Installing Adobe Flash Player 11.2 beta on openSUSE 11.4 and 12.1 x86_64

Adobe just made public the 11.2 beta Flash Player for Linux. Its most important new feature over the stable release is the multithreaded video decoding. This article describes how to install it on openSUSE 11.4 and 12.1. Before starting, I’ll list a few options and you pick the one that suits you:

  • you have a 64 bit computer and want the latest Flash Player with multithreading and you don’t mind if some stuff doesn’t work at times. Read on, this is for you
  • you have a 64 bit computer and want the stable Flash Player version 11 instead of the 32 bit version 10 that came with openSUSE 11.4.  You should read this, because the method that describes how to install the beta player is the same for the released version
  • you have a 64 bit computer with openSUSE 12.1.  It already has the 64 bit Flash plugin stable version 11.1, but if you want multithreading too, read on.  If you have just installed the OS a minute ago from a Live image and need Flash right away, just search for flash-player in YaST Software Management.  The explanation is that openSUSE will pull automatically the plugin from the Non-OSS repository, only a bit later
  • you have a 32 bit computer.  You should be fine with the default package from openSUSE.  The multithreading won’t improve anything for you because there aren’t any multicore 32 bit x86 processors

Also, there’s something you might like to try: the YouTube HTML5 trial here. This does not use Flash for video.

First, remove the existing Flash packages

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

  • 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.

If you have openSUSE 11.4, you should also verify that there’s no leftover plugin wrapper file:

nspluginwrapper --list

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

su -
nspluginwrapper --remove /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/libflashplayer.so

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 11.2 beta Flash Plugin from Adobe Labs

Look around this page for the link (it changes from version to version): http://labs.adobe.com

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 “libflashplayer.so” — this is the actual plugin and a directory “usr” that contains some files for the Flash settings KDE4 control module, also a generic module that works in Gnome and a readme.txt file.

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
su

Move files:

  • the actual Flash Player plugin
    mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib64/browser-plugins
  • the Flash settings KDE4 control module, icons and .desktop files associated with it and the generic module that works in Gnome
    cp --verbose --recursive usr/* /usr
    rm --recursive --force usr readme.txt

Verify that it’s working

  • open Firefox and type “about:plugins” in the Location bar. It should list Flash version 11.2
  • 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:
    /usr/bin/flash-player-properties

One last useful tip: https://silviumc.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/how-to-stop-the-screen-saver-in-kde-while-watching-long-flash-clips-in-a-web-browser/

How to have the time displayed in bash prompt on SUSE

Having the time displayed in the bash prompt is useful because you always have a sort of log of duration/time of commands you give. For example, you need to copy a very large directory through the network: you press [Enter], you write your “cp” command that takes, say, one hour. After that, when you look at the screen, you can calculate how long it was running, minus a few seconds it took you to write the “cp” command. Of course you can accomplish the same using the “time” command like this: “time cp something somewhere”. But if you work a lot at the bash prompt (you’re a sysadmin) it’s very convenient in many situations, not only for the above example.

How to do it:

1. become root “su -”
2. edit /etc/bash.bashrc.local
3. add this line

export PS1="\t $PS1"

What this does: it puts the time (\t) in front of your existing prompt. This is the right way to do it too, because even if you upgrade the bash RPM, the bash.bashrc.local file remains untouched.

The prompt will look like this:

10:42:08 user@host:~>