How to install Firefox Flash Plugin in Ubuntu Linux

In Ubuntu Breezy Badger 5.10 my flash plugin worked just fine in Mozilla Firefox. Then on a test partition I decided to install Dapper Drake flight 6, and now I’ve upgraded to the final version of Dapper. I’ve been using Dapper full time for about 3 months now, and until today I haven’t been able to view any flash in a web browser at all – including all flash games, youtube, google video, and many other things – including some features of myspace. I love linux – but you gotta have flash just to surf the web! I was trying to book a hotel today, and couldn’t view any of the pictures on the hotel web sites without the flash plugin working properly.

Now – as soon as I installed Dapper Drake 6.06, I installed all the flash things I could find in Synaptic. I installed what I thought was the most obvious – libflash-mozplugin. I guess this is the open source version of the flash plugin. I think it’s some kind of emulator. I’m no expert, but I can sure tell you that it just won’t allow you to view any modern (version 6-7) flash content.

Next – I looked up how to install flash plugin on Ubuntu linux (dapper). I went over to the guide at like I always do (first), and tried what it said. It said the same thing I found in all kinds of forums posts, run this code:

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
sudo update-flashplugin

If you already have it – you’ll get the “already the newest version” message. Chances are though – you get the “installation failed” message like I did. So I read some more in the forums, and some said you could get the plugin direct from Macromedia.

I found this is true. You can visit ( and just click on the “get flash” button to go directly to the download page for the linux version of the flash 7 plugin (official version from Macromedia). All you have to do is download this to your desktop, open terminal and go to that directory, and run:

$ sudo ./flashplayer-installer

The only thing you really need to know is the path or location of your Mozilla Firefox. You can run “which firefox” in terminal to find that out. For most Ubuntu (dapper) users it’s going to be /usr/lib/firefox. Then, just follow the prompt of the Macromedia installer to install.

But WAIT! After I did this – my firefox flash plugin STILL didn’t work (and boy was I pissed!). I must have read 4 dozens posts in without a single answer. I did get this fixed just today – but I didn’t find this fix posted anywhere – I figure it all out on my own. If you have tried any one (or all) of the install options above, and firefox flash plugin still doesn’t work – try this:

1. In synaptic package manager, completely remove libflash-mozplugin. Make SURE you use the “completely remove” option, that gets rid of the gstreamer-ugly and couple other packages.
2. Download the latest flash plugin from
3. Unzip it to a folder on your desktop.
4. In terminal cd to that dir and sudo ./flashplayer-installer
5. follow the prompts, and make sure the path to your plugins is right

Then see if flash works in a browser – it should work just fine now on all the sites. You won’t be able to use flash 9 content (yet), but you should be able to view most things with no problem. I hope this helps some people, I couldn’t find this fix anywhere on the web.

originally posted: 2006-06-14 23:15:17 -0400

9 thoughts on “How to install Firefox Flash Plugin in Ubuntu Linux”

  1. Thanks so much, I looked everywhere and tried everything, but this actually worked, I’ve never had flash work so well before on Ubuntu!

  2. Fantastic! worked like a charm! I couldn’t get either flashplugin-nonfree or gnash to work but this did the trick! Works flawlessly on my system (I’m running firefox on gutsy (ubuntu 7.10) ). thanks a ton!

  3. Can someone help out someone that is new to Ubuntu? I am running 7.10 and have the same problem with flash plugins. Could someone post COMPLETE instructions on how to do this? Please assume that I know very little about any of this.


  4. Im new to Linux and Ubuntu and I was searching everywhere on how to get flash to work. I followed the steps on other sites, like you said you did in the introduction, and nothing worked. I followed your simple steps and it works great! On the other hand though I have learned a bit in this ordeal.

  5. Pretty much follow what the poster said. In the first step I would also do the same with “flashplugin-nonfree” if you tried installing it before. When you go to adobe’s site, there will be a prompt right there asking you to download flash, click on that and download the .tar.gz file to the desktop. You can then unzip it to the desktop by double-clicking the folder (on your desktop) and click extract. Now open up a terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). Type these exactly with out the quote “cd /home/*USR*/Desktop/*extractedfolder*” where *USR* is your user name and *extractedfolder* is the folder that you extracted to your desktop. Now type “sudo ./flashplayer-installer”. Just keep choosing y or yes during install. When it asks for your install directory of firefox it will “/usr/lib/firefox” and you should be good to go after that.

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