Adobe Flash

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  For the general public
This page is part of the XO Support FAQ.     Support Index | Print This Page
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community support pages

This page is about Adobe Flash, a proprietary player for Flash media. For the free software player that comes with each XO, see Gnash.

Contents

Overview

This page describes third-party software that does not meet the OLPC standards for software freedom. The use of such software is unsupported; OLPC does not endorse or encourage its use.

Adobe Flash 10, a Restricted Format can be installed for both the Browse Activity and the Opera activity. This installation must be repeated after any Update.

To install the latest version of Adobe Flash, which plays a larger variety of Flash pages, follow the installation instructions.

To check which version of Adobe Flash is installed for your browser, take the Adobe Flash Browser Version Test. The version should show LNX not GSH.

On Browse, Flash files are not played by default when a website is opened; you need to click on the flash window to load flash. The Click to Play can be disabled.

Installation

Browse Activity

How to download and install Adobe Flash Player for the Browse Activity, on Sugar 0.82 and later:

  • Make sure the XO is connected to the Internet,
  • Start the Terminal Activity,
  • Enter the following commands:
su -l
wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/pdc/11.2.202.251/flash-plugin-11.2.202.251-release.i386.rpm
rpm -i flash-plugin-*.rpm
(this link is occasionally invalidated by Adobe, to find the current one go to get.adobe.com and complete the prompts.)
(to save typing, copy and paste the above commands from Browse activity to Terminal, like this: start Browse, visit this page, use the touchpad to highlight the wget and rpm commands, click the Edit menu in the Browse and click the Copy button, then in the Terminal, click the Edit menu and then click Paste.)
(to upgrade from an existing installation of flash-plugin, use rpm -U instead of rpm -i.)
  • Wait for the rpm command to complete. On XO-1.5 this may take a minute or so.
  • In releases prior to release 8.2.0, and in 11.2.0, to avoid conflicts between the Gnash and Adobe Flash plugins, remove Gnash with the following Terminal commands:
su -l
yum remove -y gnash gnash-plugin
  • Stop Terminal,
  • Stop Browse,
  • Start Browse, and check that Flash is working properly: open the page Adobe Flash Browser Version Test. The version should be LNX not GSH, indicating that Adobe Flash is handling the content.

See hints on how to disable security questions popping up when using local content.

Firefox Browser (on GNOME)

Firefox is included in OLPC OS from 10.1.1 onwards, and is in the GNOME menus.

Installing Adobe Flash for the Browse Activity will also install it for Firefox. Start the Terminal application and enter the commands above. Then restart Firefox.

Opera Browser

For installing the Opera Browser, see the Main Opera Browser Page

Installing Adobe Flash for the Browse Activity will also install it for Opera.

Notes:

  • Alternatively, you can also use an installation script to install Adobe Flash v. 9.0.48.0 on your XO. However, this has not been thoroughly tested, and will not install the very latest version.

Firefox Activity (on Sugar 0.82)

For instructions on how to install Adobe Flash for the obsolete Firefox Activity, please go to Firefox/Obsolete.


Older versions of flash are available here:

http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/installers/archive/fp9_archive.zip

Information about how to load other restricted formats is found here.

Click to Play

To automatically run Flash applets without seeing the Click to play prompt, move two files by typing the following in the Terminal Activity:

  • For current builds, i.e. 767 (aka release 8.2.0)
cd /home/olpc/Activities/Browse.activity
mkdir bak
mv agent-stylesheet.css bak/.
mv clickToView.xml bak/.
To undo using Terminal:
cd /home/olpc/Activities/Browse.activity/bak
cp agent-stylesheet.css ../.
cp clickToView.xml ../.
  • For Sugar-on-a-Stick builds, e.g. Blueberry v2 (aka Sugar 0.86.3)
cd /home/liveuser/Activities/Browse.activity
mkdir bak
mv agent-stylesheet.css bak/.
mv clickToView.xml bak/.
To undo using Terminal:
cd /home/liveuser/Activities/Browse.activity/bak
cp agent-stylesheet.css ../.
cp clickToView.xml ../.
  • For really old builds: (if this applies to you, you really should update!)
su -l
cd /usr/share/activities/Web.activity
mkdir bak
mv agent-stylesheet.css bak/.
mv clickToView.xml bak/.
To undo using Terminal:
su -l
cd /usr/share/activities/Web.activity/bak/
cp agent-stylesheet.css ../.
cp clickToView.xml ../.

Notes: In build 703 /usr/share/activities looks like it's moved to /home/olpc/Activities while in build 711 it looks like it's /home/olpc/Activities/Web.activity

NEWBIES (like me): This works like a charm to get rid of the double Flash elements on each page, but remember: text entered in the terminal is CaSe SEnsITiVe.

Uninstallation

Linux RPM removal:

su -l
rpm -e flash-plugin
exit

Advanced options

Flash-heavy Sites

Note that media-rich and script-heavy Flash media can be very taxing on the CPU and may perform poorly.

The XO Browse Activity is loaded with Gnash, a Free and Open Source Software that is compatible with Flash 8. A number of sites, however, require at least Adobe Flash version 9 and higher running the newer Actionscript Virtual Machine 2 (AVM2) and Actionscript 3.0 code.

To successfully access sites that require Adobe Flash 9 and above:

  1. Close all Activities
  2. Ensure that the XO is connected to the internet
  3. Install Adobe Flash, and follow the advanced instructions to disable Click to Play
  4. optional: Disable Gnash
  5. Reboot the XO
  • Please note that a lot of websites such as popular children's sites Webkinz.com (Flash 9+ required) and Disney.com are generally geared towards systems that have a lot of free disk space for browser cache files. The XO only has a total storage of 1GB so be aware that successive use of these sites may quickly fill up your free storage.
  • Also note that the Browse and Firefox activities zoom-in pages by default to improve readability. Because of this, Flash applets are artificially scaled up above native resolution and the CPU is taxed even more because more pixels have to be rendered by Flash. Zooming out or using a browser that runs at native resolution like Opera will improve performance.
  • Additional performance increase at the sacrifice of visual quality may be gained by running Flash in low-quality mode. This may be achieved by right-clicking on the flash applet to access the context menu, then selecting QUALITY -> Low. Note that a lot of Flash applets disable the right-click context menu.

A forum thread at the following URL documents a workaround that will start the Adobe Flash plugin in low-quality mode by default: http://www.olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=845.msg7429 note that the guide was written with Flash 9 in mind and has been documented to crash the browser on Flash 10: http://www.olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=3804.0

Flash Video

Installing the latest version of Adobe Flash will allow users to run sites like Youtube.com and GoogleVideo.com and play Flash Video. Note however that decoding video is a CPU-intensive activity. Due to the XO's limited CPU, Flash Video will play at very low framerates. Sound in general will play at full speed. Running Flash in low-quality mode (detailed in the previous section) may improve Flash Video performance.

Flash 3D

3D in Flash is achieved via software rendering and is not hardware accelerated. Because of this, 3D in Flash is very CPU and memory-intensive, and the XO's limited 433MHz CPU and 256MB RAM may not be able to cope.

Visiting sites that use Flash 3D engines such as Papervision3D.org, the demo pages of FlashSandy.org and AlternativaPlatform.com may freeze the browser *AND* the entire machine thus requiring a reboot.

Because of this, avoid visiting sites which make use of 3D in Flash.

Webcam Support

Support for the XO's built-in camera seems to be problematic.

In both the Browse Activity and Opera browser:

  • Browsing Flash apps that use the webcam will turn on the indicator light above the webcam
  • Flash 9 shows just a black screen
  • Flash 10 shows red and green static which reacts to motion. This means the camera is working, but isn't talking quite correctly with Flash.
  • Tested on Update.1 711

More information may be found here: http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=3676.0

Gnash

See the Main Gnash Article.

Adobe Flash has been reported to conflict with Gnash before; but this has not been reproduced recently. If you have a site that works for you with Adobe Flash installed but not with both Adobe and Gnash installed, please describe this in detail on the talk page here (after doublechecking the version of flash your browser seems to be running).

With build 8.2.0 of the XO OS, Adobe Flash & Gnash generally co-exist peacefully, with the Adobe Flash plugin running in the browser and Gnash able to run outside the browser in stand-alone mode.

Some notes on Gnash:

  • Gnash 0.8.2 that comes with 711 has problems with AS-driven dynamic text rotation/positioning
  • Gnash 0.8.3 that comes with 8.20 builds the above problem, but still has some Adobe Flash 7 & 8 sound bug incompatibilities.es:Adobe Flash

Issues with Adobe Flash

See the main article on issues with Adobe Flash.

Related Articles

  • Gnash the open source Flash player pre-installed with the XO
  • Adobe AIR on the OLPC XO
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