Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

64-bit Firefox plugins?

26th May 2009

My laptop has both Windows Vista and Ubuntu on there with WUBI being the facilitator of the peaceful coexistence. However, what I either forgot or never realised was that it was the 64-bit variant of Ubuntu 9.04 that has found its way onto the thing. For the most part, it works well but there is one catch that I recently encountered: not every Firefox plugin or add-on is 64-bit compatible. Google Gears is one such example but other very useful and pervasive helpers have the same affliction. RealPlayer is one and Adobe’s Flash is another. Apparently, you can still download the 32-bit release versions and use nspluginwrapper to get them going. That worked for RealPlayer but seemingly not for Flash; more investigation may be needed on that one. Other remedies like using 32-bit Firefox (if it runs, of course) or alpha versions of what Adobe offers can be tried too. It almost goes without saying that I’d wish that there was more awareness of the 64-bit Linux world but I remain glad to have met this rough edge before taking the plunge with my main system.

Update 2014-01-24: It looks as if this problem has gone away now with the growth in maturity of 64-bit computing. Certainly, it does not rear its head on any 64-bit Linux distro that I have used or even Windows, apart perhaps from ensuring that you are using the right JRE for a browser (32-bit or 64-bit).


  • the old rang says:

    There are several things about the Linux/Ubuntu community that typify why general acceptance is still for Redmond’s offerings.

    Poor install procedures,
    Poor documentation
    negligible belief that there are any 64 bit computers…

    The install procedures for each distribution seem proprietary and conflicting. The ‘universal’ tag and its many options seem to work, kind of, more or less, often inconsistently, at best.

    Documentation is usually written, by someone assuming the reader knows more on the subject than the author… If that was the case, they would not need the poorly written offings of most documentation authors in the Linux arena. The real problem is that for Linux to work, there has to be simple (rarely), well written (hardly) documentation of instruction, not assumption.

    Since almost all computers sold of late are 64 Bit, and more than enough come from AMD… Isn’t it nice to know Linux has just recently graduated to 32 Bit Processors, almost exclusively….?

    What is wrong with using software to run on predominantly sold hardware without having to read the poorly written instructions for the nearly idiotic miasma of often difficult to install software???

    Ubuntu 9.10 is now introducing the ‘software store’ with many of the difficult (and promised by them) software packages missing… Like Real Audio (and Helix is NOT Real Audio, yet) Lotus (only old systems, and yet they have lauded their relationship with IBM on this software)… Adobe’s offings… sorta…

    Yet, they are to be praised for going better than the rest of the Linux community, if falling short.

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