How To: Partially workaround Adobe Flash plugin issues on Linux

Update: Update/fix at bottom of post…

Flash on Linux has always been a mess, especially on 64-bit, so when I upgraded my flash plugin the other day to the latest 11.2 beta I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when it broke. This time, watching videos with people in them had the people looking like they were from Avatar – all the skin was blue, and in general the colours were well off. For example:

Flash Red/Pink Colour Issue
Flash being, well, Flash...

To fix this up, you need to twiddle with the flash settings at /etc/adobe/mms.cfg, or if you wanted to, do the twiddling through the Flash-Aid plugin like below (in my final working config I actually use the top option of GPU validation as enabled and disable VDPAU):

Flash Plugin Acceleration Options
Flash Plugin Acceleration Options

Once that’s done, restart your browser and hey-presto – correct colours in Youtube:

Flash Colours Restored
Flash Colours Restored

You may have to turn on or off some combination for it to work with your particular machine in a trial & error style, because what might work in YouTube might crash when using other flash video sites (vimeo, gametrailers etc). After some playing around, I’ve decided to live with the bad youtube colours and use the following settings in the /etc/adobe/mms.cfg config file:

And as I’m a curious lad, I thought I’d make a table of what works and what doesn’t (on my setup – LMDE w/ NVidia 290 drivers):

Firefox 5.0
Settings YouTube Vimeo GameTrailers
OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1
Works Crashes plugin Crashes plugin
OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0
Bad Colours Works Works
OverrideGPUValidation=0
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1
Works Crashes browser Crashes browser
OverrideGPUValidation=0
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0
Bad Colours Works Works


Chrome 16.0.912.63
Settings YouTube Vimeo GameTrailers
OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1
Crashes plugin Crashes plugin Crashes plugin
OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0
Bad Colours Works Works
OverrideGPUValidation=0
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1
Crashes tab Crashes tab Crashes tab
OverrideGPUValidation=0
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0
Bad colours Works Works

Looks like there’s no clear winner that works for everything… Oh wells, there’s a good write-up with alternate solutions and things over on WebUpd8 here – even though they talk about flash 10.2 on Ubuntu, this is the first time I’ve had this issue and it’s on LMDE (Debian based) with the flash 11.2 beta and the same fixes work here. I guess if you’re that bothered, you could always downgrade to some previous flashplugin (like something from the 10.x series) and see how that holds out.

But on the upside, it’s kinda funny watching things in Avatar mode =P

Avatar Flash

Update: You can fix the bad colours in Flash 11.2.202.221 by setting the following options in /etc/adobe/mms.cfg:

With NVidia 295.20 drivers (although I’m not sure if that’s part of the problem) Flash video plays fine without any colour issues. Hurrah! =D

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