Firefox does not play local flash files

Bug #1335388 reported by Malaise on 2014-06-28
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Linux Mint
Mozilla Firefox
firefox (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

After upgrading to Xubuntu 14.04 I cannot play local swf files int Firefox any more. Was OK in 13.10.

I get the window "You have chosen to open: xxx.swf which is: Shockwave Flash file (yyyMB) from: /home/...
What should Firefox do with this file?
- Open with (Parole/Other...)
- Save File
Do this automatically...

Reinstalling 14.04 completely (and installing flashplugin-installer) and creating a new user does not help.
Of course this works well with flash embedded in html pages.

In Firefox, there are 2 entries in the applications menu, one for"shockwave flash files" and the other for "SWF", as described in
I cannot link the action "Use shockwave flash (in Firefox)" to the type "shockwave flash files" as it is for "SWF file".

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: firefox 30.0+build1-0ubuntu0.14.04.3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-30.54-generic
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-30-generic i686
AddonCompatCheckDisabled: False
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.2
Architecture: i386
 /dev/snd/controlC0: malaise 2839 F.... pulseaudio
BuildID: 20140608211132
Channel: Unavailable
CurrentDesktop: XFCE
Date: Sat Jun 28 09:16:51 2014
ForcedLayersAccel: False
 # interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback
 English (South Africa) Language Pack - <email address hidden>
 English (GB) Language Pack - <email address hidden>
 Default - {972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-06-15 (12 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Xubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release i386 (20140416.2)
 default via dev wlan0 proto static dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src metric 9
Plugins: Shockwave Flash - /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/
Profiles: Profile0 (Default) - LastVersion=30.0/20140608211132 (In use)
RunningIncompatibleAddons: True
SourcePackage: firefox
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install) 08/02/2013
dmi.bios.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.bios.version: H0ET94WW (2.54 )
dmi.board.asset.tag: Not Available 3259CGG
dmi.board.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.board.version: Not Available
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Information
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.chassis.version: Not Available
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnLENOVO:bvrH0ET94WW(2.54):bd08/02/2013:svnLENOVO:pn3259CGG:pvrThinkPadEdgeE530:rvnLENOVO:rn3259CGG:rvrNotAvailable:cvnLENOVO:ct10:cvrNotAvailable: 3259CGG
dmi.product.version: ThinkPad Edge E530
dmi.sys.vendor: LENOVO

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:28.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/28.0 (Beta/Release)
Build ID: 20140314220517

Steps to reproduce:

I attempted to run a Shockwave Flash file in-browser using a file:// URL in the current official Mozilla Firefox x86-64 version 28 binary, running on a Debian GNU/Linux jessie (testing) system. I have version 11.2 r202 of the Flash player installed.

Actual results:

Firefox presented me with the Opening (filename) dialog box that asks whether I want to Open the file in an external viewer or Save the file to my Downloads directory, as if I had accessed a file type Firefox doesn't know how to handle.

Disabling all of my Extensions had no effect on this misbehaviour.

Expected results:

Firefox should have activated the Flash plugin to play the SWF file, in the same way that it does when I access an SWF file via an http or https URL, and in the same way that the Debian wheezy (stable) build of Iceweasel does.



thanks for taking time to report a problem!

I was able to reproduce this behavior with Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/31.0 ID:20140409030203 CSet: 5811efc11011 on Debian Sid with Shockwave Flash 11.2 r202. I'm not sure if this is done by design or not, though.

My about:preferences Application tab correctly associate the swf format with Shockwave Flash plugin.
If that can be of use, Chromium Version 33.0.1750.152 Debian jessie/sid (256984) as well cannot open a swf local file in-browser without asking first for the application to use.

Also: Firefox does open directly without asking local video files of other formats, for instance .webm

Component → File Handling

Still present in Firefox 29.

While eagerly awaiting a proper fix, I've identified a tolerable workaround:

For each SWF file you want to run locally, write a stub HTML file like the following:

<object height="AAA" width="BBB">
<embed src="file:///local/path/to/file.swf" height="AAA" width="BBB">

(replacing AAA and BBB with the dimensions you want it to have) and load the stub HTML file instead of the SWF file.

Malaise (malaise) wrote :
Malaise (malaise) wrote :

Same version of Firefox (30.0) works on Ubunu (gnome) 12.04.4, so it seems not an issue with the binary.
Change package to firefox-3.0

affects: firefox (Ubuntu) → firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) wrote :

The package firefox-3.0 contained Firefox 3.0, not Firefox 30 (present in the firefox package).

affects: firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu) → firefox (Ubuntu)

On 30/06/2014 16:38, Adolfo Jayme wrote:
> The package firefox-3.0 contained Firefox 3.0, not Firefox 30 (present
> in the firefox package).
> ** Package changed: firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu) => firefox (Ubuntu)
Thanks, sorry.

Couldn't eradicate windows from my PC but I caged it in a vmware.

I found a workaround or fix here:
This seems to be a bug in Xubuntu 14.04 indeed, but maybe in package shared-mime-info rather than firefox.
I don't know.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Veikko Mäkelä ( wrote :

This bug is also present in Linux Mint 17. I tried the solution provided on the AskUbuntu page but it had no effect, even after restarting Firefox.

Firefox version is 32.0.3, Flash plugin version

Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
summary: - Firefox 30 does not play flash files
+ Firefox does not play local flash files

I have the same issue on Ubuntu 12.04 with Firefox 36.

Changed in firefox:
status: Confirmed → Unknown
Changed in firefox:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
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