Install Pepper Flash in Ubuntu 14.04

If you are one of the many Chromium users on Ubuntu you may have noticed that you were having issues with flash content. This is because Google retired the Netscape Plugin API (commonly known as NPAPI) earlier this year from the Chromium code base, and plan to do the same for the Windows and Mac versions as well.

There are a lot of reasons why this is happening, OMG! Ubuntu! has a post regarding why. While inconvenient, this is a necessary and long overdue change.

However necessary, there is a drawback, as there often is with this sort of thing. The version of Adobe Flash available in the software center no longer works with Chromium.


Enter Pepper Flash, a modern, updated version of Adobe Flash maintained and distributed by Google. However, this ‘Pepper Plugin’ is only distributed as part of its Chrome browser, which a branded version of Chromium with extra bells and whistles added.

But, there is good news. You can install Pepper Flash for Chromium with just a single package from the Software Center.


How to install Pepper Flash

Although technically only released on Chrome, because of the fact the Chrome is based off Chromium you can still install Pepper Flash in Chromium, albeit with a slightly complicated process. Well, complicated for the developer of the package, but simple for the user that is.

Although the actual installation process is a little complicated, the installer has to download Chrome, extract the Pepper Flash plugin, then install it into Chromium, all you have to do to get Chromium back in Flash-y order is install the pepperflashplugin-nonfree package. You can either install the software via the Ubuntu Software Center or via the command line with the commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree

Once it installs you can close and reopen Chromium and it should have its Flashyness restored.


Um…Houston we have an issue

Some people are finding that they have to tell Chromium about the plugin after installation, instead of it happening automatically. While not ideal, you can’t usually expect perfect performance from workarounds 24/7, as they are just that, workarounds. To fix this issue, just run

sudo update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree

If this doesn’t fix it you may to manually configure it. You have to have Chromium completely closed and then you have to run the following command in terminal to edit the correct file (you can replace gedit with whichever text editor you prefer):

sudo gedit /etc/chromium-browser/default

and then add the following line to the end of the file:

. /usr/lib/pepflashplugin-installer/pepflashplayer.sh

Make sure you save, it’s easy to forget, and then close the file. Reopen Chromium and …

(Video taken from OMG! Ubuntu! Post)

Note, neither Pepper Flash nor Adobe Flash work with the Ubuntu Web Browser used for Unity Web Apps in 14.04, sadly.
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