Should you remove Adobe Flash from Linux?

In today's open source roundup: Is it time to remove Adobe Flash from your Linux computer? Plus: Adobe recently updated Flash to version 18.0.0.209. And how to remove Flash from your Linux computer

Should you remove Adobe Flash from Linux?

Adobe Flash has been in the news a lot lately, and not for any positive reasons. Flash has been roundly criticized in the media for various security flaws. This has led some folks to call for the removal of Flash from people's computers, but is it practical to remove Flash from your Linux system?

Matt Hartley reports for Datamation:

Adobe Flash has been both a gift and a curse wrapped up in the same package. It's a sluggish, often insecure and horribly bloated way to watch a video and play games on your computer. For years, Flash for Linux users was even worse: audio was out of sync with the video and you needed a special wrapper to play Flash videos on 64-bit Linux distributions. Even though things have gotten better in terms of compatibility, security still remains poor.

I hate to say it, but all of the social hogwash about "killing Flash" is meaningless without real teeth. And as I've expressed above, the only way to kill it is to stop using it. This obviously isn't happening. The only way to even make the smallest dent in Adobe's Flash nightmare is to take a guerrilla warfare approach to it, but with a legal, security precautionary twist.

Anyone and everyone with administrator capabilities near a PC running Flash would need to remove it. This translates into local PC repair shops offering free "system checks" and removing Flash as a result. Also, anyone who is arms reach of a PC running Flash would need to remove it, with permission of course.

The biggest targets would be folks who use their PCs to access Flash content from their local news, kids websites, and Flash game sites. Places like this would see the biggest impact. If this was repeated enough, there might be enough incentive for content providers to finally dump Flash as a standard. Is it possible to use Linux without Flash? Of course it is, however it's not Linux users that are the problem...it's everyone else!

More at Datamation

Adobe updates Flash to version 18.0.0.209

Adobe recently updated Flash to 18.0.0.209 to fix some of the most recent security problems. The update happened after Mozilla blocked all versions of Flash in its Firefox web browser.

Catalin Cimpanu reports for Softpedia:

Adobe released a new version of Flash, 18.0.0.209, aimed at fixing the reported security issues, and at getting the Flash extension off the blacklist.

Updating to this new version is recommended since Flash 18.0.0.209 fixes two crucial zero-day vulnerabilities: CVE-2015-5122 and CVE-2015-5123.

According to Adobe, both these vulnerabilities "could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system."

CVE-2015-5122 and CVE-2015-5123 affected Flash versions 18.0.0.203 and earlier, on all operating systems which, when it was reported, meant all Flash versions.

More at Softpedia

How to remove Flash from your Linux computer

All of the security problems have convinced some Linux users that the time has come to remove Flash altogether from their systems. eHow has a helpful guide on how you can get rid of Flash.

Chris Hoffman reports for eHow:

How to remove Flash installed from Adobe

1. Open a Terminal by clicking "Applications" > "Accessories" or "System Tools" > "Terminal".

2. Navigate to your Mozilla plug-ins directory by typing "cd .mozilla/plugins" in the Terminal window and pressing "Enter". This directory contains your Web browser plug-ins; even if you use other Web browsers, they look for plug-ins here.

3. Delete the Flash Player plug-in files by typing "rm libflashplayer.so flashplayer.xpt" in the Terminal window and pressing "Enter".

How to remove Flash in Ubuntu & Debian-based Distributions

1. Open a Terminal by clicking "Applications" > "Accessories" or "System Tools" > "Terminal".

2. Type "sudo dpkg --remove flashplugin-installer" in the Terminal window on Ubuntu or "su -c 'dpkg --remove flashplugin-installer'" on other Debian-based Linux distributions and press "Enter".

3. Authenticate yourself by typing your password on Ubuntu or the root password on other Debian-based distributions when prompted and pressing "Enter".

How to remove Flash in Fedora, Red Hat and RPM-based Distributions

1. Open a Terminal by clicking "Applications", "System Tools" and "Terminal".

2. Become the root user by typing "su" in the Terminal window and pressing "Enter".

3. Authenticate yourself by typing the root password when prompted and pressing "Enter".

4. Uninstall the flash player by typing "rpm -e flash-plugin" in the Terminal window and pressing "Enter". Press "y" and "Enter" if prompted.

More at eHow

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