Swapped colors in Flash Player video

Bug #968489 reported by pst007x on 2012-03-29
This bug affects 94 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

After updating to Ubuntu 12.04 from Ubuntu 11.10, all video is now blue, whether playing in a browser or a player.

Adobe Flash Player plugin installer version:
Graphics card: GeForce GTX 580M/PCIe/SSE2
Graphics driver: NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version current) (Recommended)

Graphics driver: NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (post-release updates) (version current-updates)

pst007x (turone) wrote :

No fixes currently available, just another bug with NVidia and Ubuntu. NVidia never seems to work properly, why?

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
pst007x (turone) wrote :

Is there any way to change driver to the to the open source nouveau driver, without trashing the system? Thanks

pst007x (turone) wrote :

Remove flashplugin-installer

Install adobe-flashplugin

(RE-installed Chromium)

Installed Ubuntu Restricted Extras

-Note asked to update Adobe when using youtube, but, no more blue.

I will continue testing.

pst007x (turone) wrote :

Continue from previous....

Downloaded latest Adobe flash rpm: flash-plugin-

Move file to home folder

Open terminal:
sudo apt-get install alien dpkg-dev debhelper build-essential

sudo alien flash-plugin-

sudo dpkg -i flash-plugin_11.2.202.228-1_amd64.deb

pst007x (turone) wrote :

To sum up:


Remove flashplugin-installer

Install adobe-flashplugin

Installed Ubuntu Restricted Extras

Downloaded latest Adobe flash rpm (from Adobe, in my case file was as follows):


Move file to home folder

Open terminal:

sudo apt-get install alien dpkg-dev debhelper build-essential

sudo alien flash-plugin-

sudo dpkg -i flash-plugin_11.2.202.228-1_amd64.deb

pst007x (turone) wrote :

Please keep this open..


After reboot.

VLC - ok

All web browsers flash is blue

Google Chrome

Both Flash plugins causes the blue flash video in browsers
Adobe - flashplugin
Flashplugin - installer

Solution (not as functional as adobe flash plug in but it works)
Install Lightspark (plus any browser-plugins) (very basic)


Gnash (but I had some issues with playback)

Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

Same problem in Ubuntu 11.10, I think this have started with a recent update to the Flash Player (package adobe-flashplayer).

Honestly, I don't think your solution could fix anything (and I've tried); RPM package places plugin into /usr/lib64 and won't symlink the Flash library to browsers' plugin directories, so you end up without Flash Player completely. Furthermore you can't have both adobe-flashplugin and flash-plugin (from converted RPM) installed at once due to conflicting files in both packages.
If you've tested only YouTube videos, it's possible you've been switched to HTML5 player – and native browser video works flawlessly, indeed!

The guys from Arch are onto this, they've linked the issue to vdpau – see https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=137877 – so this is very probably related to H.264 hardware decoding.

So I think that solutions here are:
- use patched vdpau
- uninstall vdpau completely (Flash and video players will default to CPU decoding)
- disable Flash hardware acceleration (there are some options for mms.cfg file which could help)

Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

Okay, I've removed libvdpau1 package and YouTube videos have nice colours again, so this is one sure workaround.

Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

You can also disable hardware acceleration in Settings (right-click on YouTube video, third item from the bottom of the menu) – http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help01.html
So you can keep vdpau for real video players.

This, however, has one fatal flaw: the Settings dialog in Flash Player doesn't respond to clicks under Compiz (and therefore standard Unity). So to uncheck that checkbox, you'll have to temporarily switch to Unity2d or another non-composite environment.

Adding "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=false" to /etc/adobe/mms.cfg looked promising too, but it doesn't have any effect with the current Flash Player.

Jan Vlnas (jnv) on 2012-03-30
affects: unity → libvdpau
pst007x (turone) wrote :

Thanks... Jan Vlnas...

Gnash-browser plugins
Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (libraries) libvdpau1


Re-started browser, and it worked for me.

Many thanks, this was driving me up the wall :-0

Does removing libvdpau1 have any other consequences?

Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

Read more about vpdau at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDPAU

It may affect video performance if you have slow CPU, especially with FullHD videos – if this occurs in desktop player like Totem or VLC, try the second method. Install libvdpau1 back and just disable HW acceleration in Flash.

Stephen Warren (srwarren) wrote :

Jan, this definitely isn't a libvdpau problem; libvdpau is just a wrapper library that is used to locate the vendor-specific VDPAU driver. The problem is either in the Ubuntu desktop environment (window manager/compositor), the application which uses VDPAU (e.g. Adobe Flash) or the VDPAU driver itself (e.g. NVIDIA driver).

Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

I agree and I don't blame libvdpau for the actual bug.

The problem in this case is very likely caused by the Flash Player which sends U and V components in the wrong order (so the result is basically swapped red and blue colours). We should push Adobe to fix this, but so far all bug reports were closed with CannotReproduce or FeatureRemoved:
https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3077076 (this one has most votes)

Pierre-Loup Griffais from Nvidia has actually created a patch for libvdpau, although it is very hacky: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=2518770#post2518770

Since Flash Player is closed source and Adobe doesn't care, we can just workaround this problem, and libvdpau is one possible layer where to do this.

Stephen Warren (srwarren) wrote :

Ah right, I thought that by "blue" you meant a solid single color, rather than just swapped chroma components. In that case, yes, as you say, I believe Pierre-Loup has confirmed this is a bug in Adobe Flash, hence the workaround he created.

Jan Vlnas (jnv) on 2012-03-30
summary: - flash video appears blue ubuntu 12.04
+ Swapped colors in Flash Player video
fleamour (gtx-swift) wrote :

Easy work around would be opt in to HTML5 for all YouTube videos:


Jan Vlnas (jnv) wrote :

Workaround for YouTube, sure. Maybe YouTube player is one from very few which use hardware accelerated rendering (at least Vimeo doesn't seem to be affected by this bug), but any other site could be affected. Also this won't help with embedded videos inserted directly using a Flash object.

darthanubis (darthanubis) wrote :

HTML5 is not a work around.

Not all Youtube videos come in HTML5.

fatalGlory (fatalglory) wrote :

I fixed this by installing the Flash-Aid extension in Firefox. Works a treat! Pulled down the latest flash beta from Adobe and did some automatic tweaks (fullscreen now works properly on my dual-monitor setup, didn't even think that was possible!)

Marvin R. (therealmarv) wrote :

This bug affects latest Nvidia driver 295.33 and Nouveau drivers (tested with Ubuntu 11.10 , not 2D). However NVidia driver 173 is not affected.

Marvin R. (therealmarv) wrote :

Thanks fataGlory! Deinstalled flashplugin-installer. Installed Flash-Aid for Firefox and it solved all my problems (installed the latest Flash beta). This solution also gives me hardware accelerated Flash videos (no problems with vdpau). This fix also fixed Flash in Google Chrome. Running Nouveau drivers currently.

Svein Harald Soleim (sveinh) wrote :

Nvidia has a patch for vdpau. Would be nice to see it in repo http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=2518770&postcount=104

bowser (bwbernard-wong1) wrote :

This only affects Youtube.

Here is a work around if you use Firefox.

Disable hardware acceleration for flash, and also disable hardware acceleration in flash player settings (by right clicking video, in precise this doesn't work in Unity 3d, have to do it in Unity 2d or GS because of https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/adobe-flashplugin/+bug/865672)

Then use flashvideoreplacer addon for Firefox with gecko-mediaplayer as the backend (set gnome-mplayer to use vdpau to get gpu acceleration. This allows you to watch Youtube in the Firefox without flash (there are also dedicated Youtube players like minitube and Smplayer,--the latest version from ppa has a Youtube viewer)

Alternatively the blue tint will go away if you enable hardware acceleration for flash but then it becomes very unstable and crashes on many sites.

Martin G Miller (mgmiller) wrote :

I found an easier way then logging in in 2D for Unity 11.10 64 bit 3D.

Load a you tube video and pause it.
Click to make it full screen.
Now you can right click on the video and remove the check mark for hardware video acceleration.

Close and reload the browser.
I did this in Firefox and found that it fixed Chrome at the same time.

I managed to workaround the problem by simply disabling Hardware Acceleration from the flash settings (by right-clicking on any youtube video)! I wonder if this could create problems. Its solves the current one, about swapped colours, though!

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