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22 February 2012, 10:16

Chrome only future for Flash on Linux

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Flash into Chrome art

Adobe has announced that in future, the Flash Player for Linux will only be available through Google as part of the Google Chrome browser and not as a standalone download. The shipped plugin will also only support Chrome's plugin API. The changes will take effect after the release of Flash Player 11.2 later this year.

In a blog posting, Adobe said it had been working with Google on developing a replacement for the Netscape plug-in API that Flash Player currently uses, called PPAPI or Pepper. Pepper is designed to be a single modern API for plugins within the browser with an effective abstraction layer hiding the different types of browser and API.

Adobe has worked with Google on this as Flash Player is one of the more complex plug-ins available and the partnership is leading to Google providing a "Pepper" API-based Flash Player with Google Chrome on all x86 32- and 64-bit platforms, including Linux, later this year. Google already embeds its own Flash Player in the Chrome browser and works closely with Adobe to ensure it receives security updates for Chrome's Flash at the same time.

Adobe has therefore also announced that after the release of Flash Player 11.2, the Flash Player browser plug-in for Linux will only be available with the "Pepper" API and only as part of the Google Chrome distribution. It will discontinue the availability of direct downloads of the Flash Player for Linux, but says it will continue to provide security updates for the non-Pepper versions of Flash Player 11.2 for Linux for five years after its release. The move only affects Linux platforms; Adobe will continue to support non-"Pepper" plugin APIs on all other platforms.

It would appear that this change would freeze Mozilla Firefox's Flash support on Linux at Flash Player 11.2. Mozilla has previously said it is "not interested in or working on Pepper at this time".


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