Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Flash: better without Flash

Posted by isilanes on January 6, 2008

Remember my previous post about a problem with Flash in Firefox/Iceweasel? Now the second part.

After following my own instructions, I ended up with a Flash instalation that could play YouTube videos correctly, but some other Flash animations would not work. By chance, my computer at work would reproduce any Flash animation just fine, so… why would that be?

To find out the reason, I have compared what Flash-related packages I have installed in Homer (my computer at work) and Heracles (the one at home). The result is quite surprising:

Homer[~]: aptitude search flash
p   flashplayer-mozilla       - Macromedia Flash Player
p   flashrom                  - Universal flash programming utility
p   flashybrid                - automates use of a flash disk as the root filesystem
p   libflash-dev              - GPL Flash (SWF) Library - development files
p   libflash-mozplugin        - GPL Flash (SWF) Library - Mozilla-compatible plugin
p   libflash-swfplayer        - GPL Flash (SWF) Library - stand-alone player
p   libflash0c2               - GPL Flash (SWF) Library - shared library
p   libroxen-flash2           - Flash2 module for the Roxen Challenger web server
p   m16c-flash                - Flash programmer for Renesas M16C and R8C microcontrollers
p   vrflash                   - tool to flash kernels and romdisks to Agenda VR
Homer[~]: aptitude search swf
p   libflash-swfplayer        - GPL Flash (SWF) Library - stand-alone player
p   libswf-perl               - Ming (SWF) module for Perl
p   libswfdec-0.5-4           - SWF (Macromedia Flash) decoder library
p   libswfdec-0.5-4-dbg       - SWF (Macromedia Flash) decoder library
p   libswfdec-0.5-dev         - SWF (Macromedia Flash) decoder library
v   libswfdec-dev             -
p   pyvnc2swf                 - screen recording tool to SWF movie
v   swf-player                -
p   swfdec-mozilla            - Mozilla plugin for SWF files (Macromedia Flash)
p   swfmill                   - xml2swf and swf2xml processor

Yes, Flash works perfectly at Homer because it has no package installed with swf or flash in their name! And I don’t have any Gnash package installed, either. I removed all swf/flash-related packages on Heracles, and now Flash works perfectly in my home computer too.


7 Responses to “Flash: better without Flash”

  1. […] Comments Flash: better without Flash « handyfloss on Flash player problem in Debian Lenny: “This SWF file is known to trigger bugs in the […]

  2. Nishu said

    Flash websites are awesome ..
    I m currently wording on a ruby on rails website .. would soon start a flash website ..

  3. walken said

    So you must have *some* player installed – when you play flash videos, can you look up in ‘top’ and see what’s using CPU time ???

    (not having anything installed here, and flash definitely won’t play 🙂

  4. isilanes said

    The only thing running is firefox-bin. I only play flash videos with Firefox and with MPlayer, and both seem to work OK without further packages.

  5. mb said

    Thanks I had the same exact problem. You pointed me to the correct solution.

  6. Ian Ferguson said

    None of this worked for me. I deleted all flash files and then installed adobe flash from their website. Now it works perfectly.
    However when i download .flv files totem cant play them and vlc only plays sound. Both could play them in Ubuntu though. Ephiny web browser plays flash without problems too.

  7. isilanes said

    Note: this blog has been moved to handyfloss.net. You can follow this post at: handyfloss.net/2008.01/flash-better-without-flash/

    Ian, I can’t follow you: where does not Flash work for you? With another Linux distro? (you say that it works in Ubuntu).

    I don’t really claim to understand how or why Flash works. I just say that I have no package with “flash” or “swf” in the name in my Debian computers. Obviously, Firefox might have built-in support, and Flash support could be available through other packages with “codecs” in their name, for example.

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