Installing Macromedia Flash Player on Ubuntu Linux

Back in September last year I wrote a blog entry on Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Information, using Flash on the Stage. The reason that I wanted the full flash player (rather than the Mozilla Firefox browser plug-in), is that I wanted to run some flash animations for a theatre show.

Since then I’ve replaced Mandrake / Mandriva Linux with Ubunutu Linux. These are significantly differently because of the package management tools used. Mandriva uses the Redhat Package Management format (RPM), as opposed to Ubuntu which is based on the Debian Package Management tools. As we are about to start rehearsals for our next theatre show with Warwickshire St. John Ambulance I’ve now installed Macromedia Flash Player on Ubunutu. Also see At the Theatre: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 on the Stage

The following explains the steps required to get the flash player working:

Firstly I’d already added some additional repositories to the Ubuntu software repository list earlier blog entry on installing software on Ubuntu Linux. I’m not sure if this is a requirement for the following steps or not

The steps required are to fix some pre-requisites using:

  • sudo apt-get install libgtk1.2
  • sudo apt-get install libstdc++2.10-glibc2.2

Then download the flash player from: Macromedia Flash Player Download Page. The version available is version 6.

The package needs to be uncompressed and then installed:

  • gunzip install_flash_player_6_r79_linux_sa.tar.gz
  • tar -xf install_flash_player_6_r79_linux_sa.tar
  • cd install_flash_player_6_linux_sa
  • ./flashplayer-installer

With the player installed it can have a icon put on the desktop by the installer, or can be run using "gflashplayer"

The flash player is now ready to run Flash Version 6 swf files.

Unfortunately this player doesn’t actually meet my requirements. It works with all of the flash files I created for the last show, but I’ve created a new autocue application in Macromedia Flash 8 (part of the Macromedia Studio 8) which some actionscript 2.0. Unfortunately even after exporting as player 6 format it doesn’t work properly. Although it can load and view the songs, it doesn’t support the Style Sheet formatting used to make the text the correct size and colour.
It should be possible to use the flash player for the actual show swf files, but the autocue can only work using the plug-in browser in Mozilla Firefox (which is at version 7), installed as per: earlier blog entry on installing software on Ubuntu Linux. Fortunately the autocue is only used during the rehearsals or behind the scenes and so using Firefox in full screen mode only a single line shows above the actual flash presentation.

I will include details of the autocue in a future blog entry (its still under development at the moment, although it is at least a working solution for this weekends rehearsal).

Unless Macromedia release an updated flash player for linux, the next promising solution is :GPLFlash 2, although it doesn’t look like that will be available in time for this show.