What’s So Difficult? 64-bit Edition

I have been asked to clarify the 64-bit situation in light of the recent Flash Player 9 beta for Linux (which, as some have lamented, should have been labeled as the beta for Linux/i386). So here it is:

The Flash Player 9 beta Players (plugin and standalone) are compiled as Linux i386 ELF files. These binaries are designed to operate natively on i386-class computers.

However, you may have read forums and comments about people running the beta successfully on x86_64 machines (a.k.a. AMD64 or EM64T). Yes, it is possible, though the setup is not as straightforward as with an i386 machine. There are basically two approaches:

  1. Run an i386 kernel and pure i386 system on your x86_64 machine– not a great solution, but it works
  2. Run a limited i386 system inside your x86_64 machine– in this approach, you run a pure 64-bit system but with just enough 32-bit support libraries to enable the i386 Flash Player to run

Some Linux distros make this 32-bit support process more ergonomic than others. I see that my favored distro, Gentoo, has a masked ebuild for the AMD64 architecture.

What about a native 64-bit binary? Tinic summed it up succinctly in his Linux beta post:

What about 64bit? There is no Windows 64bit or OS X 64bit version either right now. As I said before it is not a question of ‘recompiling’ the source code, there is lots of generic non platform specific work which needs to be finished first. We will ship a 64bit version for Windows, OS X Leopard and GNU/Linux. It will happen. When? … When it is ready.

64-bit support is not just a recompile away. And no, this is not due to treating memory pointers and 32-bit integers interchangeably. There are assorted non-portable pieces that need to be upgraded first, notably the JIT compiler in the virtual machine (transforms ActionScript into native x86_64 code) and the garbage collection engine. Tinic outlined these items in this post.

One more item: A number of users have noted that the minimum requirements for the beta Player list 128 MB of video RAM. I have no idea where that number came from but I’m pretty sure it’s overstated. Don’t be afraid to test the beta even if you have significantly less VRAM.

54 Responses to What’s So Difficult? 64-bit Edition

  1. TonyB says:

    I use the second solution on both my x86_64 boxes, and run an entirely i386 firefox on it, Firefox 2.0 beta to be specific.

  2. ArrenLex says:

    I notice that “when it’s ready” is also the official target release date of Duke Nukem Forever. No, really, it is, look it up: http://www.3drealms.com/duke4/So I guess I’ll still be eagerly waiting for Flash AMD64 in a decade or so…

  3. Rummik says:

    Well, I can personally say that the player works great for playing YouTube videos on my 800MHz Optiplex GX110 (yeah, the really old one with the cheap i810 on board graphics card). As for usability, it’s a pretty useless card. But somehow works for this. (I don’t think that graphics acceleration is available in the driver I’m using…although I could easily be wrong)Output from lspci:0000:00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82810E DC-133 CGC [Chipset Graphics Controller] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [VGA])Subsystem: Dell: Unknown device 00b4Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 9Memory at f8000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=64M]Memory at ff000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]Capabilities:Strange…I would have thought it was a 4MB card…Although, I have seen Flash Player 9 work just fine on a windoze pc with a 4MB card… So I would think easily possible on linux.

  4. Eythian says:

    I use the third solution that you’ve missed 🙂 Using nspluginwrapper 0.90.9.3 (0.90.9.1 doesn’t work) and running the plugin in 64-bit firefox. Small stability issues, but nothing that sessionsaver can’t help with.nspluginwrapper acts as a proxy, presenting a 64-bit interface to firefox, and then pretending to be a 32-bit browser to the plugin.

  5. cartman says:

    I am one of the guys asking for amd64 support because Flash is the only thing that keeps me away from building a pur64 system where there are no 32bit libs. Anyway I am happy with a working 32bit Flash9 for now 😉

  6. FT says:

    Hi,I have the 64bit standalone player to work on amd64, and I attempt to watch a youtube video with it. The player tries to access an external website, security settings block that, and I can click on “settings” to change that. Except that settings manager opens a webpage, which in its turn has flash content on it to actually change those settings…and I don’t have a working plugin. Oops.To make a long story into a short question: How do I change the (advanced) security settings for the standalone player without having to go through Adobe’s website (which is a bloody stupid mechanism anyway) to do so? Is this stuff documented somewhere? Thanks!Oh, keep up the good work! 🙂

  7. FT says:

    After some looking, I discovered that to edit global security settings, I need to edit a file called “mms.cfg”, which a strace on the player shows to have to live in /etc/adobe/mms.cfg. I found a guide on Flash Player Security (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_9_security.pdf), and it points me to apparently non existing admin guide for more information on the mms.cfg file (I was hoping for the actual syntax, which would come in handy): http://www.adobe.com/go/fp9_adminMeh.

  8. Mike, I have to disagree here. There are more complex software out there with 64bit support, and not surprisingly most I know are open. And chromatic is also a big part of the enterprise.But, I, with many other AMD64 & EMT64 folks, can adapt and make FP usuable in our platforms as long as you guys at least produce the FP, which you did.And currently, for me at least, that’s all it matters.I appreciate all your efforts.But please stop giving the impression that creating a 64 bit FP is like sending a man to Mars.Again, big thanks for the player!

  9. someone says:

    wWhat is so wrong that you can’t simply compile a 64-bit version? You’re asking people to change a major system component for a mere plug-in.That’s like telling someone to run Photoshop in a Mac OS 9 classic environment and stay on PowerPC machines in order to run a plug-in. It’s f***ing crazy! and if you were in that situation you would be pissed off.64-bit computing is here. Because of Macromedia’s efforts Flash became a de facto standard and Adobe’s reputation depends on providing a realistic solution, not suggesting an ugly backwards-thinking kludge to the users. Take an hour of your time and make x86_64 PPC and PPC_64 builds.These are horrible solutions. I will be donating to the Gnash project. Of coarse you could garantee no threat to your market place by open-sourcing the project. If you really think your competition can’t be threatened look at what Firefox did. Now microsoft is actually fixing the abomination that is internet explorer.Hell, the author of Pixel can support so damn many platforms why can’t you support the same one on different architectures that use the SAME libraries?!

  10. TonyB says:

    People who dont use i386 are becoming second class citzens, now the ones who use x86_64 are lucky enough to have a backwards compatable processor, that can process i386 versions of programs too, its not only flash though, java, for some unknown reason, has no x86_64 mozilla plugin, but a complete x86_64 java runtine. Im not even gonna mention computing on Linux/PPC.

  11. Chris says:

    64bit is a big bluff to sell new CPUs. There is NO advantage to use 64bit CPU+OS an an usual desktop or workstation system.Has anyboy of you crybabys more than 4GB RAM in his System? So why are you using 64Bit systems? Think about it.

  12. Jason says:

    Well Tony what makes you assume we are ‘usual desktop’ users. At my company we currently have 50 workstations with 6gigs of ram in them and thats soon to increase to well over 200 workstations. Not everybody is a simple desktop user, for us 64bit computing means a big increase in speed. We can work around problems like 32bit flash plugins but it would be a lot easier just having a 64bit version.

  13. Why I must put a name in this box? says:

    @Chris: That is untrue, there are more advantages in a 64-bit processor than the 4GB stuff, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64_bit#Pros_and_consAnd 64-bit processor have a huge advantage over 32-bit processor when using integers. Compare 32-bit vs 64-bit with some computing software like Octave or R and see. Even with usual tasks like watching video there is a notable performance increment.@Adobe: OK, porting flash to 64 bit processors is very hard, is not as easy as we must think, blah blah blah. But there are more and more 64 bit computers. Windows Vista will be released with 64-bit versions. You must do the 64-bit flash version someday, and this day is nearer. You are going to wait until everyone uses Windows Vista 64 to start to think in a 64-bit flash? Maybe you’ll get a loooot of angry users and web developers that want it. Maybe some developers will stop using flash because less and less people can watch their pages. Maybe the flash monopoly will end…Doesn’t sound bad. I think it better: don’t make a 64-bit flash ever.

  14. Joshua says:

    Just saying thank you! I am using Ubuntu Edgy Eft RC1 and the flash client is working great so far!

  15. ghostdog says:

    “These are horrible solutions. I will be donating to the Gnash project.”Well I think if your are going to donate, try to make it at least play new flash movies before making it “64bit”… lol

  16. TiCL says:

    It seems the OSS trolls have found a new issue as they can no longer cry about the delay. I think Adobe should ignore these cry babies and work on the bugs that are being reported in the Adobe forums. Especially the ALSA issues (video freezing with stuttering sound).

  17. Luke says:

    Someone: Windows Vista and IE 7 took some time, too. I like to think Duke Nukem Forever will run on Flash 9 for Linux 64. Didn’t I read about the PS3 running on a Linux distro? 😉

  18. Bryce Leo says:

    I belive that my Dell C810’s Rage Mobility M4 is using a massive 4mb of video ram… and I’m not having any issues. Yes… yes i’d say 128 is a bit overzealous.

  19. Chris says:

    I wonder if the people who are posting about how easy it is to make a 64-bit version of the plug-in have written a line of C in their lives? Jesus, Mike and his team deliver a working plug-in and all you guys can do is bitch about the fact that there is no native 64-bit support. Use nspluginwrapper, or install 32-bit libraries, or shut up!The most ridiculous thing is that people complain about a few 32-bit libraries “cluttering up their system”. Aw, you poor babies, you have to install 32-bit libraries so that you can run software on 64-bit systems which ARE NOT THE NORM YET. Boohoo. Outside of servers and a *small* portion of power users, almost NO ONE has a 64-bit machines. Why should Adobe be bedning over backwards so that 0.02% of all users can have a 64-bit plug in right this second?Most commericially distributed (non OSS) applications are not 64-bit yet – why should flash be? Stop whining. If you think coding Flash is so easy, then why don’t you start working on the Gnash project instead of talking about contributing to it.

  20. James C says:

    People act as if they didn’t know it was going to be 32bit only… WTH? Haven’t you guys been following the forums? It’s not like they released a 64bit version for any platform yet… chill…Oh, and thanks Mike and the Team, 9 seems to work great 99% of the time (compared to 80% of the time with 7 for Linux)… If only the menus on the adobe homepage didn’t go under the flash animation… hmmm… 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one who really doesn’t MIND using a 32bit firefox, (its either that, use ff1.5, or compile ff2.0 in x64), i make the best of it and use FireFox 2.0 =]I’ve used ppc/linux, and its missing more then x86_64, alot more.

  22. RoberT Courtright says:

    Well I run Mandriva 2007 on a 64bit system & it seam that the folk at Mandriva came up with a program that lets any flash for 32 bit to run on a 64 bit system. I download the beta flash 9 onto my 64 bit system and it runs fine with no problems. I even check a few sites that I know that require Flash 9. I even double check and I’m running the 64bit version of mozilla-firefox.

  23. Eythian says:

    @Chris, the thing with 64-bit machines is that the _only_ issue is with proprietary software. There’s no Java plugin, nor java web start, because Sun considers 64-bit for servers only (this will hopefully change soon). There’s no flash plugin, because Adobe hasn’t ported it yet, and the community can’t. Other than that, for the things I do, everything is pure 64-bit. Asking people to change their browser to make a plugin work is not a very optimal solution. The reason it’s a problem is that has flow-on effects. If you want to use mplayer-plugin, you now need the 32-bit version. And the 32-bit version of mplayer. And the 32-bit versions of all the video codecs and libraries. That’s likely to cause conflicts with the 64-bit versions, so you’ll probably have to remove them (or spend much time hacking), which means all media players must now be 32-bit (and the encoding advantages of 64 bits are lost). Of course, anything that links in those media players must also be 32 bits now. You see how this works? It’s not pleasant.I accept that it takes time for a 64-bit port, but it is still annoying that the only things that are keeping 64-bit from being a lot more usable are those bits of close sourced software that the community can do nothing about.The only avenue open to us is to keep asking. It actually nicely illustrates the benefits of the open source model, too. Everything’s been ported, except for the things that we can’t change.

  24. Ben says:

    Switching to running 32-bit browser just for running Flash also means the 32-bit version of any supporting libraries for the browser (such a GTK) needs to be loaded. In several cases this means libraries already loaded in 64-bit mode will be loaded a second time in 32-bit mode. This puts another 12MB of overhead on top of the already bloated 7MB plugin.While Macromedia (and now Adobe) claim to be supporters of use of the Flash “standard” for embedded use, you will notice that there is not only no FP9 for pure AMD64 distributions but also no FP9 on Linux PPC, Linux ARM or Linux SH4. I have no problem with Adobe deciding they don’t want to open source their player but if they are going to put up a SDK page to get the code under NDA, then at least release the code under NDA. When the page is nothing more than a method to throw business to NEC Embedded Applications Group (which eventually just leads to the request going in limbo), then it really does nothing to help embedded developers.Even worse, FP9 for Linux has not gone through the same level of peer security review as the rest of the Linux OS or Firefox. Why should we believe this monster binary weighing in at 7MB is free of any security related issue? Can Adobe get Bruce Scheider to endorse use of FP9 for Linux?And how does this release fit in with Adobe’s support for the SVG standard? Is this a migration path toward SVG or something to continue to discourage use of the open standard?

  25. PenGun says:

    Mplayer plays any .flv and ya know mine was compiled as 64bit.This is just nonsense. Macromedia knew what was coming and just let 64 bit slide. Now Adobe is doing the same.Flash is junk anyway. Just expose the damn media file, I can dig for it but geeeeez.PenGun

  26. John Gilmore says:

    Gnash already compiles and runs on 64-bit platforms. Works just as well on 64-bit as on 32-bit; the people who maintain it know how to write portable code. And how to merge in 64-bit portability improvements from users who cared to do the port. Some software comes with such freedoms for its users; some doesn’t.(The GNU Flash player doesn’t do everything the mature proprietary flash player does — yet.)I’m glad that Gnash seems to have pushed Adobe into making modern Linux releases of its flash player. Now if only they’d stop calling it the “Linux Flash Player” in the blog here. Besides taking the Linux trademark in vain, they are also not-so-subtly implying that there’s only one flash player that runs on Linux. Nope — there are several now. Better start calling it the “Adobe/Macromedia Flash Player for Linux”…

  27. ghostdog says:

    “OT”I have been using linux as my desktop and server experiments for about 5 years now and consider myself a power user (I hate to brag but I may be more than that 😀 …) and every time I notice that when a company bothers to create apps for linux, automatically it is required for them to provide the source, fine I too like the Open Source model, but as with NVIDIA and ATI drivers, sometimes you just have to settle or open/donate to your own project.I just want to say to those few that make us (yes,”us” the end user, the people that Open Source developers should learn to appreciate more because we send the bugs in) all look bad, we are not all elitist, geeky, sociopaths. Some us do appreciate the efforts from private companies to at least give this wonderful emerging OS a chance.Even more so, just like I fell in love with this OS, I hope Adobe maybe does the same and develop or sponsor its own version of linux, thus liberating itself from the Mac/Windows monopoly. Obviously if they do that, they should keep it free….My two cents…

  28. Yarick says:

    Well , about 64 bits:what do you use in 64bit ?Gentooers – don’t you stumble every now and then on “masked by ~amd64” ? (And I get it for about every other package). Countless crashes in fully open sourced software (apache+php built in 64bits), just because nobody ran extensive pointer checks in these environments, plain outright miscompiles, etc. etc.About gnash – make all user systems OpenGL-friendly, first. Then, not earlier, you could talk about any kind of adobe replacement. Not until then, and, with Xorg driver development progress speed, this time will come in ten years, not earlier.

  29. Tristan says:

    @yarickAdobe replacement? On AMD64? There is no adobe on AMD64 to replace.Gnash is the only flash player available for amd64 browsers, if Adobe ported the Adobe Flash Player to amd64 now, it would be the replacement for the defacto amd64 standard Flash Player.

  30. You stated: “I see that my favored distro, Gentoo, has a masked ebuild for the AMD64 architecture.”I’m a Gentoo developer and I just wanted to clarify that the package is not masked because of the plugin being needing 32bit libraries, but because it is a beta version and, for that reason, should not be released to the general user base. As you can see from the link you mentioned, it is also masked on x86.

  31. RTLM says:

    I’m in charge of the Linux desktop at a major company here in the states. We have nearly four thousand (and growing rapidly) desktops that should be running a x86_64 kernel.I’m sorry I don’t understand the problem with creating a 64bit version of Adobe Flash. It is the only application we deploy (closed source or open) that does not run naively in a 64bit environment. Adobe should find this as embarrassing as I do.–RTLMEythian, thanks for bringing up nspluginwrapper. I had not considered it as a solution, but I’ll be looking at it Monday. 😉

  32. greg says:

    FYI it more or less works on OpenSUSE 10.1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 for 64bit. The reason is Novell/SUSE install the 32bit libraries so things ‘just work’. Or that is my experience.That said, after a bit (no pattern has emerged) the sound stops and then eventually video stops playing after 2 seconds.Stop/start firefox ‘fixes’ the issue.

  33. Eric says:

    “Adobe has tested the Flash Player 9 Update beta for Linux extensively on the following minimum hardware configurations…”They’re not minimum system requirements, just minimum what Adobe’s tested with. I would be amazed if the plugin required 128MB VRAM.

  34. Mark says:

    The only VRAM requirements in X should be enough for your given resolution/depth.

  35. Karen says:

    Voice of experience here:Porting to Win64 is Hell. Just to be evil, Microsoft made “long” remain 32 bits and Microsoft no longer supports inline assembly! All inline assembly must go.Porting to 64-bit Linux is easy. Yes, even if you JIT. Yes, even if you have plenty of assembly. Aside from minor edits for the calling convention, porting the assembly is nearly a search and replace operation. For C code, the compiler warnings will take care of nearly everything.So you can do them together, here is a hint: use nasm as your assembler.Be sure to make FC6 happy, without the user needing to do weird hacks.

  36. Just to claim for the 64bits version. Any progress on this?I have been with my 64bits for a year, so I finally find painful that a Company like Adobe doesn’t anticipate this current situation. It’s not a matter of asking attention to a growing platform by Adobe. It’s about to not answer to be de-facto standard for all platforms…

  37. Kyle says:

    Well, I don’t see how Microsoft will let Adobe *not* release a 64bit version, what with the upcoming release of the first major 64bit version of windows (Windows 64 bit doesn’t count as it was for Professionals).

  38. Jonas Wort says:

    I am administrating almost 1200 (Desktop-)Linux PCs at work, over 50% of which have and Athlon 64 processor. It is embarrassing for Adobe/Macromedia that no 64 Bit version has been released. And this fact is one of the reasons our redesigned website makes no use of flash anymore. I don’t think the flash monopoly will disappear – but many influential people will think differently about Adobe/Macromedia technologies in the future.

  39. Yasin says:

    It may be difficult to port to 64…But im sure a big company like adobe can do it.undoubtedly they are going to lose ground on the internet, im sure a lot of web designers and companies will revert to other methods for interactive content.as i mainly use a 64 bit os now, i’ve turned off to a lot of flash sites as its too much effort to boot into a 32bit os.at the end of the day if adobe arn’t carefull another more portable player could take their place.

  40. Eli Wapniarski says:

    Waiting for x86_64 version with anticipation

  41. Anand says:

    It’s great that you’re working on Linux support and I understand why porting to x86_64 is problematic, but what I don’t understand is why you don’t have an interpreter fallback written in straight C for the Actionscript engine. Surly having one would mean you could push out a x86_64 version of flash much quicker and have ports to PPC Linux made quite easily. Sure, it won’t be as fast as a JITed VM, but I’m guessing that performance would be pretty good.

  42. Brendan says:

    You “pure” x86_64 guys are nuts. I’ve been running a 32-bit browser (Firefox…and now, Flock) on my x86_64 platform, for years, with no hitches. There’s no discernible delta between a 32-bit browser and a 64-bit browser, though I didn’t care to run any performance tests…and I’d question the sanity (or priorities) of someone who did :-)In time, I’m sure that the majority of users will be using pure 64-bit, but, until then, it’s pretty damned easy to just go with a 32-bit browser on a 64-bit platform.Cheers!

  43. Nicholas says:

    The flash player 9 beta 2 is great, however I cannot log in the CISCO program webpage as I could with flash player 7, meaning I have to switch between flash player 9 beta and flash player 7 constantly. Would this be a flash player 9 problem or is there another way I can fix this?

  44. Simon Roby says:

    You people at Adobe are directly responsible for making 64bit Linux more trouble than what it should be. Your excuses for not releasing a 64bit port are worthless. A JIT engine you say? As Eli Wapniarski mentionned, why the hell isn’t there a fallback interpreter engine? Don’t you people care about portability AT ALL?And no, I’m no OSS zealot. I’d point out that most other closed software in the Linux world, such as nVidia drivers, have all had native 64bit support for a long time now. Have nVidia said “oh no we won’t release 64bit drivers for Linux because Windows and OS X have no 64bit support yet”? NO. Please think about it.

  45. John Doh says:

    It’s just as easy to ignore flash sites. No 64 bit flash plugin, no flash, no problem.Hell there are extensions that will explicitly block flash anyway. “when it’s ready” Meh.

  46. Anon says:

    (Tangentially related) Looks like someone was experimenting running x86 plugins under a PPC system using nspluginwrapper and Qemu – http://www.advogato.org/person/dwmw2/diary.html?start=150

  47. driedfruit says:

    What I can’t understand is why Adobe’s making any excuses at all? It’s not like they have any obligations to us!There was no flash player for x86_32 linux since version 7, don’t you appreciate their efforts?As for 64, they constantly repeat, that THEY ARE WORKING ON IT. So what else could they do to please you?Oh, yes, I know “RELEASE IT”. Don’t worry that will happen 🙂

  48. rob says:

    Actually, ‘Anon’, Adobe HAVE formed somewhat of an obligation to their public. It’s no secret Adobe want to make flash player THE standard for web based animation and even web applications. It’s also no secret they want monopoly over their entire format (not releasing an open source player, or even specs on the format, etc). Therefore, once a company misuses its power like this and forges themselves a mini monopoly, there IS a certain duty to the public to make that format available on all platforms – not doing so is fascist and inexcusable. I no longer buy this ‘oh boo hoo we’re too crap and it’s too hard’ gig that even microsoft tried to pull with IE’s PNG support – you are a large multimillion dollar company – MAKE THIS A PRIORITY AND STOP WHINING ON YOUR PERSONAL BLOGS ABOUT IT. It’s things like this that make me seriously think about joining the gnash boys and forcing your protocol to be open source. The only way you prevent reverse engineering your format, and therefore your monopoly, is to cut off a need to do so. Right now you’re creating a justifiable groundswell of desire for just the opposite.

  49. Autocow says:

    Bah, ignore ’em.There isn’t even an mainstream official browser release in Linux for the 64-bit platform yet.Wait until the FF and Opera guys release a 64-bit browser and co-ordinate the Flashplayer 64-bit release with them.You people have to remember that 64-bit AMD64 is *NOT* x86 – It is a *completely* different platform like Linux Sparc, Linux Itanium, and like them, is not mainstream so you’re gonna have all the problems those guys have trying to get software to run for it.If anything, this sort of thing is why I’m really into source-compiling everything myself and writing correct portable code. (Very hard to do…)I do seem to get caught out an awful lot ‘tho – I got caught out with Unicode (Re-tooling stuff for that with all those bloody macros wasn’t fun lemme tell ya), and now the same with 64-bit stuff…

  50. Andrew says:

    For those who is interested x64, migration programs, features 64-bit architecture and so on… Many interesting links:http://www.viva64.com/links.php

  51. jupiter says:

    Quite interesting advices, i guess i’m using the 4th solution.I run a full 64 bits system since 3 months, and I don’t use either flash or java no more.If the product isn’t available, I just don’t complain and not use it. That’s the way todays consumers think most of the time.I will wait patiently until a system (i don’t care who the editor is) allows me to view these (99,9% useless) sites i removed from favorites.Developing temporary solutions are a two edged sword for adobe; both it can help and disappoint users.I believe if some companies can’t adapt at today’s world, other will respond at consumers needs. Knowing that i just grab patience and watch the situation evolve; there could soon be a nice start-up to invest in.

  52. Doug says:

    So is the problem flash player with 64bit or is it a two way solution, 64bit with flash. Cant these guys get it together. If Adobe cant get it together then I think microsoft should supply a workable version of a flash player to work with 64bit systems. Apparently the market on that is still open

  53. I agree to some extent with Chris in his comment here: http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2006/10/whats_so_difficult_64bit_editi.html#comment-54584.But not with all:Most of the people who use 64-bit Linux (either x86_64 or ppc_64) are developers of some kind, mostly web developers. They have communications with customers every day. Every day at least one customer asks you why are you sighing so sadly when you maintain Windows machine or trying to fix this or this. And at least once the developer will say “well, in Linux world, the software is REALLY maintained by its MAINTAINERS, and I would be spared of fixing same mess in Windows over and over again”.Chris, as right as you are in your post, you are missing the human talking factor, which is very much important, especially with the knowledge that Microsoft already strengthened their grip over their illegal Windows users (you could search in Google for “windows xp genuine advantage”) and all sorts of complainings about annoying the users every 5 minutes or so. Windows is going more and more strictly commercial, and (sadly for Microsoft, rejoicing for me) most of their users have never paid for any software, although they are running Windows and nothing else.One sunny day the Windows OS will refuse to restart at all if it cannot confirm that it is genuine and — voila! — there will be a great rush of moving users from Windows, be sure. Then one day, many people will start to yell why to heck there is no 64-bit flash plugin. Oops, you are in trouble.Before trying to mock me (as you did in your otherwise correct article), let me say a couple of things for me: besides working as a programmer of Java, XSLT, PHP, C/C++ sometimes, and WebServices, I have been supporting users and small firms for years. Most of them are willing to migrate to Linux, but they do not do it just because they do not know anybody who can do it, and because they do not know who can answer many of their questions. You know what is the most frequently asked question? — “Will I be able to open and save Microsoft Word and Excel files?”. Heck, yes! But they do not know it. It’s not that they love Windows — they just do not know that there are another planets. As you recall, humans did not know that in medieval ages — now everybody laughs at them. Perhaps, somebody will laugh at you just five or ten years from now?So, I suspect that your argument “have you ever written in C/C++” will not work for me. As other guys here have pointed out, the problem is not C and C++. The problem are the Adobe developers. Looks like somebody have written Windows-specific code way too much. :)Using “nspluginwrapper”? Why to heck should the users do that? Do you not realize that 95% of the users are lazy? They want to see “install and everything is running with no problems”. Maybe you did not interact with end users? Not having such experience does not mean to underestimate the logical factors it poses — please, be reasonable and admit it. So, if the lazy users are told to install some “dark magic named nspluginwrapper” (in their terminology, not mine), they will simply say “What a bunch of idiots are these Adobe! They know about the problem and they do not even hurry!” — I have heard this sentence said about many other organizations by now. Maybe Adobe will join the ranks of software companies who “participate” in the folk humor.So, it’s not a problem using “nspluginwrapper”, no — many Linux users can do it. But most of the future users will be novices. coming from Windows, where everything “just works” (how tragically non-true is this is absolutely another topic). You rely on the fact that current users live in Windows. Reconsider it; this is already changing. And if we mention Windows x64, the things get worse — Adobe does not even have full support for Windows. What will you recommend? “Click Start, point to Programs, then click InternetExplorer (32-bit)”? It is very sad actually — not fixing the real problem, just transferring responsibilities.And also — isn’t it very insolent of you, Adobe guys, to point to “nspluginwrapper”? In part, they have essentially did the thing which is YOUR job! So, you in a sense are saying: “Oh, please, leave us alone, there is a workaround, use it and stop mourning, we cannot do our job, for which we are paid”. Well, good news! Now everybody sees that clearly. Oh, “you poor babies”.And I also agree about security issues and open-sourcing — if Adobe cannot handle it, give it to the community. Well, the thing that makes me laugh here is that no big company ever admits that it “cannot do” anything — it’s the way in the big business — “always look bigger and smarter than you actually are”. And nobody every admits it. And almost everybody actually knows it. Really funny. :)Some arguments about incompetence of open-source community are actually right — there are funny and stupid crashes in open source softwares. But, hey, at least they do something about their problems! And they do it quicker than Adobe. Even given the fact that they are working on a closed file format, Gnash development team is moving faster than Adobe.And let us not forget one of the nature’s laws — if the water cannot break through the rock, it bypasses it. Eventually, somebody will come up with open and portable replacement of Flash. Then, all your comments in the spirit of “oh, you poor babies” will sound twice as funny compared to now (although even now they make me laugh for minutes), and Adobe Flash will be just another closed, buggy and insecure software trying to survive in the Microsoft universe.All these stuff just needs switching in the way of thinking.