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Flash 8 on Linux – workaround

Flash Player 8 (or 9) isn’t on Linux. Well, Flash Player 9 is being built for Linux, but in the mean time we Linux faithfuls are stuck with Flash 7. Flash 7 on Linux isn’t so bad, if you discount the instability, the ugly interface…

This hack is no longer needed as Flash Player 9 for Linux (beta) is out, but I’ll keep it up here just in case…

But let’s not go there. There is a workaround to run Flash Player 8 in Linux, albeit a messy and Wine-requiring one. Plus it only works on standard PC architecture at the moment (that is almost of you, just not people running Linux on PowerPC Macs and other funky hardware). I will try and show you how to do it. First of all, an apology. I can’t remember where I found this, so I’ve got no-one to attribute this to. If you found this out first or covered this somewhere, comment here and I’ll give you a link.


Anyway, here’s what we’re going to be using.

  • The Wine program (runs Windows apps under Linux)
  • Firefox for Windows
  • Flash Player 8 for Windows

So we first need to install the Wine program. The process for this will depend on your distribution, but in most cases you can load up your software/package manager, search for wine and install it. That should do the trick. Any problems, drop a comment and I’ll try to lend a hand. Once it’s installed, we need to run wine for the first time to let it get set up.

Open a terminal. Wait, stop. Don’t panic, it’s really easy (I promise). Go on, open it up again and try not to panic this time.

At the end of the prompt (that’s the scary thing looking at you on the terminal right now) there will probably be a dollar sign ($). This says to you “I’m ready for you to type now”. I’ll include it in my instructions below, but you don’t need to type it in again. I just put it down because it’s a convention. All you type is everything after my dollar sign.

OK, it starts really easy.

$ wine winver

After pressing Enter, you’ll see Wine doing something with your fonts. This is the inital setup, so just wait for that. When it’s done you’ll get a little dialogue box saying your version of Wine. You can dismiss that now.

Next we need to download the Windows version of Firefox. Go to getfirefox.com and click Other Systems and Languages down the bottom of the blue bit. Choose the Windows version of your preferred language Firefox. I’ll choose the English (British) Windows version. Download that to your desktop.

Now, we’ve got to run another couple of terminal commands.

$ cd ~/Desktop
$ wine "./Firefox Setup 1.5.0.6.exe"

At this point you’ll get the friendly Windows Firefox installer looking a bit uglier than usual (don’t close the trusty terminal yet). Click through accepting all the defaults until it finishes.

Now we have Firefox for Windows installed. Just Flash Player left now. Download this link to your desktop (right-click > Save Link As…). Brave the terminal once more.

$ wine ./install_flash_player.exe

Again, click through. Now in theory we should have an installed Firefox + Flash Player. So, let’s try running it. One more terminal, then no more, I promise.

$ wine "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Mozilla Firefox/firefox.exe"

Try browsing your favourite Flash 8-requiring site. Et voilà . In theory, anyway. Any problems, comment and I’ll try to lend a hand. Now there’s one more thing you might want to do to make it a bit easier to launch your Flash 8 Firefox in future and that’s to add a desktop icon.

KDE users: Right-click on an empty portion of the desktop. Choose Create New > Link to Application. Enter a name such as ‘Flash 8 Firefox’. Go to the Application tab and under Command, paste the following – wine “~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Mozilla Firefox/firefox.exe” – and click OK.

GNOME users: Right-click on an empty portion of the desktop. Choose Create Launcher. Under Name, type a name such as ‘Flash 8 Firefox’. Under Command, paste the following – wine “~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Mozilla Firefox/firefox.exe” - and click OK.

Any comments, suggestions, ideas for future tutorials? Please do leave a comment. Feedback is what makes tutorial writing worthwhile. If you really liked it, then please do link to this page or the main site. Thanks!

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  1. […] (Linux users – it requires Flash 8, which isn’t on Linux, but I found a workaround if you want to try this and other Flash 8 stuff out). […]

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