Adobe brings 64-bit Flash to Linux

Adobe first experimented porting its products to Linux back in November of 2004. Since acquiring Macromedia in mid 2005, Adobe has also been committed to porting Macromedia's assets, such as Flash, to Linux. The most recent milestone in this process was the synchronization of releases between Windows and Linux with Flash Player 10.

Though equality had been established between the operating systems, this release did not calm users. Still, a common complaint amongst users of all operating systems was: Where is our 64-bit version? Users of 64-bit Linux distributions were required to use the NS Plugin Wrapper or install a 32-bit browser in order to see Flash. Other operating systems had to use a 32-bit browser as well but these come pre-installed.

Today, Adobe answered this problem with an alpha version of their 64-bit Adobe Flash Player 10 for Linux operating systems released on their Adobe Labs website.

Release notes and a FAQ for the new driver were also made available. I mention the FAQ as it answers one question that comes immediately to mind: Why aren't the Windows and Mac 64-bit alpha versions available on Adobe Labs?

Release of this alpha version of 64-bit Flash Player on Linux is the first step in delivering upon Adobe's commitment to make Flash Player native 64-bit across platforms. We chose Linux as our initial platform in response to numerous requests in our public Flash Player bug and issue management system and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or a comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default. Until this pre-release, use of 32-bit Flash Player on Linux has required the use of a plugin wrapper, which prevents full compatibility with 64-bit browsers. With this prelease, Flash Player 10 is now a full native participant on 64-bit Linux distributions. We are committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player to Windows and Mac in future pre-releases.

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