Adobe is Back to Flash Us Again – With 64-bit
Just a month after the release of Adobe's Flash Player 10 — with, for the first time, full Linux support out of the box — Adobe is back with another surprise: a 64-bit Flash Player — exclusively for Linux.
The lack of native Flash support for 64-bit Linux has been a perpetual thorn-in-the-side of 64-bit distributions. While there are workarounds to the problem, the lack of a Flash Player for 64-bit systems has made utilizing the full potential of 64-bit systems difficult. Coupled with the rather notorious state of Linux support in general, the problems for 64-bit users have been legion.
Adobe has apparently heard the outcry — how could they not? — and they've answered quickly and clearly. First was the release of Flash Player 10 with full Linux support — something which Linux users waited months for under the previous release. Now comes an alpha version — a "prelease" — of Flash Player 10 for 64-bit systems. It's not just for 64-bit systems, though — it's for 64-bit Linux systems. That's right: the release only offers support for Linux/Solaris. No Windows. No Mac. Just us.
According to Adobe, 64-bit Linux users won the lottery on this one because they were the most vocal in calling for a 64-bit player. They also apparently took into consideration 64-bit distributions shipping without a 32-bit browser or 32-bit emulation. We're sure it didn't hurt that Linux users are the intrepid sort, and will provide Adobe with a tidal wave of feedback on every aspect of the player's performance. Windows and Mac offerings are scheduled for "future prereleases."
The full gory details, including system requirements, installation instructions, and known issues — there is always something, isn't there? — can be found in the Linux 64-bit Alpha Release Notes. Those too excited to wait can jump straight to the download page.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.