FreeBSD 6.1 Flash and Java HOWTO

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

I found this old post somewhere on my computer. I don’t run FreeBSD 6.1 at the moment, but maybe there is something in here that FreeBSD users may find useful. It may be a bit outdated though.

First we install java. What you need to do, is go to /usr/ports/java/diablo-jre15.
There you execute make. The output will tell you to first download the diablo-jre binary from the FreeBSD foundation, and put it in /usr/ports/distfiles, because you need to accept a license agreement before you are allowed to download this java jre.
After following the instructions, you type make again and this time it will unpack the tarbal. Do not worry if you have a slow system! There will be no compiling, as it is a pre-compiled binary. Then if all goes well you execute make install. And that’s all there is to it. It even installs the javaplugin for your browsers!

Which brings me to Flash. There are two options here: you can try GNU/Linux binaries of flash 6 and flash 7 that need linuxwrapper to work, or you could try the native binary of “gnash”, which is a Gnu project to develop a GPL’d open source Flash player. I have tried gnash 0.7.1 and indeed it works, in that it won’t crash your browser, but that’s about all. Well, I suppose that’s why it’s still called an “alpha” version after all. So I quickly moved on.

Next I tried linux-flashplugin7 in /usr/ports/www, but this instantly crashed firefox as soon as I set foot on a Flash site.

So my last chance was Flash 6. And that, finally, worked. But how long will flash 6 be supported on websites? Not very long I’m afraid. There are allready many flash sites that require Flash 8, and Flash 9 is already available. So needless to say, flash support in FreeBSD needs work.