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Fixing Flash (or “Don't know what you got til it's gone”)

For reasons that are still unclear to me, my install of Flash stopped working sometime last week. (On all the browsers that I run—mostly Firefox 2.0, sometimes Safari, and, lately, every once in a while the optimized-for-Intel Firefox build Bon Echo.) So I ran for a day or two with no Flash and marveled at the number of sites that use it... dang, did I somehow drift off to sleep since 2001? Or is it just that I've had so little trouble with the plugin up until now. It's usually preinstalled and configured on every browser I've ever used, with a nice little in-application upgrade path. So, for most of the past 5 years or so, I've never really thought much about Flash: it's just there and it works.

But when it doesn't work, the Web is a crappy thing. No YouTube is the biggest hit, followed by the annoying and constant Firefox alerts for all the sites that use Flash advertising. But it should be no problem, right? Just reinstall Flash and the problem should correct itself. Ah, were it that easy.

Running the Flash 9 installer got me aaaallll the way through the install, right up to (seemingly) the last step—Installing Flashplayer.xpt—before crapping out with a succession of error messages. 1008:5,-5000 Access denied error; and You do not have enough access privileges for this installation. I Googled around a bit for a diagnosis, and got a couple different tactics to try (none of which worked, so I won't link them up here.) As you'd expect, most of them involved chmod-ing, chroot-ing and chown-ing the ch-ell out of some dark, dank directories deep inside the 'Resources' folder of this-or-that browser.

So, here's my hint to the Internet. What finally worked for me was this: I downloaded the 'run any binary as root' application Pseudo and dropped the Flash installer on that. Bingo. That did the trick.



This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 19, 2007 1:32 PM.

The previous post in this blog was A Seasonal Sampling of Pollytude.

The next post in this blog is Bowing Out of IA Summit.

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