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Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:25 pm
by cillium
I am considering building a new RPi 4 device with DietPi for a relative. Their needs are limited to web browsing, media playback and basic document viewing (PDF). However, the relative does need flash support.

I have only used DietPi as a server, so I don't have experience with desktops.

If I install XFCE, is it possible to get flash running on Chromium (or Firefox?).

The current setup uses Ubunutu 16.04 on an older x86 device. I was not able to get pepper flash working with Firefox, but I was able to get it running on Chrome.

From what I understand, ARM linux doesn't have an official chrome build and it seems that the same is true for pepper flash.

Is there any way to get flash working on browser with a DietPi desktop environment (on ARM)?

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:51 pm
by MichaIng
On RPi, there is a custom Chromium build (with RPi hardware acceleration support) shipped and installed by DietPi as well. Since I anyway always block flash, I have no idea if it supports it OOTB, but AFAIK at least by default modern browsers block it and you at least need to enable in settings somewhere. Really, if there is any chance to avoid flash, do it ;).

However this means that you can follow any guide to enable flash on RPi/Raspbian and that will work on DietPi as well. If you find a way, please let us know, so I can add it to our online docs :).

About FF, AFAIK this is the default Raspbian Buster package, so any guide about enabling flash for FF on Debian Buster or Raspbian Buster should work. Hardware acceleration is another question, not sure if flash uses RPi GPU drivers/libraries by default :?.

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:04 pm
by cillium
Unfortunately the need for flash is outside of my control. I personally don't use it, but the relative does.

On Ubunutu x86 I was not able to get the service running using the "base" version of flash for linux on FF. Only Pepper flash on Chrome worked.

So I think the only option is to try and get Chromium + Pepper flashing working on ARM.

From my quick research it seem that is possible to get it running, but it's rather involved.

I will report back once I get around to building the new computer (in 3 weeks).


Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:05 am
by cillium
It looks like the official Raspbian supports flash: ... _notes.txt

"Version of Flash player added"

Does this mean installing Chromium on one of the desktop option for DietPi (e.g. XFCE) would come with flash support?

It will still be a week or two before I can begin working on this project. But the Raspbian notes suggest that it is possible run flash in Chromium on ARM.

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:38 pm
by MichaIng
Jep this should work then, especially since RPi comes with good GPU firmware. Note that on RPi4, the vc4-fkms-3d driver is required, since the legacy non-GL driver does not work there. On all RPis it should work OOTB with Xserver/desktop installed, however could be tested if either vc4-kms of vc4-fkms enhances acceleration. Also, in case some videos do not play well (are not accelerated, it might be required to enable RPi camera support. This enables the extended device tree, which ships some additional video codecs.

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:56 am
by cillium
Thanks for the heads up. I will test out RPi camera support to see how it impacts the overall experience. Streaming video (youtube) as well as GPU-accelerated local video file playback (regular HD content only tho) is part of the use case for this computer.

It looks like I can install camera support via dietpi-config.

How would I go about installing vc4-fkms-3d? Or test out vc4-kms vs. vc4-fkms? The flash app is relatively resource heavy, so I would probably want all the performance I can get.

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:29 pm
by cillium
For others trying to run Flash on ARM/DietPi.

The whole process was actually rather simple. I had to run these two commands (after installing a DE):

Code: Select all

apt-get install chromium-browser 
apt-get install rpi-chromium-mods

NOTE: I wasn't able to launch chromium in it's default state. I had to launch it via command line with sandbox off:

Code: Select all

chromium-browser --no-sandbox
I was able to get flash to work (although I did get a warning that it needed to be updated) with my particular use case. However my RPi 4 with 2GB ram was too weak to handle the application in question.

Re: Flash on ARM Chromium (or FF?)

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:18 am
by MichaIng
Then you can install chromium via dietpi-software as well, which includes the no-sandbox option for use as root user by default.

If RPi4 is too weak, then most probably GPU acceleration is missing. This is something we should ask in forum then.