least update it in-order to not cause confusion for our newbies.

  3. Hi woro & thuswa,

    Thanks for the input. So that's why some other openSUSE users I've asked never had this challenge... I still relied on getting the stuff on my own instead of using the non-oss repo! Ha!

    woro, are you able to share more on the "reason" why we do not install flash into /usr/lib/firefox/plugins? Security reasons? I'm interested to learn. Thanks.

    I'll put an update in RED to this entry and point others to look at the comments.

    Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. :) Cheers!

  4. Installing the Flash plugin into Firefox' install directory is basically not done because we install browser plugins to a central location which can be used by every browser and not only Firefox.
    It's also easier for 64<->32bit integration using nspluginwrapper.

  5. Thank woro :)

    rpm -e flash-plugin
    zypper in flash-player

    Noticed the shared/central location for browser plugin is conveniently located at /usr/lib/browser-plugins/

    Nice. :)

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