Understanding megacorps is difficult. Adobe refuses to release a Flash plugin for 64 bit browsers. Sun refuses to release a Java plugin for 64 bit browsers.
Don’t tell me it is not possible – the only reason I’m not using Gnash is it fails to play quite a lot of Flash files. It is still in development and works up to SWF 7; which means (I think) it can play files compatible with Flash 7. But, what about Flash 9? And Flash 8? Believe it or not, services like Youtube and applications like FusionCharts are quick to adopt the latest and greatest version of Flash out there. And Gnash is playing catch up.
So, I had two options; first was to install a 32 bit Firefox build – icky. Tried it for a few weeks – no go.
The second option was to install a 32 bit distro in a VM. It seemed like a good idea. I even got ready to install a bare bones, minimal Ubuntu with a lean and mean window manager, to speed up the VM a bit. Then I discovered (to my utter shock) that enabling network communication between the host and guest OSes and allowing both to access the net; while possible, was definitely not my cup of tea. I needed this to work because I wanted to test an application running FusionCharts – I needed the guest to access Apache running on my host.
Then happily, I discovered a third option – nspluginwrapper.
What this beauty does is put a wrapper on 32 bit plugins to allow them to be used by 64 bit browsers. All you have to do is install this package and then the Flash plugin – as shown here. But for some reason, Ubuntu’s repos have messed up with the MD5 sum for the Flash plugin. Result – the plugin doesn’t get installed.
Then, a guy who calls himself Kilz, came to the rescue – by providing a script and DEB packages to do the job. He is the man, absolutely! I looked through the thread and the bash script. Cleaned up the system – removed all previous Flash installs. Followed the commands in the script. And I was done.
But having to do all this sucks. How much effort does a 64 bit plugin take to develop?