It makes almost no sense nowadays to be using a 32 bit operating system, however, there are still many problems with using a 64 bit version of firefox, like the one shipped with 64-bit editions of Ubuntu. The main problems are that a few addons don’t support the 64 bit version, and flash 9 is very unstable. It was not impossible to find information on the internet explaining how to fix the issues with Flash and Google Gears, without messing up anything else.
The solution that I found to unstable flash in 64-bit Ubuntu was to use the new version of flash, 10. Flash 10 is still not in the repositories, and probably will not be until the next release of ubuntu (curse you feature freeze!), but some people on the ubuntu forums have posted how to get Flash 10 installed in firefox, it is really quite easy using their script. If you don’t want to follow my interpretation of the instructions, you can read the topic for yourself at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=954100
Go to System > Administration > Software Sources and then to the Third Party Software tab. click Add and add the line:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/psyke83/ubuntu intrepid main
This repository has flash 10, and a new version of pulseaudio as well, so that will get upgraded along with everything else.
Hit “Close” let it refresh, then close again. make sure you DO NOT do software upgrade right now, it will break things.
if you have not already, install the getlibs package, which is extremely useful for installing 32-bit software in 64-bit ubuntu. (install it by clicking that link and downloading the package on that page, then clicking on the downloaded package and installing it. )
then make a new file anywhere, and as it’s contents paste in the following:
# Script created by
# Romeo-Adrian Cioaba firstname.lastname@example.org
# Super minor updates by jason.melton[at]gmail[dot]com
# Another minor update by tal.liron[at]gmail[dot]com
# Released under GPL
echo "Stopping any Firefox that might be running"
sudo killall -9 firefox
echo "Removing any other flash plugin previously installed:"
sudo apt-get remove -y --purge flashplugin-nonfree gnash gnash-common mozilla-plugin-gnash swfdec-mozilla libflashsupport nspluginwrapper
sudo rm -f /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/*flash*
sudo rm -f ~/.mozilla/plugins/*flash*
sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/*flash*
sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/*flash*
sudo rm -rfd /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper
echo "Installing ia32-libs and nspluginwrapper"
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs nspluginwrapper
echo "Getting libs"
sudo getlibs -p libcurl3
sudo getlibs -p libnss3-1d
sudo getlibs -p libnspr4-0d
echo "Installing Flash Player 10"
tar zxvf install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz
sudo cp install_flash_player_10_linux/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
rm -rf ~/install_flash_player_10_linux/
sudo nspluginwrapper -i /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so
echo "Linking the libraries so Firefox can find it."
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/plugins/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/
echo "Done :-)"
I am really sorry to do this, but you will now have to manually replace all of the open and close quotation marks in that block of code with regular quotation marks. If you use gedit to paste all that information in, then you can use “find and replace”, paste a curved open quote into the find box, then replace all with a regular quote that you type, then do the same for the close quotation.
(Note: I just found a wordpress plugin that will let me disable smartquotes on certain posts, I will be installing that ASAP)
after replacing all the quotes, save and close the file. right-click on it and go to properties, then permissions, and check the “enable executing this file as a program” box. Then open a terminal, and you can either type the path of the file into the terminal and execute it, or just drag the file into the terminal, go back to the terminal and hit enter.
It should ask you for your admin password, then ask you to press “y” a few times, and then if you get “Done :-)” displayed in the terminal, everything should be good. Your Firefox now has Flash 10 installed!!!
Google Gears in 64-bit Firefox!
According to the official Google Gears FAQ, there are two ways to install gears in a 64-bit edition of firefox. The first one is using “nspluginwrapper” (which makes little to no sense because gears is an addon, not a plugin and as such cannot be wrapped), and the second option is to use a patch documented on the google groups. The problem with the patch is that most people don’t know how to patch and build source. However, some nice person has patched version 0.4.9.0 (which is a recent version) and posted the compiled addons on their website. All you have to do is go to http://www-personal.umich.edu/~swolchok/gears/ and download the most recent file anywhere, then in firefox go to File > Open File and select the .xpi file. Firefox will then install the addon and the only issue will be that every once in awhile you get an error message saying that firefox cannot update the extension because your browser is 64-bit. Just ignore it and check that website to see if a new version has been posted, it does not interfere with any of the other extensions from being updated. This guide was taken from HERE.
If you still want to patch and build the latest svn yourself, the patch is located at http://groups.google.com/group/gears-users/browse_thread/thread/4584842dd14a4882 and the SVN is located at http://code.google.com/p/gears/source/checkout
that is all.