In addition to a binary installer, Adobe AIR 2 is also available as .rpm and .deb installer packages on Linux.
AIR 2’s .rpm and .deb installer packages have been added to Adobe’s Yum repository and Canonical’s Lucid Partner repository, respectively.
Please visit our tech note on adobe.com for easy instructions to add Adobe’s Yum repository to your system, and effortlessly install and update Adobe AIR on RPM-based Linux distributions.
To do the same for an Ubuntu (10.4) system, please follow these steps:
Using the Command Line
1. As root, edit /etc/apt/sources.list (sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list) and add/uncomment the following lines:
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ lucid partner
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ lucid partner
2. Update the system’s package database with the following command:
sudo apt-get update
3. Install the adobeair with the following command:
sudo apt-get install adobeair
The same command can also be used to install updates to Adobe AIR in the future.
Using the Synaptic Package Manager UI
1. Launch System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager
2. Open Settings > Repositories
3. Under “Other Software”, check/add the following 2 lines:
http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ lucid partner (Source Code)
http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ lucid partner
4. Click Close. A dialog pops up, mentioning that repositories have changed. Close it.
5. Click Reload.
6. Search for the package “adobeair”. Mark it for installation and click Apply.
Adobe AIR 1.5.3 is now available for download. This release fixes some critical bugs. For a complete list of changes and bug fixes, please see the release notes.
With this release, application authors now need to specify a publisherID in the application descriptor for updating applications. (For new 1.5.3 applications, this is not required.) This release also fixes the AIR application installer crash on Linux systems using AMD Phenom processors. Also, AIR will now now honor the system’s default browser on Linux.
As always, please feel free to report a bug/feature request, or to discuss any issues you might be having.
Flex Builder Linux is a plugin-only version of the Flex Builder that you can use to build Flex applications on Linux. An updated version of the plugin is now available for download on Adobe Labs.
Do note that you need to uninstall any previous installation of Flex Builder Linux – you can run the shell script ~/Adobe_Flex_Builder_Linux/Uninstall\ Adobe_Flex_Builder_Linux/Uninstall_Adobe_Flex_Builder_Linux to perform the uninstallation.
To install the update, download flexbuilder_linux_install_a5_112409.bin, make it executable:
chmod +x flexbuilder_linux_install_a5_112409.bin
and execute it:
You need eclipse 3.3.x and Sun JRE 1.5.x (or newer). To launch Flex Builder Linux, you can run the script ~/Adobe_Flex_Builder_Linux/Adobe_Flex_builder.sh. More details are available in the release notes.
This plugin has an updated expiration date and includes AIR 1.5.2.
We’ve been working on new features for the next version of AIR (such as 64-bit binaries and .deb/.rpm installers for AIR), as well as on fixing bugs reported by users (reported via the Adobe Wish Form, via blog posts and on Twitter).
To iron out as many issues as possible before coming out with a public release, we’d like to invite users to help test pre-release builds. If you’re interested and comfortable working with pre-release software, please send an email to the AIR Linux program manager at rahul – dot – bansal – at – adobe – dot – com with answers to the following questions:
1. Will you be able to submit bug reports on issues that you find back to our development team?
2. How many hours a week can you spend testing on Linux?
3. What is the primary distribution of Linux that you’re using? If you are using more than one distribution, please list.
4. Will you be developing applications on your Linux machine (as opposed to writing on Windows and testing the applications on Linux)?
5. What other operating system are you using, if any (Mac, Windows)? Can you compare the behavior of AIR for Linux with AIR for Windows and AIR for Mac OS?
6. Are you working on an AIR application today? If so, please describe.
Please include your name, email address and your company’s name.
Adobe Reader 9.1 for Linux and Solaris x86 has been released today. Solaris x86 support was one of the most requested feature by users. As per the Reader team’s announcement, this release includes the following major features:
– Support for Tabbed Viewing (preview)
– Super fast launch, and better performance than previous releases
– Integration with Acrobat.com
– IPv6 support
– Enhanced support for PDF portfolios (preview)
The complete list is available here.
Adobe Reader 9.1 is now available for download and works on OpenSolaris, Solaris 10 and most modern Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 8.04, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva 2009, SLED 10, Mint Linux 6 and Fedora 10.
A number of users have tweeted, blogged and sent us emails – “It’s understandable for AIR itself to need root access during its installation (since it installs to /opt), but why do AIR applications need root access for installation, especially when I’m installing the application to a folder owned by me?”
The answer lies in the fact that AIR applications are similar to regular native applications – they install as native rpm/deb packages. This requires access to the rpm/deb system database (e.g. rpm database lock). And this is required even if the installation folder is chosen to be one that is owned by the current non-root user. In addition, with root privileges, it’s also possible to install applications to a location that is accessible to other users on the system.
However, do note that when they are launched, AIR applications run with the privileges of the user launching the application and not root. The primary executables of AIR applications (under the bin/ folder in the installation path) do not have the setuid bit set. You should not be worried about AIR applications running with root privileges, based on the fact that their installation required superuser access – the two are completely independent.
AIR applications are not web applications running outside the browser, but are full-fledged desktop applications with their own windows and access to the filesystem, clipboard and other system resources.
Being desktop applications, they should also integrate well with the system’s package manager (instead of being simply extracted to a directory). On Windows, this corresponds to “Add/Remove Programs”. On Linux, this means the likes of Synaptic or Pirut. This makes it easy for users – since they use the system’s package manager to uninstall other applications, it should be no different for AIR applications. AIR also depends on the package manager for version management of applications (and of the runtime itself) and to ensure that required dependencies are fulfilled.
Since rpm and deb are the most popular package formats, we chose to focus on them. They have been widely adopted, are used in several popular Linux distributions and are not specific to a distro. Who knows which formats will be popular by the time the next version of AIR is released!
Though AIR’s installer is available as a self-extracting executable and AIR applications are distributed as .air files, both of these get installed on the system as native rpm/deb packages. We’re considering alternative distribution formats – If you have an idea or suggestion, please let us know.
The Developer Release Notes for AIR 1.5.1 mention the following:
For client browsers to recognize an AIR application when being downloaded, the web server hosting the AIR application needs to map the application/vnd.adobe.air-applicationinstaller-package+zip MIME content type to the “.air” extension. For example, for an Apache web server, add the following to the AddType section:
AddType application/vnd.adobe.air-application-installer-package+zip .air
You can do this in the web server configuration (e.g. httpd.conf or .htaccess for Apache).
Some webservers have an incorrect default value of the MIME type for AIR applications: e.g. Some versions of Apache serve AIR applications with the following MIME type: application/vnd.adobe.apollo-install-package. This MIME type was prevalent when AIR was still in its Beta phase. Unless the MIME type is corrected on servers, there would be a mismatch when a user downloads an AIR application and tries to open it right away.
The following screenshots (Ubuntu Linux 8.10, Firefox 3.0, AIR 1.5.1 installed) highlight the problem encountered by users if the MIME type is not correctly set on the web server.
When clicking on a .air file in the browser, the following dialog is presented. Note the absence of AIR’s icon next to the file’s name (AIRDashboard.air)
The download list shows the download as failed:
and the application installation does not begin:
If the web server is configured with the correct MIME type, the same sequence is as follows:
If you administer a web server, please ensure that the correct MIME type has been added for .air files. If you are a user and encounter the problem highlighted above, do let your web server administrator know.
We’ve been scouting blog posts, tweets and news articles and it seems that some users are facing problems trying to install AIR apps with the 1.5 Linux release.
If you had installed an AIR app with the Beta release of AIR, there’s some cleanup required before you can use the app with AIR 1.5.
We’ve put up a FAQ about installation issues on the AIR team blog – If you’re unable to use your favorite application with AIR 1.5, do have a look. After the requisite cleanup, TweetDeck 0.20, twhirl 0.8.7 etc. work great!