Adobe Flash Player is a popular piece of software released by Adobe. It's used by many popular websites, including Youtube and Hulu, however, because of restrictions on this program's distribution, Ubuntu cannot include Flash automatically.

Nevertheless, it is easy to easy to install Flash Player by yourself through the Ubuntu Software Center. You could also try one of several free alternatives.

Installing Flash

Ubuntu (32-bit)

  • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
  • Search for 'ubuntu-restricted-extras'
  • Install the package (this package also installs MP3 and WMV codecs)

Ubuntu (64-bit)

  • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
  • Search for 'flashplugin-installer'
  • Install the package (if you are asked to uninstall previous Flash Player plugins, click OK)


Before you use these steps, please note that if you have Javascript disabled in your browser, you will be unable to view Flash content. If you want to check if your Flash plugin is working, go to Adobe's website at


If the sound is not working properly after you installed Flash, or you experience these symptoms:

  • Flash videos stop playing after 1 second.
  • Your browser freezes when going to another page after having tried to view a Flash video.
  • The browser process is not correctly ending after trying to view a Flash video.

You may want to:

  • Restart your web browser and try the flash test page again.
  • If you are using Konqueror, you should tick "Use Artsdsp to pipe plugin sound through aRts" in Konqueror's plugin settings.
  • Install the alsa-oss package.

  • If you are using Firefox, edit the Firefox rc script and add or change the line FIREFOX_DSP="aoss"
    • sudo nano /etc/firefox/firefoxrc
  • If you have an external soundcard (e.g. a USB sound device) you will have to explicitly select it as default.
    • asoundconf set-default-card "name of soundcard"
    • ..where your "name of soundcard" is seen in square braces in the output of:
      cat /proc/asound/cards
      Running the asoundconf command as a user will make the change for that specific user.


  • If you are viewing a Flash video and you do not see any text, install the gsfonts and gsfonts-x11 packages.

Free Software Alternatives

There are two open-source Flash player implementations currently under active development. They are Gnash and Lightspark. (Another is Swfdec though development is almost stopped. In 2009, only 9 commits were made in the git repository).

Lightspark is available from the project's Launchpad page:

Gnash and Swfdec are available as Ubuntu packages from the Universe repository.

  • Gnash can be installed by downloading the mozilla-plugin-gnash package.

  • Swfdec can be installed by downloading the swfdec-mozilla package.

Further Resources

Adobe has a blog covering the development of Flash for Linux at:

RestrictedFormats/Flash (last edited 2012-10-07 01:51:18 by armistice-con-deactivatedaccount)