[HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2)

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[HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2)

Postby maniqui » 2012-12-09 23:43

Hi. First post here, so I hope I don't break any forum rule, but please, let me know if I did.
Also, I understand that what I'm suggesting in this topic may be not the most clever thing, in relation to system security, as installing older software (with known/unknown vulnerabilities) may expose the system to potential attacks. In any case, I just want to share (and gain, from feedback) some knowledge on these matters.

Background

I'm one of the many thousands of GNU/Linux users for whom the Adobe Flash player doesn't work any more, after Adobe released some update for its popular plugin that wasn't compiled properly for older hardware that doesn't support something named SSE2. This seems to particularly affect thousand of Linux users with old AMD processors. Here is one bug report on Adobe tracker, but if you need more info, just google "flash sse2 linux" and you will get a lot of results from different Linux-related user forums & mailing lists.

Intro

The goal of this post is to help users to solve this issue by:
  • installing one or a few older versions of the Adobe Flash Player that, hopefully, will work on their system.
    • version 10.3.183.43: currently, the latest version on the 10.3.x.x series, with security patches.
    • optionally, version 11.2.202.236: this one is not the last version on the 11.2.x.x series, but it's the latest one that works, afaik. We will extract this one from a Google Chrome 19 .deb package. Take into consideration that this version may compromise your system, as it has security issues patched on newer versions (that don't currently work).
  • taking advantage of the Debian alternatives' system (see man page on update-alternatives for more info) to easily switch between different Flash player versions.
  • optional: installing Gnash (a free, alternative Flash player) will also be installed, for the user to have an extra choice, in case she needs it.
  • optional: installing the flashplugin-nonfree package. This package will:
    • install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (currently, 11.2.202.251). This is the version that doesn't work on old AMD hardware (see Background, above) .
    • install the /usr/sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree, which may come in handy for updating the Adobe Flash player to latest releases.
    • Important note: you may be asking yourself: "Why we install this package, if it installs a plugin version that currently doesn't work?". Well, in case Adobe fixes the issue with the v11.2.x.x (11.2.202.251+) plugin that currently doesn't work on old AMD hardware.

I tested this for Chromium & Google Chrome on Debian Wheezy and it worked. I believe this guide will work other browsers & other Debian releases too, without any extra step.

Step 1: download and install Adobe Flash player plugin v10.3.x.x

From http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html#flash_player_archives, download the latest version on the 10.3.x.x series. At the time of this post, it is v10.3.183.43, and I will use that one for the examples.
The file is huge (61 MB), and contains a lot of stuff, but we will extract it, and then extract another .tar.gz file that is the one that contains the libflashplayer.so file we are going to install.

On a terminal:
Code: Select all
$ unzip fp_10.3.183.43_archive.zip && cd fp_10.3.r183.43_archive/10_3_r183_43/
$ tar -xvzf flashplayer_10_3r183_43_linux.tar.gz && cd flashplayer_10_3r183_43_linux
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v10.3.183.43
$ sudo cp libflashplayer.so /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v10.3.183.43/


Now that we have the file for Flash player v10.3.183.43 in place, we use update-alternatives to install it as an alternative of a Flash player
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so  flash-mozilla.so /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v10.3.183.43/libflashplayer.so 10


Then, just in case you have another version of Flash installed (for example, the broken one that gets installed with the flashplugin-nonfree package), run this:
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --config flash-mozilla.so


This will prompt you to select a choice for the alternative flash-mozilla.so.
Just select the one we just installed. Don't worry at all about the auto/manual stuff regarding alternatives, we will just ignore that.

Now... that's all. You should be able to start your browser and visit a Flash page (for example: https://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/) and test if this worked. You can also check that the plugin is installed by visiting "about:plugins" (without quotes) on the address bar. This should list the Flash player plugin, and complain that is out of date.
As this is an older version of Flash, Chromium will always prompt you with a yellow bar message like this:

Adobe Flash Player was blocked because it is out of date [Run this time] [Update plug-in...]


Just hit the [Run this time] button and enjoy the Flash player.
Personally, I can live with that yellow prompt each time a Flash component is present on a page. If I want to watch a video or any other Flash thing, I just click the [Run this time] button and done. This could be seen more as a feature than a bug.

Step 2: optionally, install Adobe Flash player version 11.2.202.236

Someone found that this older version of the plugin, bundled on a .deb file of Google Chrome 19, will work too.
Be careful, as this version on the 11.2.x.x series has some security issues that may compromise your system. As long as you visit websites that you trust, there may be no problems.

Download http://www.sixtoed-design.com/downloads/google-chrome19-stable_current_i386.deb and extract it.
You will get 3 files, one of them is data.tar.lzma. Extract that one too. You will get all the files of a Google Chrome release. Again, we just want one file: libgcflashplayer.so

Code: Select all
$ ar vx google-chrome19-stable_current_i386.deb
$ tar --lzma -xvf data.tar.lzma
$ cd opt/google/chrome/
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v11.2.202.236
$ sudo cp libgcflashplayer.so /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v11.2.202.236/


Now that we have the file Flash player v11.2.202.236 in place, we use update-alternatives to install it as an alternative of a Flash player
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so  flash-mozilla.so /opt/flashplugin-nonfree/v11.2.202.236/libgcflashplayer.so 10


Then, in case you want to try this version of Flash player, run this:
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --config flash-mozilla.so


And choose it from the options.
Now... that's all. You should be able to start your browser and visit a Flash page (for example: https://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/) and test if this worked. You can also check that the plugin is installed by visiting "about:plugins" (without quotes) on the address bar.

In this case, the browser won't prompt you with a message that the plugin is out of date, even if it is (v11.2.202.236 < v11.2.202.251).

Step 3: optionally, install Gnash, a free Flash player version

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install gnash  browser-plugin-gnash


I think that's all. It will probably add it to the alternatives system. If not, just run:
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so  flash-mozilla.so /usr/lib/gnash/libgnashplugin.so 10


And then, if you want to use Gnash, run:
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --config flash-mozilla.so


and choose Gnash from the list.

Step 4: optionally, install the flashplugin-nonfree package

If you didn't have this one already installed, you may want to install it, even if it will install the broken version of the Flash plugin player (currently, v11.2.202.251) that led me to write this huge, awfully written post.
Why? Well, in case Adobe fixes the Flash player (hopefully). This way, you will get the updated release if you run sudo update-flashplugin-nonfree --install.
To install the package, just run

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree


Don't forget to run this:
Code: Select all
sudo update-alternatives --config flash-mozilla.so

in case you want to switch to another Flash player version.

----

So, that's all by now. I will try to come back later and improve this post with feedback or new findings, and rewrite some parts of it that are awfully written (sorry!).
maniqui
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2012-12-02 13:13

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby maniqui » 2013-01-02 15:59

Adobe has updated its Flash Player to v10.3.183.48 and v11.2.202.258.
v11.2.202.258 still presents the same issue on old hardware.

It seems that on the fp_10.3.183.48_archive.zip provided at the Archived Flash Player versions page at Adobe.com, Adobe wrongly named the file plugin archive file as flashplayer_10_3r183_48_linux.tar_sa.gz file, which should correspond to the standalone (sa) version of Flash Player, but it seems it has the plugin version of it. Which it's precisely the one we want/need.

But just in case, if you prefer, you could also download the flashplayer_10_plugin_debug.tar.gz, which also bundles the plugin.
maniqui
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2012-12-02 13:13

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby donquixote2u » 2013-08-07 21:22

Got my flash working again in Sid on my old AMD KM400 machine, thanks to this post introducing me to update-alternatives!
The version I used was flashplayer_10_3r183_90_linux.tar.gz (dated 11 June 2013 on Adobe site) in this archive: http://download.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/installers/archive/fp_10.3.183.90_archive.zip
donquixote2u
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 2013-08-07 21:10

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby syntaxerror » 2013-11-16 01:19

Well, despite lots of patience, maniqui hasn't replied to my PM in a month, so I thought it's better that I post my solution myself. (Previously, I rather wanted maniqui to add it to the howto, but since I can't get hold of him...well...)

Just to note, it's MY entirely unofficial custom-made debian package and not anyone else's.
However, I would be honored to see it hosted officially somewhere sometime - certainly you have my permission to do so.

What I did was:

- used adobe-flashplugin_11.2.202.228-0maverick1_i386.deb as a basis in respect to file tree structure
- modified this package so that it installs 11.2.202.236 instead (Non-SSE2 build packaged with earlier Google Chrome v19.x binary)
- rebuilt the .deb package

Worked flawlessly when I still had Debian, but should work without a hitch on other distros as well, e. g. the 'Buntus.

Voila: http://www65.zippyshare.com/v/78802631/file.html
Last edited by syntaxerror on 2014-01-19 23:26, edited 3 times in total.
syntaxerror
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 2013-10-13 03:27

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby toshiomi » 2014-01-13 11:00

Dear syntaxerror ;-)

I can get your .deb files, and successfully install to my ubuntu box, 13.10.


My PC includes pentium3 CPU as followings;

Code: Select all
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor   : 0
vendor_id   : GenuineIntel
cpu family   : 6
model      : 11
model name   : Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU - S         1400MHz
stepping   : 4
cpu MHz      : 1400.063
cache size   : 512 KB
fdiv_bug   : no
f00f_bug   : no
coma_bug   : no
fpu      : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level   : 2
wp      : yes
flags      : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pse36 mmx fxsr sse
bogomips   : 2800.12
clflush size   : 32
cache_alignment   : 32
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 32 bits virtual
power management:
toshiomi
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 2014-01-13 10:53

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby syntaxerror » 2014-01-19 23:19

toshiomi wrote:Dear syntaxerror ;-)

I can get your .deb files, and successfully install to my ubuntu box, 13.10.


Dear toshiomi-san,

That's what I wanted to hear! :) Thanks for the faith, too ;)
BTW, there is still heavy traffic going on this file as I could observe, so there must really be a lot of people who cannot do without 11.2 on their "old-time" machines (since there are some fancy games that actually use very recent routines which will not work or only with glitches on 10.* and lower.)
syntaxerror
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 2013-10-13 03:27

Re: [HOW-TO] install older/alternative Flash plugin (no SSE2

Postby schdrag » 2014-04-14 08:50

I have found a non sse2 flash plugin, works fine on my old athlon with low mode
https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Flash_Plugin_Installation
but it's an older version
Flash Player version installed on this system : 11.2.202.235
schdrag
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 2014-04-14 08:44


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