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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 15 Dec 2011

The flashplugin-nonfree package won't update itself in Debian Squeeze -- here's how to do it

I've never seen this kind of thing before: I noticed that the Flash plugin that Debian installs from the flashplugin-nonfree package hasn't updated in quite some time. I've been stuck at Adobe Flash 10.2 for a long while.

I wouldn't have noticed except that Google Chrome is complaining about out-of-date Flash (and Java, too -- but that's too complicated in my case to take care of so quickly).

(Note: This could have something to do with the vagaries of 64-bit Linux support for the Flash player from Adobe. For all I know, this isn't a problem in 32-bit Debian Squeeze. All I know is that I run 64-bit and it's a problem for me.)

I checked Debian's package repository, and my flashplugin-nonfree is indeed up to date. But my actual Flash binary from Adobe is not.

A minute or so in Google led me to this extremely helpful exchange from the Debian User Forums.

It turns out that updating your Flash Player is easy. Open a terminal and either su to root, or use sudo (my preferred method for just about anything rootly):

$ sudo update-flashplugin-nonfree --install

or (with su to root):

# update-flashplugin-nonfree --install

Your system will go to Adobe, download a new Flash plugin for Linux, then install it on your system. That's it!