Tag Archives: macromedia

Fixing Flash in Fedora Core 5

I upgraded two computers at work to Fedora Core 5. One was a network upgrade that went without a hitch.* The other was trashed so badly I had to do a fresh install.

I’ve run into a couple of gotchas, among them the fact that text is missing in Flash animations. I messed with my font settings, checked SELinux logs, tried switching from the binary installer to the RPM package [macromedia.mplug.org], to no avail. I tracked down a Fedora mailing list post that pointed to a mozilla bug that had been languishing for a few months, then added what I knew—which was that it affected Flash regardless of the browser.

On Sunday, commenter Dawid Gajownik tracked down the problem: Flash hard-codes the paths where it looks for fonts, instead of letting the X server tell it where to look. Fedora Core 5 includes a new X server, which no longer puts things in /usr/X11R6. Apparently symlinking the old font paths to the new ones works around the problem:

[root@X ~]# mkdir -p /usr/X11R6/lib/X11
[root@X ~]# cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11
[root@X X11]# ln -s ../../../../etc/X11/fs
[root@X X11]# ln -s ../../../share/X11/fonts

I tried it with absolute links (to /etc/X11/fs and /usr/share/X11/fonts) instead of relative, and it worked fine.

Also, if SELinux is in enforcing mode, you need to allow text relocations on the Flash library. More info on that in Dawid’s bugzilla comment.

So this should take care of Flash until Macrodobe releases an updated version. They’re apparently heading straight for 8.5 on Linux, which is why they haven’t released Flash 8.0 yet.

*Almost. It turns out the repodata on disc 1 isn’t enough for a network or hard disk installation. I copied all the discs onto an internal web server, then had to grab the repodata folder from a mirror. Would’ve been fine with the CDs except for the annoying problem that the CD drive on that machine doesn’t work. Once I had that, though, the upgrade went smoothly.