Making Flash Player Plugin work with Firefox in Ubuntu 7.10

Erased previous installation and installed Ubuntu 7.10 afresh. When I tried to check the blog stats in wordpress.com, which uses Flash for the chart, it gave me a missing plugin error. It also showed me a little pop up to install the plugin, but unfortunately it did not work. So I decided to try the alternative Gnash plugin, but it too didn’t seem to work.

A bit of googling took me to some Ubuntu Help Forum post where it was advised to get the Flash Player from the Adobe site and install it. This involves downloading the tar.gz file, extracting it out and running the flashplayer-installation script which installs the player. But this is to be done in the command line, followed by answering some simple questions. It asks to specify where the mozilla plugin directory is, which is /usr/lib/mozilla (and the plugin directory within), but this step kept failing.

This is where the hacker jumped out of me and made me to look into the source code of flashplayer-installation script to find out where it was going wrong and what I rather need to do to install. This script is accompanied by the actual plugin file `libflashplayer.so`. The scripts just performs some checks and copies this file to the mozilla plugin folder with a permission 755 for root:root. Then it checks for the existence of an environment variable `MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH pointing to the plugin directory for Firefox to detect the plugin.

This is the manual step to install the Flash Player plugin for Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu 7.10

  1. tar xvzf install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz
  2. cd install_flash_player_9_linux
  3. sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
  4. sudo chmod 755 libflashplayer.so
  5. vi ~/.bashrc and add `export MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH=/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins` (i.e. the command within the “)
  6. Run Firefox (all opened Firefox windows should be closed before doing this installation)Adobe site

Thus, we have added the export command to .bashrc of the user so whenever he logs in, the environmental variable gets set and thus his Firefox can detect the Flash player plugin.

When things like installation script fails do not give up. A true geek looks into the script and does what the installer does. This is what that is awesome about GNU/Linux and FOSS, even when one door is locked there is surely another door which can be opened. What needs is an effort to search for the door and try opening it )

Update: Trying to file a bug lead me to the solution. The md5sum mismatch has been fixed in the package, but uploaded into Hardy repository rather than Gutsy. But we can get the .debs from here and install with dpkg

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