How to Install Adobe Flash in Debian Etch/Lenny/Sid

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Flash Player is a cross-platform browser plug-in that delivers breakthrough Web experiences to over 98% of Internet users.

Method 1

If you run Etch you will want to use

First you need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file using the following command

#nano /etc/apt/sources.list

add the following line

deb etch-backports main contrib non-free

save and exit the file.

Update the source list using the following command

#apt-get update

All backports are deactivated by default. If you want to install something from backports run:

#apt-get -t etch-backports install “packagename”

If you are using etch and you want apt to verify the downloaded backports you can import archive’s key into apt:

#apt-get install debian-backports-keyring

If you want to get your packages from backports upgraded automatically the following entry in /etc/apt/preferences should be sufficient:

Package: *
Pin: release a=etch-backports
Pin-Priority: 200

Once you have backports all set up do one of the following commands

#apt-get update

#apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

Method 2

Using repo

First you need to download the debian-multimedia-keyring package from here

Install using the following command

#dpkg -i debian-multimedia-keyring_2008.10.16_all.deb

you need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file using the following command

#nano /etc/apt/sources.list

add the following lines which is suitable for you

For etch (stable) alpha, amd64, hppa, i386, ia64, powerpc and sparc packages

deb etch main
deb etch main
deb stable main or
deb stable main

For lenny (testing) alpha, amd64, armel, hppa, i386, ia64, mipsel, powerpc and sparc packages

deb lenny main
deb lenny main
deb testing main or
deb testing main

For sid (unstable) alpha, amd64, armel, hppa, i386, ia64, mipsel, powerpc and sparc packages.

deb sid main or
deb sid main

For experimental amd64, i386 and powerpc packages. transcode, k9copy and kplayer (Qt4 version) and mjpegtools packages.

The official Debian experimental repository isn't needed.
deb experimental main or
deb experimental main

For source

deb-src sid main or
deb-src sid main

Install flash player using the following command

#apt-get install flashplayer-mozilla

Once you have flash installed you can check in Iceweasel by entering about:plugins in the address bar. It should show something like:

Shockwave Flash
File name: /usr/lib/flashplayer-mozilla/
Shockwave Flash

The above works for Iceweasel, Opera, Epiphany, and Midori

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27 thoughts on “How to Install Adobe Flash in Debian Etch/Lenny/Sid

  1. > Flash Player is a cross-platform browser plug-in that delivers breakthrough Web experiences to over 98% of Internet users.

    It is since rrrrrrencently but it has been a Windows only platform for quite a long time.

    Currently, I have only one official mirror in my sources.list file, using sid, and I have the package installed. It’s probably in the non-free section :

    deb unstable main contrib non-free

  2. I last used at version 0.8.3, it’s a free opensource SWF/FLV
    viewer and there’s a plugin for Firefox/Konq {mozilla|konqueror}-\
    plugin-gnash]. The non-GL version with a standard video xserver
    works fine for SWF-enabled websites, although youtube vids are quite
    slow and the sound support is iffy. The GL version [of gnash] with a GLX
    video driver works somewhat better but IMHO it still needs some
    serious work, wish I was a better coder :-|. There’s a
    of 0.8.2-2 for Etch available. BTW gnash is opensource :).

  3. thanks, the apt install with the backports keyring worked instantly, i cut and pasted ~6 of your command lines and closed and reopened iceweasel, and bam.

  4. This is one of those things that bugs me- I’m using Kubuntu 8.04 64 bit on my main box (Lenny and Etch 32 bit on my others). There is a beta 64 bit flash plugin that adobe has released (the first 64 bit native plugin for *any* platform- yeah Adobe!).
    The installations was- download, put it in the plugin directory. No need to add repositories, et. al.- just copy a single file to the right place.
    Solaris and Linux 64 bit Flash plugin.

  5. i have worked with lenny + multimedia for a while. I installed flash update when it was launched, but after the first run, iceweacel and minefield (firefox 3.1) stop showing flash contents and only show a gray area. I tryed a couple times, but it always happens the same thing, so i’m “stuck” in 9

  6. One could simply enable the contrib and nonfree sources in debian sid . Then simply run an apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree . Then simply comment out the sid repo when your done.

  7. If all else fails, download install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz from Adobe, decompress, cd to resulting directory, then run as root:
    Tell it to install in /usr/lib/iceweasel (and/or where ever else you want).
    Works for me.

  8. It may be cross-platform, but from what I’ve seen in this article, only i386 and amd64 cpu architectures are currently supported by Adobe. (I’ve used some Adobe plug-ins for Solaris on sun4m SPAC CPUs in the past but doubt that new versions have been written in recent years).

  9. As a note on lenny:

    After adding the debian-multimedia repos, I had to apt-get remove swfdec-mozilla and restart mozilla to see Flash player 10 in Iceweasel

  10. I had version 9 working and wanted to install version 10, but this results in:
    .mozilla/plugins/ /lib/tls/i686/cmov/ version `GLIBC_2.4′ not found (required by .mozilla/plugins/

    So I followed method one described here in the hope the HOWTO works around the problem. It ends with a download of version 9. Its not even installed 🙁 So for Debian stable it looks like Flash 10 is neraly inpossible to use.

  11. I’ve just installed flash 10 on Lenny AMD64 by getting the 64bit tar.gz from Adobe, uncompressing it and copying to /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins (I had to create the plugins dir). Works like a champ so far…

  12. Thx, I was using nspluginwrapper but I had some issues, the flash animation overlap everything near to it. Monday I update my debian+kde4 and boom!!!, flash stop working, your solution is neat and works perfectly, Thx again 🙂

  13. I have this trouble now, I even rebooted the pc:
    with installing as :

    Get:1 lenny/main flashplayer-mozilla 1: [3963kB]
    Fetched 3963kB in 11s (357kB/s)
    (Reading database … 185383 files and directories currently installed.)
    Removing flashplugin-nonfree …
    Processing triggers for man-db …
    Selecting previously deselected package flashplayer-mozilla.
    (Reading database … 185373 files and directories currently installed.)
    Unpacking flashplayer-mozilla (from …/flashplayer-mozilla_1%3a10.0.22.87-0.1_i386.deb) …
    Setting up flashplayer-mozilla (1: …

    any ideas?

  14. Frenchn00b:

    You should double check what and where it was installed by using command :

    dpkg -L flashplayer-mozilla

    and copy over *so file you’ll see from previous output to :


    Somehow flashplayer-mozilla package is using wrong directory for *so file.

  15. I have been having a problem where sound with flash skips, or doesn’t play at all, or gets into some kind of loop.
    This is on lenny, no gnome or kde (ion3 for wm), and it happens with both iceweasel and chrome. (haven’t tried epiphany or any other browser).
    I had been using the nonfree plugin from the repos, then downloaded flash10 from adobe and copied it to
    /opt/google/chrome/plugins/ and /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins/
    and still see the issue. (I cp-ed b/c there was no installer in the tarball I dloaded, just the file).
    Briefly, it seemed restarting the sound system (alsa) would temporarily resolve the issue, but it would come back.
    Now, it comes back almost immediately.
    As such, I am unable to view and hear flash videos from youtube, etc., etc.
    I brought the matter up on the mail list, and the only suggestion I’ve received was to restart alsa, which, as mentioned,
    only temporarily resolved the issue, and too temporarily to be useful.
    It’s not an iceweasel problem, since it also occurs in chrome (which I am now using as default browser).
    Restarting X my ion3 session also seems to temporarily resolve the issue (probably because alsa restarts, I imagine), but again, only temporarily.


    Thanks in advance.

  16. for the 64 arch heres what I do, download
    gunzip-untar in lets say your home (close iceweasel)

    # mkdir /usr/lib/flash
    # cp /usr/lib/flash
    # cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
    # ln -s /usr/lib/flash/

    start iceweasel there flash working (i create the “flash” directory in case theres another release of flash i just copy the new one there)
    I hope it works

  17. Thanks Devian your adive worked for me

    Before following your advice I removed swfdev-mozilla and then I did your following advice…
    for the 64 arch heres what I do, download
    gunzip-untar in lets say your home (close iceweasel)

    # mkdir /usr/lib/flash
    # cp /usr/lib/flash
    # cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
    # ln -s /usr/lib/flash/

    start iceweasel there flash working (i create the “flash” directory in case theres another release of flash i just copy the new one there)
    I hope it works

    And It Just Worked … Thanks

  18. It shouldn’t be this difficult. I’d quite like to get more into Linux but I really haven’t got time for this nonsense. For both my Macs and my PCs I just click the link on the website and it installs.

  19. Here’s an idea. Why not have a standard package (matching across all distros), starting with Debian proper (into going sid, I guess), called “flash”. This would be a GUI program; because you’d not likely be running Flash, in text. This could also be what’s run, as a checkbox, upon system installs.

    This program would pop up, and ask you (check off) to enable non-free repos, and install what ever other packages that are needed. It could also explain different versions, and open efforts, giving options, including clean-up, as needed. If there are several way to do it, this should allow you to return to the program, and try other methods. All known methods should be included. Of most importance, is simply text, explain the why, and the differences. Including, of course, the most recommended, and first to try.

    Also, why not have a comprehensive test site, in order of reported difficulty (working video for example); per site, as a quick method to test compatibility.

    This could also be linked, to the browser pop ups, telling you to install Flash, and give you the option of running this new installer.

    Now, is that to easy to implement?

    Time, people! That’s what we need to save.

    All this is not to say, that we should make a more open alternative. Yet, it is a popular as it is, too many sites use it, and we must get along, functionally! We are no where near total, user saturation, yet; so we must provide what other system use, or we will cap our efforts (ironically) to put down, troublesome non-free components. We certainly can not do it, by burring our collective heads in the sand. We need full Flash compatibility, and something better for people to use, instead.

  20. i’m new with linux. at first it seemed alright, but if getting flash working can be this fucking difficult and frustrating this’ll be the last time i’ll bother trying crappy os’s like this one.

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