Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flash Plug-In Trouble--My Computer Is Too New

Imagine my surprise to discover that there is no flash plug-in available for my new Linux box. The 64-bit architecture has been around for years, and the amd64 port of Debian Linux installation was easy and amazingly fast. Everything worked without a hitch until I tried to view a favorite blog's video embedded from YouTube.

There is a solution--with Linux, there's always a solution. Sometimes it involves a painful learning experience:

  • Debian Administration's article on "Debian amd64: iceweasel with i386 plugins, outside a chroot"

    If you weren't already convinced that closed source sucked before, then surely the experience of trying to browse the net with an amd64 machine will have won you over; I could ponder on how much Microsoft is paying Adobe not to release a 64-bit version of their flash plugin--but why Sun is categorically refusing to address our cry for a 64-bit java plugin for mozilla based browsers for this many years is beyond me....

    The approach that I chose in the end is as follows: I installed everything that has to be of i386 architecture in a 32-bit chroot (as in option 1), using apt-get (or aptitude or whatever you like) and used a small wrapper and environment variables to run the browser in the 64-bit environment with a linux32 personality (as in option 3).

    This turns out to a simple and painless procedure.

  • The Gentoo Linux Wiki has HOWTO AMD64, which includes some information on Firefox plugins....

I confess that I have not yet attempted the 32-bit chroot solution. You see, I have the Mac Mini, and all that nasty proprietary software runs there without me learning anything. Perhaps when I'm not spending my days with cranky middle school children I'll feel more intellectually adventurous.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Oh, I get it now: ice+weasel vs. fire+fox. Cute.