How To Get Flash To Work With Iceweasel In Debian

Install Flash Debian Jessie
Install Flash Debian Jessie.

Introduction

If you followed my guide showing how to dual boot Debian with Windows 8.1 you are probably wondering what the next steps are.

Debian only ships with free software so playing MP3 audio and playing Flash games requires extra work.

This guide shows two ways to get Flash to work on your system. The first method uses Lightspark which is free and open source. The other method uses the Flash-nonfree package.

Option 1 - Install Lightspark

This is the easiest way to install a Flash player for Debian but it isn't 100% perfect and is still described on the Debian WIKI page as experimental.

I tried it with a number of sites including my goto Flash test site, which is the excellent stickcricket.com. It worked on every site I attempted.

To install Lightspark open a terminal window. If you are using GNOME you can open a terminal by pressing the super key on your keyboard (Windows key) and then type "term" into the search box.

Click the icon for "Terminal" when it appears.

Switch to the root user by typing su - root and enter your password.

Now type apt-get update to update your repositories and then apt-get install lightspark.

Open Iceweasel and visit a site that has Flash videos or games to try it out.

Option 2 - Install Flash Plugin

To install the Adobe Flash plugin open up a terminal and type su - root and enter your password.

Now open up your sources.list file in nano by typing nano /etc/apt/sources.list.

At the end of each line add the words contrib non-free as follows:

deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

# jessie-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib non-free

 

Save the file by pressing CTRL and O and then exit by pressing CTRL and X.

Update your repositories by typing apt-get update and then install the Flash plugin by typing apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree.

Open up Iceweasel and navigate to a site with Flash games or videos and try it out.

To make sure that Flash has indeed installed correctly visit http://www.adobe.com/uk/software/flash/about/.

A little grey box will appear with the version number of the Flash player that you have installed.

Summary

Flash isn't the big deal it used to be. Even Youtube has moved away from using it and as HTML5 becomes more established the requirement to install any Flash players on your computer will become less and less.

At the moment though if like me you have the odd Flash game that you really like or you use websites that require the use of a Flash plugin then hopefully this article has helped you.

In the next Debian guide I will show you how to get MP3 audio working and I will discuss the concept of whether alternatives such as OGG are 100% viable and whether we are reliant on MP3.