x86-64 Ubuntu 9.10: Flash installer on x86-86 installs flash in such a way that it can't be used by 32-bit firefox builds

Bug #559696 reported by Chris Jones on 2010-04-09
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
flashplugin-nonfree (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Lucid by Martin Olsson

Bug Description

Steps to reproduce:
 - Download 32-bit firefox nightly from http://nightly.mozilla.org
 - Navigate to flash content, for example http://www.macloo.com/examples/flash/animation/martini.htm
 - Choose to install missing plugins
 - Select the non-free Adobe flash player, install
 - Restart 32-bit firefox
 - Navigate again to http://www.macloo.com/examples/flash/animation/martini.htm
 - Applet fails to load, "Install missing plugin" doorhanger appears again
 - If firefox is run from the console, output like
LoadPlugin: failed to initialize shared library /var/lib/flashplugin-installer/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so [/var/lib/flashplugin-installer/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64]
   is written to stderr

Expected results:
 - non-free flash is installed in such a way that 32- and 64-bit browsers can load it

The problem is that the flashplugin-installer depends on nspluginwrapper, which is installed without the user's knowledge (meh, but OK). nspluginwrapper installs a 64-bit NPAPI plugin /var/lib/flashplugin-installer/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so, and 32-bit firefox builds can't load 64-bit plugins.

Simple workaround: use the same mechanism that adds /var/lib/flashplugin-installer/ to firefox's plugin search path to also add /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/ (where the 32-bit libflashplayer.so is installed). 64-bit firefox will load the nspluginwrapper, and 32-bit firefox will directly load libflashplayer.so. This workaround can be tested by running
  $ ln -s /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so
and then restarting 32-bit firefox.

I understand that non-free flash and 32-bit firefox builds on 64-bit distributions are sort of doubly-unofficially-supported, but the workaround is easy enough that it seems worthwhile to me.

FWIW Mozilla's out-of-process plugin team plans to support loading plugins of different architectures than the firefox build's (like nspluginwrapper), but there's no definite timeline for this feature yet.

Sorry for leaving the package blank, I'm not sure in which this workaround is best implemented.

Chris Jones (jones-chris-g) wrote :

I should add that the scenario that led to the filing of this bug was a Mozilla developer downloading a Farsi-localized firefox build. Localized firefox builds are only available for x86 at the moment.

affects: ubuntu → flashplugin-nonfree (Ubuntu)
Martin Olsson (mnemo) wrote :

@asac, Flash (and probably other plugins) for the FF 3.6.4 beta on Lucid doesn't work at all, upstream says it's a packaging issue related to nspluginwrapper.

Changed in flashplugin-nonfree (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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