This created a big problem since many websites feature flash content. So if your browser lacked the required flash support then browsing such sites is either impossible or very restricted.
For a while the solution was to use a 32-bit web browser and the 32-bit flash plugin on your 64-bit Linux distribution.
However then came nspluginwrapper, a web browser plugin that allows the use of 32-bit plugins (particularly flash player) on 64-bit web browsers.
To this date it is still used, for example by OpenSUSE x64 11.2 and Ubuntu 9.10.
Here is a screenshot showing the process information when I visited a flash enabled website on OpenSUSE 11.2 x64.
KDE System Monitor
npviewer is part of the nsplugin package and is handling the flash content.
Also open up Firefox and type as the address, about-plugins.
In the past the combination of the 32-bit flash player plugin and nsplugin with a 64-bit browser such as FireFox has been a bit buggy. I remember having many issues on flash enabled web sites specifically with control elements.
Even to this date some users are experiencing problems with this setup.
The good news is Adobe have released a 64-bit Flash Player plugin for Linux which has been around for quite a while, since 2008. It is currently a pre-release version but works extremely well in my experience.
All the problems I have experienced in the past or to date with the 32-bit Flash in combination with nsplugin have always been resolved when switching to the 64-bit flash player.
See, Linux is ahead of Windows, as of yet there still isn't a 64-bit Flash player for Windows!
Installing Flash Player 10 64-bit on OpenSUSE 11.2 x64
Unfortunately OpenSUSE automatically sets up Flash support and nspluginwrapper when you update your system for the first time.
So before installing the 64-bit Flash player I remove the 32-bit version and nsplugin wrapper.
You can leave nspluginwrapper installed but I have nothing else that requires it.
In a terminal type the following,
su -c 'zypper remove nspluginwrapper flash-player pullin-flash-player'
*pullin-flash-player is responsible for triggering the online update / installation of flash player on OpenSUSE, hence it is a good idea to remove it.
Now we have to download the 64-bit Flash player plugin. You will find it at the below URL,
The next part assumes that by default all downloads are saved to the Download folder in /home/yourusername/Download
This is default behavior in OpenSUSE 11.2 when using Firefox.
Open a terminal and type,
tar -xf ~/Download/libflashplayer-10.0.45.2.linux-x86_64.so.tar.gz
su -c 'mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib64/browser-plugins'
That's it, done.
Now open up Firefox, Go to a flash website and enjoy.
If you view the process information when viewing flash content you should no longer see npviewer.
And if you type about:plugins, notice the difference.
You can also use the 64-bit Flash player plugin on other distributions but installation will differ.