2011-04-20

Adobe Flash Troubles: 64-Bit or 32-Bit PAE?

I am a big fan of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, though unfortunately I haven't been able to watch full episodes of either show in a while because of college work. I have, however, been able to watch clips here and there on their respective websites, but I cannot do the same thing on Hulu, the awesome website that aggregates segments from different TV shows and supports it through advertising. The reason for that is because I supposedly don't have a valid working version of Adobe Flash, and that is probably because I'm running a 64-bit Linux system on my laptop that has a 64-bit processor. As far as I know, Hulu is the only problematic site, because YouTube, online games, and other sites that obviously use Adobe Flash work fine.
I know that 64-bit operating systems are able to recognize RAM amounts greater than 3 GB, which is important for me because my laptop has 4 GB of RAM, and I'd like to put all of that to good use when necessary. I have also heard, though, that using a 32-bit Linux distribution with a PAE modification in the kernel (or something like that) allows the OS to recognize and use up to 4 GB of RAM, up from 3 GB previously. Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" is supported for another 2 years from now, so I'd like to continue using that until either Linux Mint 13 LTS "M[...]a" comes out or, if that doesn't happen, for the next two years, at which point I will likely switch to a snapshot of Debian-based Linux Mint (or maybe #!, I'm not sure). When that happens, I'll choose either between 64-bit or 32-bit with PAE. My question is, do the benefits of a 64-bit OS outweigh the loss of Hulu viewing, or will switching to 32-bit with PAE be the better option with few side effects otherwise? Please let me know in the comments below. Of course, ideally, in one or two years, I'll actually be able to use a working version of Adobe Flash on a 64-bit Linux distribution.

12 comments:

  1. Fix the problem: Hulu checking your Flash version string. Don't attack issues that aren't the direct cause of your symptoms.

    Spoof the version string.

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  2. Try this: they don't seem to update it timely.. but at least it works (on Hulu as well)!

    http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_square.html

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  3. Did you try the native 64 bit flash? I find it to be a lot more stable and less problematic than the 32 bit version under 64 bit Ubuntu.

    Follow shameless plug for my own article on the subject :)

    http://johnlewis.ie/improving-flash-experience-in-ubuntu-64-bit/

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  4. @Anonymous 1: And how exactly would I do that? I'd love to know.
    @Anonymous 2, John Lewis: I've read about it a lot, but I'm not sure I want to take a chance replacing my otherwise-working 32-bit Adobe Flash. I'm certainly thinking about it, though.
    Thanks for the tips!

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  5. Running 64 bit Ubuntu 10.10. I'm using Chrome as my web browser because it works better than Firefox with Flash. Hulu has no problems.

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  6. @Anonymous: That's an interesting suggestion as well, though I'm not sure exactly how true it'll hold for Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" (based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx"). Thanks for the tip!

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  7. 32bit OS limits your process virtual memory to 2^32 or 4GB of memory. If your laptop has 4GB of RAM, then 64bit OS will not make any difference.

    In any case, I am running a 64bit Ubuntu 11.04 and have firefox and flash versions of 64 bit and I don't have any issues with hulu.

    You can also have firefox run flash in 32bit mode using an intermediary library.

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  8. @Anonymous: So then aside from that, running a 64-bit OS doesn't bring any more advantages to the table? That's good to know. Also, as far as I know, the version of Adobe Flash that I'm using is the 64-bit version packaged by the Linux Mint developers ("mint-flashplugin-x64"); should I be using the upstream Ubuntu-packaged 64-bit Adobe Flash plugin, the Adobe Flash Square plugin from Adobe itself, or something else altogether? Thanks for the tip!

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  9. I'm running Chromium on 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid). I have no problems running Hulu. Also, 64-bit does have some advantages even with less RAM for certain things--compiling code and rendering video, I believe, I are two areas where it is a bit quicker. Unfortunately, the RAM address sizing is bigger so you actually end up with less effective memory.

    (I could be a bit off on some of the technical details.)

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  10. If you're using Firefox, there's an extension to make installing 64-bit flash quick and painless: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flash-aid/

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  11. @Tim, piquant00: Thanks for the tips!

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  12. @piquant00: I actually tried that Mozilla Firefox extension, and it works like a charm! I can now watch Hulu just fine, without any ill effects in any way! Thanks so much for that tip!

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