OpenBSD, Firefox, and Flash

An OpenBSD advocacy article led me to a mailing list posting on how to get Flash playing transparently in Firefox on OpenBSD. You could get Flash (and other clunky media formats) to work on Unix-like platforms that Adobe doesn’t support for some time now, using a combination of players in packages and nearly random hacks in Firefox. This process makes everything simple, however.

I’m using 4.9/i386 and mozilla-firefox-3.6.13p3.

Set a package path in your shell. A few tests with ping and traceroute showed ftp3.usa.openbsd.org is my closest mirror. I use tcsh, so my .cshrc has:

PKG_PATH=ftp://ftp3.usa.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/4.9/packages/i386/

Then run:

$ sudo pkg_add -r gecko-mediaplayer

This installs a whole bunch of packages for playing not just Flash, but other complicated media formats.

Browse to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashvideoreplacer/ and install the plugin. The plugin handles replacing Flash with appropriate third-party players from packages.

Restart your browser. And everything just works.

7 comments to OpenBSD, Firefox, and Flash

  • Glad you liked it. I’ve done the Linux-Firefox and Linux-Opera thing before to get flash working, and describing it as “nearly random hacks” is as accurate as it gets. There’s scarcely a shard of rhyme or reason for some of the cruft one must wrangle to make it work. I was genuinely thrilled when I read about the mplayer/flashvideoreplacer duo. That post just came out a few months ago, but I’m still kicking myself for not trying OpenBSD on my netbook earlier.

  • Alvaro Mantilla

    Good article! Thanks so much for that!

    Did you tried Silverlight?

  • […] W Lucas has a blog post explaining how to play Flash videos in OpenBSD. This is something I have tried to accomplish […]

  • Toby

    Here’s the thing: There are lots of ways to watch YouTube and other “generic” Flash videos on OpenBSD. My problem is this: I want to watch the Daily Show at http://thedailyshow.com when I come home from work. AFAIK it uses the same DRM as Hulu to force you to watch commercials (which is OK with me). The problem is that I’ve yet to find an alternative to Adobe’s real Flash Player that can play video with that DRM. I know: Some of you are thinking, “TPB dude!” No. My solution should be a legal one.

  • Scott Blaydes

    I know this article is older, but was using it to try to get flash going on a OpenBSD VM. The flashreplacer plugin has been removed by the author from the addons site. Anyone know of another plugin that will do the same thing?

  • Jules Gilbert

    I did the pkg_add’s okay, then when I tried to https (effectively, to fetch and load the plugin,) I was advised that this module had been removed by it’s author.

    So, nothing.

    Ideas??

    I’m running OpenBSD 5.3.

  • Sorry, no. Definitely ask the port maintainer. I don’t watch much flash any more, too busy writing.