Page 1 of 4

Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:52 pm
by spl23
I'm pleased to announce that Adobe's Flash Player is now available for Chromium on the Pi. If you are running PIXEL, "sudo apt-get update" followed by "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" will install the Flash Player binary ready for use in Chromium.

Flash is blocked by default - if you access a web site which wishes to use Flash, you will be prompted to right-click to enable the Flash player.

The Flash Player only works on ARMv7 platforms, so is only available on Pi 2 and Pi 3; it won't work on Pi 0 or Pi 1.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:29 pm
by DNPNWO
What version of Flash is installed? Current for Chrome/Chromium browser appears to be v23.
Adobe Flash Player - Version: 23.0.0.166
Shockwave Flash 23.0 r0
Name: Shockwave Flash
Description: Shockwave Flash 23.0 r0
Version: 23.0.0.166

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:36 pm
by DougieLawson
What's the package called? I want to forcibly disable its installation.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:37 pm
by kusti8
DougieLawson wrote:What's the package called? I want to forcibly disable its installation.
I don't know how the flash is packaged, but to not use the libraries, edit the file /usr/bin/chromium-browser and comment out the lines mentioning ppapi

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:50 pm
by DougieLawson
There's no /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/ directory on my system so it looks like there's not been any automatic download when I did a apt-get dist-upgrade

Don't know what the OP meant, because my systems are 100% up to date with all available packages.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:02 pm
by kusti8
DougieLawson wrote:There's no /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/ directory on my system so it looks like there's not been any automatic download when I did a apt-get dist-upgrade

Don't know what the OP meant, because my systems are 100% up to date with all available packages.
It should be in /usr/bin/chromium-browser in I think Pepperflash or one of those folders. You can use the apt-file utility to know which file belongs to which package.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:26 pm
by spl23
DougieLawson wrote:What's the package called? I want to forcibly disable its installation.
It's included as part of a generic package called rpi-chromium-mods, so you can't really disable its installation without losing various other bits of useful functionality. But the library is not loaded until a website requests it, and is blocked from executing by default unless the user enables it.

If you really don't want it on your system, just delete the file /usr/lib/chromium-browser/libpepflashplayer.so - that is the sole Flash file installed. I would suggest you also remove the associated CHROMIUM_FLAGS in the /usr/bin/chromium-browser startup script, or Chromium may hang when attempting to load a non-existent Flash library when sites try to use it.

The library file will be installed on all versions of the Pi by an update of rpi-chromium-mods, but the browser startup script does not supply the necessary flags for Chromium to use it when run on Pi 1 or Pi 0, so the file will never be accessed on those platforms.

For reference, the reason for the addition of Flash is that Scratch version 2.0 is Flash-based and cannot be run in any other fashion at present, and we have been under a lot of pressure to support the new version of Scratch. This is going to become the default way Scratch is run at some point in the future, so if you want to use Scratch, you may need to overcome your dislike of Flash - or to prevail upon the team at MIT to change their mind...

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:51 pm
by DougieLawson
Thank you. Sorted that with sudo apt-mark hold rpi-chromium-mods.

There's no sane reason why the morons at MIT picked a dead technology for Scratch 2.0. The reason for that remains a complete mystery.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:18 am
by cjan
update, want shutdown -> logout back.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:46 am
by kusti8
cjan wrote:update, want shutdown -> logout back.
:?:

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:23 am
by cjan
cjan wrote:update, want shutdown -> logout back.
sorry, Exit to command line = logout

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:29 am
by gkreidl
This is not a good solution. Adding a non-free closed source binary (pepperflash) to an open source packet like chromium-browser is against about any kind of policy like the Debian policy. I'm not even sure that this is completely legal.

I'm not against supplying it (I've published a tutorial here myself about installing it), but people should be able decide if they want to have it installed or not, independent of a chromium-browser installation.

So, please, create a separate package for it.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:55 am
by spl23
It's not included in the Chromium package; it is included in a completely separate package of additional run-time modifications we apply over and above the package which contains Chromium itself. There are no open-source violations involved, and certainly no legal issues.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:01 am
by fruitoftheloom
gkreidl wrote:This is not a good solution. Adding a non-free closed source binary (pepperflash) to an open source packet like chromium-browser is against about any kind of policy like the Debian policy. I'm not even sure that this is completely legal.

I'm not against supplying it (I've published a tutorial here myself about installing it), but people should be able decide if they want to have it installed or not, independent of a chromium-browser installation.

So, please, create a separate package for it.
+1 PepperFlash is Proprietary and should not be added by a person stumbling across a Flash enabled web site, many sites try Flash first then HTML5.

The reasons for including are not valid, why should everyone suffer because MiT could not build a HTML5 Platform ??

It should be a totally separate package and not flagged up by Chromium for installation IMO :D

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:12 am
by gkreidl
spl23 wrote:It's not included in the Chromium package; it is included in a completely separate package of additional run-time modifications we apply over and above the package which contains Chromium itself. There are no open-source violations involved, and certainly no legal issues.
OK, but doesn't that also mean, that you only get HW accelerated video in chromium if you also install flash (both provided by the same package, chromium-mods)?

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:27 am
by spl23
gkreidl wrote:
spl23 wrote:It's not included in the Chromium package; it is included in a completely separate package of additional run-time modifications we apply over and above the package which contains Chromium itself. There are no open-source violations involved, and certainly no legal issues.
OK, but doesn't that also mean, that you only get HW accelerated video in chromium if you also install flash (both provided by the same package, chromium-mods)?
No.

Hardware-accelerated video is not supplied by the rpi-chromium-mods package, it is built into the Chromium binary supplied in the modified chromium-browser package.

The rpi-chromium-mods package, in addition to adding Flash, installs uBlock origin and h264ify, customises some aspects of the appearance of the browser (such as use of the openbox window theme), selects DuckDuckGo as the default search engine and applies a few command-line flags which may slightly improve performance. It makes no changes to binary code - it basically sets up preference files. (Oh, and it sets up blocking of Flash playback by default...)

So, in summary - chromium-browser package = stock Chromium code plus VideoCore hardware video acceleration. rpi-chromium-mods package = Flash and other run-time customisations.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:33 am
by spl23
fruitoftheloom wrote:The reasons for including are not valid, why should everyone suffer because MiT could not build a HTML5 Platform ??
Why should our target education market suffer because some people don't want Flash? ;)

Flash is included by default because we need to make access to Scratch 2 as easy as possible for use in schools - it needs to work out of the box without the requirement to install packages. Flash is blocked by default - the Flash binary will not run unless the user explicitly permits it to do so.

If you are installing Chromium and want a pure Chromium install, then do "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser" rather than "sudo apt-get install rpi-chromium-mods". But Flash is going to be installed by default in PIXEL from now on, because it has become a requirement for education, which is part of our core mission. Blame MIT for that, not us!

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:40 am
by fruitoftheloom
spl23 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:The reasons for including are not valid, why should everyone suffer because MiT could not build a HTML5 Platform ??
Why should our target education market suffer because some people don't want Flash? ;)

Flash is included by default because we need to make access to Scratch 2 as easy as possible for use in schools - it needs to work out of the box without the requirement to install packages. Flash is blocked by default - the Flash binary will not run unless the user explicitly permits it to do so.
OK yes I understand the reasoning, but many other web sites ask for Flash Player first and then if ignored will use HTML5, on a RPi Flash may not be the best choice and therefore it is a retrograde step.

What about Scratch 2 Users on ARMv6 RPi ??

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:43 am
by spl23
fruitoftheloom wrote:What about Scratch 2 Users on ARMv6 RPi ??
Nothing we can do for them as Adobe do not produce an ARMv6 version of the Flash Player. To be honest, if you want to run Scratch in Chromium, you really need to be using a Pi 2 or Pi 3 anyway to get acceptable performance.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:49 am
by fruitoftheloom
spl23 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:What about Scratch 2 Users on ARMv6 RPi ??
Nothing we can do for them as Adobe do not produce an ARMv6 version of PepperFlash. To be honest, if you want to run Scratch in Chromium, you really need to be using a Pi 2 or Pi 3 anyway to get acceptable performance.
You still not have explained what happens if Flash is installed and the User goes to a web site and gets crap Flash Video playback, the User may not be aware that HTML5 Video may give better playback ??

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:59 am
by spl23
fruitoftheloom wrote:
spl23 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:What about Scratch 2 Users on ARMv6 RPi ??
Nothing we can do for them as Adobe do not produce an ARMv6 version of PepperFlash. To be honest, if you want to run Scratch in Chromium, you really need to be using a Pi 2 or Pi 3 anyway to get acceptable performance.
You still not have explained what happens if Flash is installed and the User goes to a web site and gets crap Flash Video playback, the User may not be aware that HTML5 Video may give better playback ??
See above. Flash is installed by default because it is a requirement for education. That may have unfortunate side-effects on some sites. Nothing we can do about that unless MIT decide to release Scratch 2 in a form which does not require Flash. The world is, sadly, an imperfect place - but bear in mind that, regardless of Flash vs HTML5, users have a better browsing experience now with Chromium than they did a month ago with Epiphany...

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:02 am
by fruitoftheloom
fait accompli

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:03 am
by Cancelor
Okay, I get that this is an MIT thing.

Did Scratch 1 use Flash, does it no longer fulfil our educational goals?

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:05 am
by spl23
Cancelor wrote:Okay, I get that this is an MIT thing.

Did Scratch 1 use Flash, does it no longer fulfil our educational goals?
No, Scratch 1 was a native ARM application. While it still works, many educational resources are now being released which use the new features in Scratch 2, and we need to be able to support them.

Please bear in mind that, for every complaint about Flash now being on the platform, there will have been another complaint about the lack of Scratch 2 on Pi. We can't please everybody on this issue, but it is easy enough to remove Flash if you don't want it - see the instructions higher up in this thread.

Re: Flash Player now available for Chromium

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:12 am
by Cancelor
Many thanks for all your hard work and for supporting the forum. :)

I am very glad to have Flash support available even though I don't use Scratch.