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Feature: Graphics & Multimedia

Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on May 15, 2008 (8:00:00 PM)

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Adobe Systems is reaching out for Linux desktop users with its announcement today that the first beta of Adobe Flash Player 10, a.k.a. Astro, is now available for Linux, as well as Windows and Mac OS X.

In a statement, David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe, said that "Adobe had been working closely with the community; we are delivering groundbreaking creative features that will be transformative for interactive designers and developers, and revolutionary for end users."

Unfortunately, not all those new features are available in the Linux version. The new release gives Windows and Mac OS designers the ability to create custom filters and effects that can be used with Flash's native effects. To create these custom filters and effects, users need Adobe Pixel Bender toolkit, and this program, which is now a release candidate, is not available for Linux developers.

Adobe promises that some of the toolkit's functionality will be incorporated into Adobe AIR, which does run on Linux in alpha release.

Flash Player 10 comes on the heels of Adobe's Open Screen Project, whose goal is "to enable a consistent runtime environment" by relaxing some restrictions on the Flash format and releasing some Flash specifications. According to Adobe, some of Pixel Bender's functionality will also be included in Open Screen. That said, Open Screen, isn't regarded as being all that useful by open-source Flash developers.

The new beta provides for variable bit-rate video streaming. While this functionality isn't usable today, it's designed to automatically adjust the video quality between the next version of the Adobe Flash Media Server and Player depending on the available bandwidth.

Flash Player 10 also includes native support for 3-D effects to position, rotate, and animate 2-D objects while retaining interactivity. This functionality is already available for developers thanks to the PaperVision3D open source library for Flash Player 9.

Microsoft is attempting to compete with Flash with its Silverlight platform for .Net-based media files. Adobe's beta release comes days after Miguel de Icaza, lead developer of Mono, the .Net Linux implementation, announced that the first code was available for Moonlight, a Mono-based implementation of Silverlight. While not even feature-complete, it's the first published code that supports the Silverlight 1.0 profile for Linux.

Microsoft, as Roy Schestowitz pointed out on his Boycott Novell site, has not opened up Silverlight at all nor offered support for it on Linux. Thus, neither Flash nor Moonlight/Silverlight is really all that Linux-friendly. Both, especially for Linux creative content developers, continue to be difficult to work with. That said, for Linux users who just want to watch Flash movies, Adobe's new beta deserves some attention.

Linux users do have another option for Flash viewing. Gnash released Gnash 0.8.2 of its GPLv3 SWF (Shockwave Flash) movie player and Firefox browser plugin in late March. Besides the browser plugin, Gnash also offers standalone players for both KDE and GNOME.

The prerelease version of Adobe Flash Player 10 beta is now available as a free download from Adobe Labs in RPM and DEB binaries. Users must uninstall Adobe Flash Player 9 for Linux before installing the beta.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the operating system of choice for PCs and 2BSD Unix was what the cool kids used on their computers.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.48.59.163] on May 15, 2008 08:56 PM
There are no DEBs on the site. Just proves that Adobe is only willing to do the bear minimum to not totally piss linux users off. But then again lets take a look at the numbers. Ubuntu arguably the number one desktop/laptop Linux based OS uses DEBs, as well as 3 other top 10 distros (according to distro watch). 4 Others use RPM, and the final 2 user neither. So looking at the numbers, does it make sense to only release an RPM and a tarball but not a DEB? not really.

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Re: Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 220.253.183.113] on May 16, 2008 01:43 PM
So download the tarball and extract libflashplayer.so to ~/.mozilla/plugins. :)

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Re: Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.202.100.226] on May 16, 2008 02:44 PM
They should not need to make a deb package when there is a rpm package and a tarball. RPM is part of the linux standard base, and all distros should be capable of handling rpm's. In Debian you have Alien. Otherwise it's the distros responsability to ship packages for their users. If the ubuntu dev's think the users deserves an Flash update, well then they would make an update. And yes, that's possible even with proprietary software like this.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on May 15, 2008 09:32 PM
Gotta love that proprietary innovation. It chases its own tail and bites itself bloody. Still no 64-bit version, and the 32-bit version is crippleware. Thanks adobe, with a little more effort you may someday advance to the 21st century.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.239.242.157] on May 15, 2008 09:54 PM
Deb or no, this is not ready for prime-time usage by the average Joe's install of Ubuntu 8.04. I installed the beta and tested a bit. Although it works for rendering Flash, there is no sound and I have so far not found a fix for that.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.119.9.18] on May 15, 2008 10:46 PM
I just installed this beta and it seems to work fine, but they still have not fixed the fullscreen slowdown. When I make a video fullscreen it still lags and is quite choppy. Oh well, looks like Adobe won't be fixing any real problems.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.218.120] on May 16, 2008 12:12 AM
Does this new version work properly with PulseAudio?

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Works fine for me.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.24.239.64] on May 16, 2008 12:20 AM
In fact, it works better than version 9 did. I am running on 32-bit, though. Even fullscreen seems to be faster (after disabling compositing). Perhaps that sound problem could be from pulseaudio? Either way I'm just happy we don't have to wait around like we had to for 9.

Also, RPM is the LSB package format so don't whine and just use alien.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.127.9.200] on May 16, 2008 12:42 AM
Its running fine for me... Hardy x86_64 with Opera 9.5b 64bit. Firefox 3b also seemed fine on the same system. 9 also ran fine for me though.

Still a few of the old bugs persist. Seems 10 is more about performance than anything, and true to their word things do seem better performing.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.1.97] on May 16, 2008 07:02 AM
OpenSolaris 2008.05 support? I'm getting sick of flash and all things to do with it..

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.164.7.22] on May 16, 2008 08:02 AM
OpenSolaris support? Oh please.

And the other people: this is a *beta* for *testing*. If you want a deb, wait for final.

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Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.0.245] on May 16, 2008 09:05 PM
Web developers quit using Flash. Just stop it.

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