Install the Flash plug-in

Flash is a plug-in for your web browser that allows you to watch videos and use interactive web pages on some websites. Some websites won’t work without Flash.

If you do not have Flash installed, you will probably see a message telling you so when you visit a website that needs it. Flash is available as a free (but not open-source) download for most web browsers. Most Linux distributions have a version of Flash that you can install through their software installer (package manager) too.

If Flash is available from the software installer:

  1. Open the software installer application and search for flash.

  2. Look for the Adobe Flash plug-in, Adobe Flash Player or similar and click to install it.

  3. If you have any web browser windows open, close them and then re-open them. The web browser should realize that Flash is installed when you open it again and you should now be able to view websites using Flash.

If Flash is not available from the software installer:

  1. Go to the Flash Player download website. Your browser and operating system should be automatically detected.

  2. Click where it says Select version to download and choose the type of software installer that works for your Linux distribution. If you don’t know which to use, choose the .tar.gz option.

  3. Look at the installation instructions for Flash to learn how to install it for your web browser.

Open-source alternatives to Flash

A handful of free, open-source alternatives to Flash are available. These tend to work better than the Flash plug-in in some ways (for example, by handling sound playback better), but worse in others (for example, by not being able to display some of the more complicated Flash pages on the web).

You might like to try one of these if you are dissatisfied with the Flash player, or if you would like to use as much open-source software as possible on your computer. Here are a few of the options:

  • LightSpark

  • Gnash