upgrading to adobe flash player (64 bit) on debian

as i mentioned in my previous blog article, adobe temporarily pulled 64 bit support for the 64 bit plugin. a few days ago (september 15) they released preview 1 of flash player 10.2. if you have followed the instructions in my previous article, upgrading is quite simple. if not, don’t worry, there are only a few extra steps! please remember that this is a beta version so it may not be 100% stable. the method i am using will add a new option to update-alternatives which will allow you to switch between a stable and testing plugin of flash player. this makes it quite simple to change between versions.

  1. if you haven’t yet, i would suggest removing the official adobe flash package which is likely to be out of date:
sudo aptitude remove --purge flashplugin-nonfree
  1. download the latest 64 bit plugin from here, make sure to select Download plug-in for 64-bit Linux (backup mirror). i would suggest saving the file to /tmp.

  2. open a command line window and navigate to /tmp:

cd /tmp
  1. untar the archive:
tar zxvf flashplayer_square_p1_64bit_linux_091510.tar.gz
  1. if you haven’t followed my previous article, you will need to create the destination directory first:
sudo mkdir /usr/lib/adobe-flash
  1. next, copy the newly extracted libflashplayer.so to the plugin installation location:
sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so

it might be a good idea to verify that you have moved the file properly:

mbentley@athena:/tmp$ ls -l /usr/lib/adobe-flash/
total 19736
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  9570824 2010-09-17 09:18 libflashplayer.so
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 10601968 2010-09-17 10:01 libflashplayer_testing.so
  1. next we are going to need to add a new entry to update-alternatives for the testing version:
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so \
flash-mozilla.so /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so 15

--install indicates that we are adding an entry, /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so indicates the symlink we want to add an option to, flash-mozilla.so indicates the update-alternatives name, /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so indicates the file which you are adding, 15 indicates the priority (higher the number, the higher the priority).

  1. now we need to set the new testing version of flash player to be current active version:
sudo update-alternatives --config flash-mozilla.so

make sure to choose the option for the newly created /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so:

    There are 2 alternatives which provide 'flash-mozilla.so'.

      Selection    Alternative
    *+        1    /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer.so
              2    /usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so

    Press enter to keep the default[*], or type selection number: 2
    Using '/usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer_testing.so' to provide 'flash-mozilla.so'.
  1. we should now clean up our temporary files as we do not need them anymore:
rm /tmp/flashplayer_square_p1_64bit_linux_091510.tar.gz /tmp/libflashplayer.so
  1. after you have done that, you will need to restart your web browser and then you should have version installed. you can verify this by going to adobe’s flash test page and looking in the ‘version information’ section.

in the future, you will simply need to execute steps 2-5 to upgrade to newer versions. if you want to install a new ‘stable’ plugin, you will just need to change step 5 to copy to ‘/usr/lib/adobe-flash/libflashplayer.so’. if you do so, you will also want to verify that update-alternatives is pointing to the correct version that you would like to use.

if you have any questions or problems, feel free to post in the comments and i will try to reply to them as soon as possible.