Flash on Linux = Disaster

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Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:15 pm

I have been experiencing GUI freezes recently in Linux (Ubuntu 10.04, GNOME) and it turned out every single time it was due to npviewer.bin, i.e. Flash. Ever since I have disabled Flash plugin in Firefox and Opera, both browsers are running awesomely fast and things have been completely stable, as they should be.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:13 pm

This has always been my policy on Windows, also, with the same results.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:23 pm

Are you seeing the entire desktop freeze, or just the browser?

I get occasional flash plugin crashes (still running 9.10 here, so not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison), but they're few and far between enough that they don't rise above the level of minor annoyance. Only the browser is affected, and when it does happen doing a "killall npviewer.bin" seems to un-stick things without even requiring a browser restart.

Have you tried Chrome? I've mostly ditched Firefox for Chrome these days... very fast and stable. Latest version even includes an integrated PDF viewer.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:09 pm

axeman wrote:Does npviewer.bin imply that you're running nspluginwrapper to run 32bit flash on a 64bit browser? If that's what you're doing, quit it, remove nspluginwrapper, and get the 64bit beta version of flash. Nspluginwrapper is terrible IMO.

I've got a question regarding that. When you click the link to go to the 64-bit beta download, it takes you to a page which only appears to have 32-bit downloads: http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html

Is there another page where one can get the 64-bit version?
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:46 pm

Think for yourself, schmuck!
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:56 pm

I run with Chromium nightly builds across all my Ubuntu machines/VMs. Flash is stable and does not have a noticeable impact on performance (even on my Eee PC 1201N).
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:20 pm

End User wrote:I run with Chromium nightly builds across all my Ubuntu machines/VMs. Flash is stable and does not have a noticeable impact on performance (even on my Eee PC 1201N).

I wouldn't go so far as to call Flash stable, but Chrome's handling of it at least makes it much less objectionable to me.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:21 pm

bthylafh wrote:http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/square/

Thank you.

For anyone else wanting to give the 64-bit Linux plugin a go, you need to install it manually as there is no installer. For Chrome, create the directory /opt/google/chrome/plugins (if it does not exist already), and unpack the plugin into that directory.

Edit: I should add that I am running the version of Chrome downloaded from Google's site, not the one from the Ubuntu repository. If you install the one from your distro's repo, it may be somewhere other than in the /opt area.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:51 pm

axeman wrote:Does npviewer.bin imply that you're running nspluginwrapper to run 32bit flash on a 64bit browser? If that's what you're doing, quit it, remove nspluginwrapper, and get the 64bit beta version of flash. Nspluginwrapper is terrible IMO.


Ok thanks. I will try that.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:16 pm

End User wrote:I run with Chromium nightly builds across all my Ubuntu machines/VMs. Flash is stable and does not have a noticeable impact on performance (even on my Eee PC 1201N).

32-bit or 64-bit? If the issue is with the plugin wrapper (npviewer.bin), then you wouldn't be affected on 32-bit systems.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:06 am

just brew it! wrote:Are you seeing the entire desktop freeze, or just the browser?

I get occasional flash plugin crashes (still running 9.10 here, so not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison), but they're few and far between enough that they don't rise above the level of minor annoyance. Only the browser is affected, and when it does happen doing a "killall npviewer.bin" seems to un-stick things without even requiring a browser restart.

Have you tried Chrome? I've mostly ditched Firefox for Chrome these days... very fast and stable. Latest version even includes an integrated PDF viewer.


My entire desktop freezes. I switch to a console (Alt+F2) and kill npviewer.bin as well as firefox and things usually come back. I had this almost once a day and on two different machines. The other applications I run are mostly the gnome terminal, gvim and evince so not much there that might be crashing. I have for now disabled plugins in firefox and opera and things have become stable with no crashes and even the pages seem to be rendered faster than before, though that might possibly be my imagination. I will try the 64-plugin sometime as suggested by axeman. Flash isn't really critical to me on Linux as I use it mostly for coding while if I need to access flash content, I usually access on it a win7 laptop. So I might just keep it disabled.

edit: As for chrome, I don't like its address bar. Somehow it never suggests the one URL i want to access when I start typing. Firefox awesome bar is awesome.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:21 am

just brew it! wrote:
End User wrote:I run with Chromium nightly builds across all my Ubuntu machines/VMs. Flash is stable and does not have a noticeable impact on performance (even on my Eee PC 1201N).

32-bit or 64-bit? If the issue is with the plugin wrapper (npviewer.bin), then you wouldn't be affected on 32-bit systems.


64-bit

I don't see npviewer.bin in top when I play Flash content in Firefox (Minefield 4.0b10pre) or Chromium. I do see "firefox-4.0-4.0b10pre/plugin-container /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so" in Top when FireFox is playing Flash content.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:07 pm

Add another vote for Chrome (on Ubuntu 10.10 both 32 and 64 bit). If you install the .deb file it will also add repository information so you get auto-updates like the rest of the software.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:41 pm

codedivine wrote:My entire desktop freezes. I switch to a console (Alt+F2) and kill npviewer.bin as well as firefox and things usually come back. I had this almost once a day and on two different machines.

I don't think I've ever seen Flash freeze the entire desktop. Browser, definitely... but even that became much less of an issue after switching to Chrome (it tends to only freeze the tab with the Flash content, and/or stop displaying Flash content entirely until I kill the npviewer.bin process).

I wonder if what you're seeing is a bad interaction between the Flash plugin and a video driver bug. Did both of the problematic machines have the same (or similar) type of video cards?

FWIW I've been running the beta 64-bit plugin since last night, and so far so good -- no issues.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Yeah, that makes me think you've got a bad video driver as well. Kinda reminds me of the crappy old Trident Blade3D card I had that'd lock X up tight as soon as OpenOffice launched.

If you've got Compiz effects enabled, you could try disabling them and see if that makes Flash any more reliable.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:39 pm

I would install Ubuntu 10.10 on a USB stick and test it out.
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:24 am

Will ask sysadmin to install Chrome (don't have install rights on work machine). As for video driver, I had the same issue on 2 machines : one with Radeon 5850 and one with GTX 480, both running with respective proprietary drivers. So not sure what the issue is but both machines have been stable since I disabled flash.

edit: Corrected to "chrome"
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:13 pm

Update -- Definitely gonna be sticking with the 64-bit Flash beta; stability and compatibility are both improved. Google Street View even works on my 64-bit Linux system now!

Combine this with the new native PDF support in Chrome, and I think I can honestly say that I have no complaints about my 64-bit Linux web browsing experience. (It's about freakin' time!)
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Re: Flash on Linux = Disaster

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:22 am

I run 64-bit flash on my Linux computers. I installed it through sevenmachines ppa here: https://launchpad.net/~sevenmachines/+archive/flash
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