Opera 10: finally I got Flash and Java back

I don’t know what they did, but Opera 10 Beta 3 (build 4537) finally got Flash working again on my Linux system. Back in 2007 Flash 9 started to use GTK solely and Opera 10 could no longer run the plugin: Opera would simply freeze and/or crash. Due to security updates I finally had to upgrade the Flash player and had to start Firefox for every flash website (or Flash video) I wanted to view. With every update I checked if support returned but it still would not run. In 2008 I changed to 64 bit and while many people reported it started working again on their 32 bit systems I still only got crashes. In February I started using KDE 4 (and Qt 4) and while people started reporting Flash to work on 64 bit I – again – could not use it.

Maybe I was always upgrading/updating at the wrong time – there is one thing I can read from the filenames portage downloaded:

opera-10.00-b1.gcc4-shared-qt3.x86_64.tar.bz2
opera-10.00-b3.gcc4-qt4.x86_64.tar.bz2

It seems like older versions have only been built (or downloaded) with Qt3 libraries but with beta 3 there finally is a Qt4 version available. Maybe that’s the fix – finally, after 2 years, I can use Flash again in my primary browser! 😀

I checked some websites and while all Flash movies run and most run fine, videos still run jerky, highly depending on the players being used and the mode (fullscreen is worst). While these performance problems happen to be worse than in Firefox, it’s still mainly a problem of the Linux version of the Flash player (xkcd made a cartoon about it recently).

The next thing I could not use since I switched to 64 bit was the Java plugin. It was the same as with Flash, I got freezes and/or crashes and no useful error messages. I was quite surprised when I saw a useful backtrace on my terminal: For some reason, Opera 10 tried to use Blackdown JDK 1.4 which some ebuild must have had as a dependency. I unmerged it and now I got errors complaining about libjvm.so not being found. To point Opera to the correct path simply go into Tools/Preferences/Advanced/Content, enable Java and open the Java Options dialog. The path to be entered can be found by running locate libjava.so and should be something like /opt/sun-jdk-1.6.0.15/jre/lib/amd64/ (excluding the filename; you will need to update this on version changes).

On Gentoo you may still get an error message telling you that libjvm.so cannot be found. You may need to symlink it from …/jre/lib/amd64/server/ to …/jre/lib/amd64/ and it should be working after a browser restart.

I don’t know since when there was a Java Options dialog, so maybe I could have been able to use Java for quite some time now. Anyway, it’s great to finally have both plugins working again.