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There are currently no 64-bit Sun Java or Macromedia Flash browser plugins available. If you want to use these plugins in FC4 x86_64, you need a 32-bit browser in which to install them. The instructions provided here include steps to install 32-bit Firefox and the Sun Java and Macromedia Flash plugins. This will enable you to run Flash and Java content within your Firefox browser. If you use another browser, the strategy is the same, although the plugin directory for your browser will be in a different location than described here.

There are other ways to go about getting 32-bit Firefox up and running, including installing it in your home directory after fetching the Firefox binary (or source) directly from Mozilla. The advantage to that approach is you don’t have to be root to install it, and it doesn’t require the removal of 64-bit Firefox. I personally have no pressing need for 64-bit Firefox, so replacing it with 32-bit Firefox isn’t an issue for me.

These instructions use yum to download and install prepackaged Fedora RPMs relating to Firefox, followed by downloading and installing Sun Java and Macromedia Flash plugins.

Edit 1: Incorporated fedorajim’s suggestion to use the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins directory. Thanks.

Edit 2: Updated for JRE1.5.0_06.

Edit 3: Added a caution to avoid the sun java rpm.

Edit 4: Added instructions to deal with yum dependency errors. Thanks to wpyung.

First, open a terminal become root.

$ su –

Remove the x86_64 version of Firefox.

# yum remove firefox

Next, add a repo for the i386 base packages.

# gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/base-i386.repo

Edit the file to contain this.

[base-i386] name=base-i386 baseurl= gpgcheck=1 enabled=0

Now add a repo for the i386 updates packages.

# gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/updates-i386.repo

Edit it to contain this.

[updates-i386] name=updates-i386 baseurl= gpgcheck=1 enabled=0

NOTE: The only 32-bit packages you want installed on your 64-bit system are those you intentionally install yourself, or those that are part of the 64-bit package releases — some of the 64-bit packages have 32-bit components. Setting enabled=0 in the repo files you just created, along with explicitly using the –enablerepo option below, ensures that no unintended 32-bit packages get installed or updated.

Now get firefox.i386 and its dependencies.

NOTE: If you get dependency errors when you execute this step, it’s likely, through no fault of your own, that you’ve introduced packages that conflict with packages needed by the base version of firefox.i386. The errors are harmless, but yum will refuse to install the base version of Firefox. If you encounter dependency errors, skip two steps down to where you see the note for that condition.

# yum –enablerepo=base-i386 install firefox.i386

What you just did is install the version of Firefox that was released with the base FC4 distribution. That version of Firefox has been superseded, and you now need to get the latest version of 32-bit Firefox and its dependencies to make sure your system stays secure. Execute the following.

# yum –enablerepo=updates-i386 update firefox.i386


# yum update # yum –enablerepo=updates.i386 install firefox.i386

32-bit firefox is now installed.

Start firefox and get jre-1_5_0_06-linux-i586.bin from Sun’s java site . CAUTION: Don’t get the i586-rpm.bin file — do get the i586.bin file. Navigate to the directory that contains your downloaded java bin. Make a directory /opt/java and copy the java bin there. Install it and link the plugin. Here are the steps.


# # mkdir /opt/java # cp jre-1_5_0_06-linux-i586.bin /opt/java # cd /opt/java # sh ./jre-1_5_0_06-linux-i586.bin # cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins # ln -s /opt/java/jre1.5.0_06/plugin/i386/ns7/ .

Kill Firefox and restart it. Enter “about:plugins” in the Firefox address bar and you should see the java plugins.

Now download the Macromedia Flash player from Macromedia’s download site . Navigate to the directory that contains your downloaded Flash player file. Make a directory /opt/flash and copy the gzipped tarfile there. Uncompress the file and copy the flash plugin files to the plugin directory. Here are the steps.

# # mkdir /opt/flash # cp install_flash_player_7_linux.tar.gz /opt/flash # cd /opt/flash # tar xzvf install_flash_player_7_linux.tar.gz # cd install_flash_player_7_linux # cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins # cp flashplayer.xpt /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins

Kill Firefox and restart it. Enter “about:plugins” in the Firefox address bar and you should see the Java and Flash plugins.

Be on the lookout for Firefox updates. When one is released, or periodically if you’re not watching for an update, perform the following to update Firefox.

# yum –enablerepo=updates-i386 update firefox.i386

Kill Firefox and restart it. Enter “about:plugins” in the Firefox address bar and you should see the Java and Flash plugins.

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