Ubuntu Flash HD Playback

Flash HD in Ubuntu Maverick

Flash HD support is just becoming available in Ubuntu. This allows the decoding of the video to be offloaded onto the hardware, meaning even the least powerful machines can play full screen HD streamed from the web without a problem. For this to work you need an nVidia VDPAU compatible graphics chip.


The latest proprietary Adobe flash driver (10.2) is now available in the Ubuntu repositories. You need this and the VDPAU library installed:

apt-get install flashplugin-installer libvdpau1


Acceleration is currently classed as experimental and is not enabled by default. To enable it, simply run the following:

mkdir -p /etc/adobe
echo "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg


Currently, the latest Flash plugin can only be used in Firefox. Google Chrome uses its own library which is an older version. So, Restart Firefox and check that the latest plugin is being used under about:config

Also note that only Flash videos which have been converted to use "Stage Video" will work, but that includes most of the HD content on YouTube.

So, pop over to YouTube, select a HD video and be amazed! To check it's working, right click a video while its playing and look at "Show Video Info". It should say "accelerated rendering".


Thanks to Steve Weston for his help putting these instructions together :-)

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