Install Flash Player for Mozilla Firefox Manually on Debian 7

Adobe_Flash_Player_v11_iconI have a general disdain for Flash-based applications. But unfortunately, certain sites like Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance seem to like Flash for chart presentation.

I had previously installed the GNU Gnash Plugin. I’d much rather use GNU software than something from Adobe. But recently, my Gnash Plugin for Firefox had been misbehaving. (Perhaps because of an outdated version?) So I decided to upgrade– and give in to Adobe– and the steps for installation are pretty simple. I captured them here.

  1. First, download the software from Adobe. You’ll see a selection box asking you what version to download (RPM, YUM, etc), and you should choose the generic “.tar.gz for other Linux” bundle. Save that to a convenient place, e.g. /tmp/flash/install_flash_player_11_linux.i386.tar.gz (I’ll assume that location going forward)
  2. From the command line, extract the contents of your download:

    cd /tmp/flash
    tar -xvf install_flash_player_11_linux.i386.tar.gz
    

    Among the resulting files will be libflashplayer.so. That’s the one Firefox cares about (I think the other files are related to the stand-alone Flash Player.)

  3. Copy libflashplayer.so to the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins directory:
    sudo cp /tmp/flash/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
    

    It’s assumed that your system will already have that directory, but there’s a chance you’ll need to create it. Depending on which distro of Linux you’re running, there are several directories that Firefox might check for plugins. When in doubt, trust Mozilla’s documentation of this.

  4. Finally verify that your Flash plugin is both present and activated. Restart Firefox, and on the menu bar, click “Tools > Add-ons…” and view the Plugins listing. You should see “Shockwave Flash” in the listing. Make sure it’s activated.

From there, enjoy playing some videos or charting some stocks!

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