Installing Adobe Flash Player 11 beta 1 on openSUSE 11.4 x86_64

When you install openSUSE 11.4 x86_64 “out of the box” it will use the stable release of Adobe Flash Player version 10 that is only available as 32 bit binary.  To be able to load it in the 64 bit Firefox, an extra piece of software called a plugin wrapper is used.

Although in theory this works, in practice, it’s not very reliable. People report black artifacts and flickering in flash animations.  When using the native 64 bit flash plugin, even if it’s beta, these problems don’t appear.  There might be an occasional plugin crash, in that case just refresh the Firefox tab.  However, if your computer is a rather old 32 bit (before 2005), the default installation is fine.  The scope of this article is to help most people owning a modern PC replace the default 32 bit Flash plugin with the new beta 64 bit one.  When Adobe will finally release the 11 version in 64 bit, the next openSUSE distribution will surely use it and you won’t have to do this anymore.  And when HTML5 will make Flash obsolete it will be even better 🙂

You can see what’s the installed architecture, 32 or 64 bit, by looking at the file /etc/SuSE-release.  On x86_64 it looks like this:

openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64)
VERSION = 11.4
CODENAME = Celadon

On 32 bit (x86_32), it looks like this:

openSUSE 11.4 (i586)
VERSION = 11.4
CODENAME = Celadon

First, remove the existing Flash packages

You have to get rid of the default 32 bit flash-player and make sure it’s not reinstalled again.  Start YaST Software Manager, search for “flash-player”.  It will find two packages:

  • flash-player
  • pullin-flash-player

Right-click on each of them and choose “Delete”.  Then click “Accept”.

Verify that the packages are gone by running this command in Terminal (Konsole):

rpm --query --all | grep flash-player

It should not return any output, just give the shell prompt back to you.

Also verify that there’s no leftover plugin wrapper file:

nspluginwrapper --list

There should not be any line containing this /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/  If there is, you have to remove it this way (as root):

su -
nspluginwrapper --remove /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/

Start YaST Software Manager again, search for “flash-player”, right-click on each of the two packages and this time choose “Taboo — Never Install”.  Click “Accept”.

Download the 64 bit Flash Plugin from Adobe Labs

Here is the link:

Choose Download plug-in for Linux 64-bit (TAR.GZ 6.7 MB).  Save it in “Downloads” in your home directory.  Decompress it there.  It contains “” — this is the actual plugin, a directory “usr” with files for the Flash settings KDE4 control module, also a generic module that works in Gnome.

Move files to their proper directories

Open a Terminal (Konsole), go to “Downloads” in you home directory, where you have decompressed the archive and become root.

cd ~/Downloads

Move files:

  • the actual Flash Player plugin
    mv /usr/lib64/browser-plugins
  • the Flash settings KDE4 control module
    mv usr/lib/kde4/ /usr/lib64/kde4
    rmdir usr/lib/kde4
  • icons and .desktop files for the KDE4 module “Adobe Flash Player” and the generic module
    cp --verbose --recursive usr/* /usr
    rm --recursive --force usr

Verify that it’s working

  • open Firefox and type “about:plugins” in the Location bar.  It should list Flash version 11
  • open KDE4 Configure Desktop.  There should be a new section “Lost and Found” containing the module “Adobe Flash Player”.  Clicking on it should display Flash configuration settings.  Or, if you don’t use KDE4, open a terminal window and run this:

One last useful tip: