Flash 10.2 Found To Be Crashtastic

If you've experienced a lot of crashes when trying to access pages with Flash content recently, and you've been wondering why, take solace in that fact that it's not specifically a Linux problem. Windows users have had the same problem, and it's caused by the latest version of the Flash plugin. Fortunately, it's easy enough to work around.

At time of writing, the Adobe forum is full of reports of the crash, and it seems to affect Windows and Linux versions of the plugin. The situation is slightly annoying because many of us received a pop-up prompt encouraging us to go to an updated version of the plugin that has turned out to be unreliable.

The reports on the Adobe forum indicate that we may be having a slightly easier time of it, as typically, the player just pops up a message indicating that has crashed. In such a case, a page reload should be all that's needed to get things working again. Outside of Linux land, apparently, the faulty plugin regularly brings down the browser, and in some cases, the entire machine. Occasionally, the Linux version can cause browser crashes but I wasn't able to locate any reports of it bringing the whole system down. It might seem surprisingly that a mere browser plugin could cause system instability, but apparently, the the new version addresses hardware acceleration in a different way. There is always going to be a risk of this sort of thing happening when a high level program directly interacts with a low level driver. There have been reports of the problem affecting both Nvidia and ATI chipset equipped machines.

In my own experiments, I was able to provoke the crashing behavior by opening multiple tabs that contained flash content. You could limit the effect by running a flash blocking plugin such as FlashBlock in combination with the the excellent FlashVideoReplacer.

The simplest solution is probably to revert the back to version 10.01 for now. If you installed it manually, you'll have to locate an older version of the installation file. If not, you can usually use your choice of package manager to revert to an earlier version. In the case of Synaptic, the “Force Version...” option is in the “Package” pull down menu option.

Happy Flashing, folks.

______________________

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

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Flash 10.2 works

ajayram's picture

I finally installed Flash Player 10.2 and it works. The problem which I was encountering earlier was that I had installed a proprietary FGLRX drtiver for my ATI Radaeon 5000 Graphics Card. When I uninstalled the FGLRX Driver and just used my Intel Chipeset driver, the crash does not occur and everything works fine..So looks like there is a problem with the Graphics Card Driver...

Missing suddenly

Hzu's picture

Well, not sure if I'm the only one facing this problem, but flash player will be gone after few minutes if I don't touch it. Never happened before, not sure when but after the last update, from the official flash repo.

I must be doing something wrong

tracyanne_1234's picture

I've never had flash problems, it always just works for me. Nor have I seen or heard of any Flash problems in any machine I've installed Linux on for other people.

NOTE to Linux Journal, It's easier to post a message if you aren't a member than if you are. Non Members need only create a name that isn't registered, as I have done by adding the numbers to my username. For registered members they must already be logged in, otherwise they have to go to a seperate page to log in.

It would be easier and simpler if when the system recognises a user name a prompt for password was displayed, along with the message "The name you used belongs to a registered user."

Diagnosing a terminal patient?

Spuffler's picture

I figure it is just running out of time: "All hail html5".

Is Adobe (Silently? Reluctantly? Begrudgingly? Retroactively?) implementing a DNR?

Is Adobe (Silently?

AlfredBloomberg's picture

Is Adobe (Silently? Reluctantly? Begrudgingly?
Retroactively?) implementing a DNR?

Downgrading helps but only in Firefox

ajayram's picture

I had Flash plugin 10.3 d180. I do not know when this got installed, but no Youtube video used to work on any browser ( Opera, Firefox, and Chrome) in Ubuntu 10.10 . Other flash contents sites ( like bbc,com etc ) crash on full screening. SO I forcibly deleted the plugin files and downgraded to 10.1 r999.

Now Youtube videos work only in Firefox there also it gets stuck for a few seconds when I switch from Full Screen mode to Normal mode. And other flash content like ( bbc, etc) refuses to play saying that I have a lower version of Flash. On other browsers like chrome and Opera. it just displays a message where the video should be playing "An error occurred please try again later"..!!!

Getting really irritating but thankfully managed to make it work in Firefox atleast.

openSUSE 11.4 64-bit,

Pieter's picture

openSUSE 11.4 64-bit, Chromium 11. When I have multiple tabs with Flash applets and close one of them, all Flash applets crash. This doesn't happen every time but it is very annoying.

The flash plugin from Google Chrome is stable

gradinaruvasile's picture

The flash plugin (10.2.r154) that comes bundled with Google Chrome is working better (it is as stable as the 10.1).
It seems to have StageVideo (hardware decoding implementation) that created the problems disabled for good (unlike the 10.2 vanilla Adobe version that has issues even if the option is disabled in /etc/adobe/mms.cfg).
You can use the Chrome adobe plugin in any browser.

Copy (or just link) /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplugin.so file to the $HOME/.mozilla/plugins/ or to the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ folder. I use Opera and it works great in it (it works in Firefox/Midori/Seamonkey too).

Adobe Bad

LogicDave's picture

Ugh, Adobe is nothing but trouble. I hate to side with Apple, but come on. There seem to be daily updates from Adobe on my Windows machines and on Ubuntu? Forget it. If it weren't for youtube, I'd purge all Adobe products.

i agree with Logic Dave

gaous afrizal's picture

i agree with Logic Dave

Aha!

Anonymous's picture

I've had a ton of problems with flash in Arch Linux! I can watch one video, then the plugin crashes. The browser isn't affected, but page refreshes do nothing. Once, re-installation helped, but now nothing works, including switching browsers. Fortunately, I have other computers that still have the old version, and all I need flash for is watching Monty Python videos :)

Yep

Franker's picture

Honestly, no surprise for me, Flash has been very buggy for me from the beginning, no idea if I'm simply doing or configuring something wrong of if it is coded a little buggy. Sure, hard to make something run smooth with so many different configurations, but others can do better, too.

Sadly, sticking to an old

mats's picture

Sadly, sticking to an old version is rarely possible for long - websites choose to require a specific version, and they often move forward really fast, which is extremely irritating. And, once a new version has gone out, it becomes really hard to downgrade, for example if you're using Adobe's yum repository, they don't keep the old versions, so you can't "yum downgrade".

"In my own experiments, I was

Anon_Ed's picture

"In my own experiments, I was able to provoke the crashing behavior by"...

It would probably have been a good thing for you to confess which chipset, nVidia or ATI, you had... the reader is left to guess, which is not a mark of a well-written piece.

Further adding to the confusion, the "About Adobe Flash Player x.x.x.x" context menu option tells me I have version 10.2.152.27 installed. Opening several YouTube tabs, with videos downloading in each of them, does not trigger a (browser) crash on my system (Ubuntu 10.04, kernel 2.6.35-020635-generic). You might have been kind enough to tell us which browser you were using, and whether all browsers on your system crashed, or only some. Also, rather obviously, your distro (I don't say OS because, after all, this is LINUX Journal) might have something to do with it, and you've omitted that info as well. Congratulations on a piece that does more to confuse than enlighten!

"In my own experiments, I was

Anon_Ed's picture

"In my own experiments, I was able to provoke the crashing behavior by"...

It would probably have been a good thing for you to confess which chipset, nVidia or ATI, you had... the reader is left to guess, which is not a mark of a well-written piece.

Further adding to the confusion, the "About Adobe Flash Player x.x.x.x" context menu option tells me I have version 10.2.152.27 installed. Opening several YouTube tabs, with videos downloading in each of them, does not trigger a (browser) crash on my system (Ubuntu 10.04, kernel 2.6.35-020635-generic). You might have been kind enough to tell us which browser you were using, and whether all browsers on your system crashed, or only some. Also, rather obviously, your distro (I don't say OS because, after all, this is LINUX Journal) might have something to do with it, and you've omitted that info as well. Congratulations on a piece that does more to confuse than enlighten!

Compatibility problem

Cedric Rencontre's picture

Hello, good post, thank's ;) I have some problem with Flash 10.2 ( sometimes my navigotor freeze... Some news for this problem ? Fix bug soon ? Thank's - Cedric

Link broken: "At time of

Anonymous's picture

Link broken:

"At time of writing, the Adobe forum is full of reports of the crash"

link

Michael Reed's picture

Fixed, thanks.

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

Disable hardware acceleration

Alink Elgar's picture

I had crashes with youtube.
My fix: disable hardware acceleration.
How-to: right-click on a flash app (not youtube, but any flash game will do and will work globally), then Settings -> Display.
I don't notice any performance drop. I suppose it could use more CPU, but I didn't check. I also read somewhere that it was only used for video. Anyway, I wait to find a laggy flash to test (easy to toggle)

Using Opera here i simply

Anonymous's picture

Using Opera here i simply told opera not to load the player until i requested it to load. check the tools/preferences/advanced/content/ and check the enable plugins on demand.

:)

thanks for the article. i had

vector's picture

thanks for the article. i had a lot of problems with 10.2 version

Block the flash

Razide's picture

The workaround is easy. You have to install the FlashBlock extension, and the world will become a better place :-)

YES

Hilsz's picture

I am angry at Google compelling Flash 10.2 update.
I'll stick to 10.1 until compatibility, performance issues are solved.
But is there a solution when competing dangerous in hardware acceleration ?

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