Don’t miss out on new features and performance improvements in Flash simply because you want to use Firefox. Here’s how to get the latest version of Flash for Firefox in Linux.
Currently, Google Chrome is the only browser on Linux that offers the latest version of Flash. For Firefox, you’re just getting security updates to the much older 10.2 release. However, it’s possible to get around this.
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Why Doesn’t Firefox Get The Latest Flash?
A few years back, Adobe decided to drop the Flash plugin’s support for Linux. Since then, Adobe has just maintained the 10.2 and pushed security updates but nothing else. The big major exception is for Google Chrome users — they can still enjoy the newest versions of Flash because Google made sure that its browser would still be supported. As a result, they created the Pepper Flash plugin.
Unlike most other plugins, it’s not as simple as taking Pepper Flash from Google Chrome and putting it with the plugins of your other favorite browser. If you try that, it simply won’t get recognized. Mozilla also doesn’t seem to have any interest in adding support for Pepper to Firefox.
Pepper Flash Wrapper
Thankfully, after a very long wait, we finally have a wrapper that we can install to get the Pepper Flash plugin into Firefox. Because it’s still rather new, it’s considered to be “alpha” quality software so you might experience some hiccups. But all major bugs have already been ironed out (at a very rapid pace, might I add), so it can only get better. I personally haven’t had any issues while trying it out.
Installing Fresh Player Plugin
Installing the wrapper and getting it to work is pretty straightfoward, but it’s more than a simple step.
First off, you’ll need to install the wrapper, called “Fresh Player Plugin”. You can do this by running the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install freshplayerplugin
This will add the PPA (Personal Package Archive: an easy-to-add repository specifically for Ubuntu) for the Fresh Player Plugin so you can get updates for it. It also updates your package lists and installs the wrapper.
The wrapper is now installed, but that’s all it is so far — a wrapper. You still need to get the actual Pepper Flash plugin, which can be easily done by just installing Google Chrome. You may have to run it once for Chrome to download the latest version of the plugin, but that’s all you have to do. The wrapper will automatically look the in folder that Chrome uses to store the Pepper Flash player, so you don’t have to do anything extra to help it find it.
You Now Have Up-To-Date Flash In Firefox
Now, you should be able to use the newer Flash in your favorite browser! If you also have the older Flash installed, it’s a good idea to uninstall it or find a way to disable it in your browser. Once that’s done, you should be good to go! At time of writing, hardware acceleration still doesn’t work, but it could very well be fixed soon. Try it if you want, but remember I warned you.
Although I still prefer HTML5 over Flash, I have to admit that there are still plenty of websites that use Flash. It will be many years before Flash finally undergoes its extremely slow death, and for the time being it’s still a good idea to have a working (and up to date) Flash setup going.
For those who need other plugins to work under Linux, check out the Pipelight plugin which allows you to use Silverlight in all Linux browsers!
If you don’t use Chrome on Linux, are you happy that you can now use newer versions of Flash? How long do you think it’ll be until Flash is finally gone? Let us know in the comments!