Flash 10 is out for Linux and Ubuntu users even get deb packages! - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flash 10 is out for Linux and Ubuntu users even get deb packages!

Flash 10 was released just a few days ago (October 15th) and I am excited! Whats new? On Linux, Flash has been a second rate citizen for some time. The Linux version has been buggy, causes browser crashes and leads to excessive CPU usage. The last release for Linux was also over 6 months behind the Windows and OS X releases.

Flash 10 for Linux has been released at the same time as other platforms this time around. The Linux release now also comes with easy to install packages for Debian based distributions like Ubuntu and RPM based distributions like Fedora. Adobe is really starting to pay more attention to Linux users and I really appreciate it.

I had hoped that I could get the latest Flash from the ubuntu-backports repository but it looks like they are still working on that as the version listed now is "" which really is still version 9. To easily install version 10 though, I just went to the Adobe Flash download page, downloaded the deb file and installed it. The installation also removes the old version for you keeping your upgrade hassle free. A simple browser restart later and I was running the latest Flash 10.

I haven't been running Flash 10 long enough to know if it has fixed all my problems yet but I do know it has fixed the annoying Flash z-index bug that caused content like menus to be drawn behind Flash content. This was most annoying to me on the Verizon Wireless website.

Flash 9 on Linux

Flash 10 on Linux

I really hope Adobe keeps Flash on Linux at the same level moving forward. Flash has been one of the chicken or the egg problems for Linux for a while and I think Adobe now realizes they should do something about that. I also think competition from Sliverlight may be a factor here as Microsoft has only partially endorsed an implementation of it as Moonlight for Linux. I see the benefits of having more popular/standardized distributions coming into play also. With Ubuntu and Red Hat/Fedora as two of the major players, Adobe can confidently create tested and easy to install packages for those platforms.

As further reading, I would suggest the Ars Technica review as it covers all platforms and goes into some performance benchmarks.

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