Difference between revisions of "Browser plugins"

From ArchWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(note that firefox will drop plugin support in next version)
(Multimedia playback: very nice add-on)
Line 159: Line 159:
The same procedure can be used to associate video downloaders such as ''youtube-dl''.
The same procedure can be used to associate video downloaders such as ''youtube-dl''.
=== Watch with mpv Firefox extension ===
Install [https://addons.mozilla.org/pl/firefox/addon/watch-with-mpv/ this add-on]. Now, you can use it by clicking:
* on toolbar icon to play video from current page
* in context menu to play video from link
=== youtube-dl ===
=== youtube-dl ===

Revision as of 12:36, 28 February 2017

There are two types of browser plugins, based on the plugin API they use:

Most plugins on this page are NPAPI-only, unless noted otherwise.

Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player


The package you will need to install depends on the browser you use.

  • Some Flash apps may require the ttf-ms-fontsAUR package in order to properly render text.
  • The freshplayerpluginAUR package provides an experimental adapter to use pepper-flashAUR with NPAPI based browsers like Firefox. It can be configured (e.g. for enabling HW-acceleration) by copying /usr/share/freshplayerplugin/freshwrapper.conf.example to ~/.config/freshwrapper.conf.


If you are using Firefox, please make sure to follow this instruction first.


To change the preferences (privacy settings, resource usage, etc.) of Flash Player, right click on any embedded Flash content (for instance adobe's flash home) and choose Settings from the menu.

You can also use the Flash settings file /etc/adobe/mms.cfg. Gentoo has an extensively commented example mms.cfg.

To enable video decoding with hardware video acceleration, add/uncomment the following line:

EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode = 1

It might also be required to add/uncomment the following line:

OverrideGPUValidation = 1

Multiple monitor full-screen fix

When using a multiple monitor setup, or swapping between virtual desktops, it is possible to lose focus on a fullscreen flash window. In such a case, the adobe flash-plugin will automatically exit full-screen mode. This may not be to your liking.

Unfortunately, this behavior is hard coded into the binary. In order to change this behavior it is necessary to alter the binary.

Fixing this issue only works for the NPAPI plugin and this issue can be fixed via 2 ways.

After the package has been installed, backup libflashplayer.so:
# cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so.backup
Then, you will need to alter that file using a hex editor like ghex. You must open it with root privileges obviously.
# ghex /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so
Using the hex editor find the string _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW. In ghex the readable string is on the right hand side of the window, and the hex is on the left, you are trying to locate the readable string. It should be easy to find using a search function.
Upon finding _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW rewrite the line, but do not change the length of the line, for example _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW becomes _XET_ACTIVE_WINDOW.
Save the binary, and restart any processes using the plugin (as this will crash any instance of the plugin in use.)

Playing DRM-protected content

See Flash DRM content.


Shumway is a discontinued HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance. The plugin may be installed directly from Mozilla's github.io site.


Gnash is a free (libre) alternative to Adobe Flash Player. It is available both as a standalone player for desktop computers and embedded devices, as well as a browser plugin, and supports the SWF format up to version 7 (with versions 8 and 9 under development) and about 80% of ActionScript 2.0.

There is a packages available: gnash-gitAUR.


Lightspark is another attempt to provide a free alternative to Adobe Flash aimed at supporting newer Flash formats. Lightspark has the ability to fall back on Gnash for old content, which enables users to install both and enjoy wider coverage. Although it is still very much in development, it supports some popular sites.

Lightspark can be installed with the lightspark-gitAUR package.

PDF viewer


PDF.js is a PDF renderer created by Mozilla and built using HTML5 technologies.

It is included in Firefox.

For Chromium and Google Chrome it is available as extension in the Chrome Web Store.

External PDF viewers

To use an external PDF viewer you need #MozPlugger.

If you want to use MozPlugger with Evince, for example, you have to find the lines containing pdf in the /etc/mozpluggerrc file and modify the corresponding line after GV() as below:

repeat noisy swallow(evince) fill: evince "$file"

(replace evince with something else if it is not your viewer of choice).

If this is not enough, you may need to change 2 values in about:config:

  • Change pdfjs.disabled's value to true;
  • Change plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types's value to an empty value.

Restart and it should work like a charm!


See Citrix.

Java (IcedTea)

Note: Both Java plugins are NPAPI-only and thus do not work in Chromium and Opera.

To enable Java support in your browser, you have two options: the open-source OpenJDK (recommended) or Oracle's proprietary version. For details about why OpenJDK is recommended see this.

To use OpenJDK, you have to install the IcedTea browser plugin, icedtea-web.

If you want to use Oracle's JRE, install the jreAUR package.

Note: If you experience any problems with the Java plugin (e.g. it is not recognized by the browser), you can try this solution.


See Pipelight.

Multimedia playback

Many browsers support the GStreamer framework to play multimedia inside HTML5 <audio> and <video> elements. Check the optional dependencies of the browser package (or webkitgtk/webkitgtk2 if using a webkit-based browser) to see which version of GStreamer is supported: this can be either gst-* for the current version, or gstreamer0.10-* for the legacy version. See GStreamer#Installation for the description of each plugin.

Other plugins

  • Gecko Media Player — Mozilla browser plugin to handle media on websites, using MPlayer.
https://sites.google.com/site/kdekorte2/gecko-mediaplayer || gecko-mediaplayer
  • Rosa Media Player Plugin — Qt-based browser plugin also based on MPlayer.
https://abf.rosalinux.ru/uxteam/ROSA_Media_Player || rosa-media-player-pluginAUR
  • VLC Plugin — NPAPI-based plugin that uses VLC technologies.
https://code.videolan.org/videolan/npapi-vlc || npapi-vlc

Open-with Firefox extension

  1. Install Open-with add-on.
  2. Open about:openwith, select Add...
  3. In the dialog select a video streaming capable player (e.g. /usr/bin/mpv).
  4. (Optional step) Add needed arguments to the player (e.g. you may want --force-window --ytdl for mpv)
  5. (Optional step) Choose how to display the dialogs using the left panel.
  6. Right click on links or visit pages containing videos. If the site is supported, the player will open as expected.

The same procedure can be used to associate video downloaders such as youtube-dl.

Watch with mpv Firefox extension

Install this add-on. Now, you can use it by clicking:

  • on toolbar icon to play video from current page
  • in context menu to play video from link


Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with #Other plugins.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Does not deserve separate section. (Discuss in Talk:Browser plugins#)

Install Watch with MPV for playback of supported sites with an external player of your choice (mpv by default). Add --player-operation-mode=pseudo-gui to Additional player parameters for websites with audio only streams.

Google Hangouts

Note: This plugin is not required when using Chromium

Hangouts plugin can be installed with the google-talkpluginAUR package. Hangouts is a messenger by Google, that allows you to make video call between 15 people simultaneously. While using "new" version, you can share your screen with others like in Skype, but if you switch to "old" version, it will be possible to do the following things together: watching YouTube, making diagrams, editing documents, playing games and other things.


MozPlugger can be installed with the mozpluggerAUR package.

MozPlugger is a Mozilla plugin which can show many types of multimedia inside your browser. To accomplish this, it uses external programs such as MPlayer, xine, Evince, OpenOffice, TiMidity, etc. To modify or add applications to be used by MozPlugger just modify the /etc/mozpluggerrc file.

For example, MozPlugger uses OpenOffice by default to open doc files. To change it to use LibreOffice instead, look for the OpenOffice section:

### OpenOffice
define([OO],[swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: ooffice2.0 -nologo -norestore -view $1 "$file"
    swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: ooffice -nologo -norestore -view $1 "$file"
    swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: soffice -nologo $1 "$file"])

and add LibreOffice at the beginning of the list:

### LibreOffice/OpenOffice
define([OO],[swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: libreoffice --nologo --norestore --view $1 "$file"
    swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: ooffice2.0 -nologo -norestore -view $1 "$file"
    swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: ooffice -nologo -norestore -view $1 "$file"
    swallow(VCLSalFrame) fill: soffice -nologo $1 "$file"])
Note: Be sure to also choose LibreOffice as your preferred application to open doc files.

As another simple example, if you want to open cpp files with your favorite text editor (we will use Kate) to get syntax highlighting, just add a new section to your mozpluggerrc file:

text/x-c++:cpp:C++ Source File
text/x-c++:hpp:C++ Header File
    repeat noisy swallow(kate) fill: kate -b "$file"

To change the default of MPlayer so that mpv is used instead, change the appropriate lines such that:

### MPlayer

#define(MP_CMD,[mplayer -really-quiet -nojoystick -nofs -zoom -vo xv,x11 -ao esd,alsa,oss,arts,null -osdlevel 0 $1 </dev/null])
define(MP_CMD,[mpv -really-quiet $1 </dev/null])

#define(MP_EMBED,[embed noisy ignore_errors: MP_CMD(-xy $width -wid $window $1)])
define(MP_EMBED,[embed noisy ignore_errors: MP_CMD(--autofit=$width -wid $window $1)])

#define(MP_NOEMBED,[noembed noisy ignore_errors maxaspect swallow(MPlayer): MP_CMD($1)])
define(MP_NOEMBED,[noembed noisy ignore_errors maxaspect swallow(mpv): MP_CMD($1)])


#define(MP_AUDIO,[mplayer -quiet -nojoystick $1 </dev/null])
define(MP_AUDIO,[mpv -really-quiet $1 </dev/null])

#define(MP_AUDIO_STREAM,[controls stream noisy ignore_errors: mplayer -quiet -nojoystick $1 "$file" </dev/null])
define(MP_AUDIO_STREAM,[controls stream noisy ignore_errors: mpv -really-quiet $1 "$file" </dev/null])

For a more complete list of MozPlugger options see this page.


Flash Player: no sound

Flash Player outputs its sound only through the default ALSA device, which is number 0. If you have multiple sound devices (a very common example is having a sound card and HDMI output in the video card), then your preferred device may have a different number.

For a list of available devices with their respective numbers, run:

$ aplay -l
 **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: Generic [HD-Audio Generic], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 card 1: DX [Xonar DX], device 0: Multichannel [Multichannel]
   Subdevices: 0/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 card 1: DX [Xonar DX], device 1: Digital [Digital]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

In this case, the HDMI output is card 0 and the sound card is card 1. To make your sound card the default for ALSA, create the file .asoundrc in your home directory, with the following content:

pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card 1
ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card 1

Flash Player: blocking sound for other applications or delayed playback

If sound is delayed within Flash videos or Flash stops sound from any other application, then make sure you do not have snd_pcm_oss module loaded:

$ lsmod | grep snd_pcm_oss

You can unload it:

# rmmod snd_pcm_oss

and restart the browser to see if it helps.

Flash Player: performance

Adobe's Flash plugin has some serious performance issues, especially when CPU frequency scaling is used. There seems to be a policy not to use the whole CPU workload, so the frequency scaling governor does not clock the CPU any higher. To work around this issue, see CPU frequency scaling#Switching threshold

Flash Player: low webcam resolution

If your webcam has low resolution in Flash (the image looks very pixelated) you can try starting your browser with this:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so [broswer]

Flash Player: black bars in full screen playback on multi-headed setups

The Flash plugin has a known bug where the full screen mode does not really work when you have a multi-monitor setup. Apparently, it incorrectly determines the full screen resolution, so the full screen Flash Player fills the correct monitor but gets scaled as if the monitor had the resolution of the total display area.

To fix this, you can use the "hack" described here. Simply download the source from the link given on the page, and follow the instructions in the README.

Note: While the author mentions using NVDIA's TwinView, the hack should work for any multi-monitor setup.

Flash Player: videos not working on older systems

If you have Adobe Flash installed on an older system and you start playing a video which simply turns black with nothing happening, it is most likely that your CPU does not support SSE2. You can simply check this by looking at your CPU flags with this command:

$ grep sse2 /proc/cpuinfo

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: sandfox is unmaintained and only uses rudimentary sandboxing; use a modern alternative like playpen instead. Or even better, circument the issue with external players like mpv (Discuss in Talk:Browser plugins#)

If no results are returned, then you need to install an older version of Flash (for example 10.3, or 11.1). Older versions possibly will have vulnerabilities. You should then consider sandboxing Firefox using the sandfoxAUR package See the sandfox homepage for usage information.

Older versions of Flash are available here: https://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/distribution3.html You need to copy libflashplayer.so to the folder /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

The most recent package without SSE2 is flashplugin- If you use the packaged version, you have to add IgnorePkg = flashplugin to /etc/pacman.conf.

Flash Player: plugin version still shown older version after upgrade


Solution for Firefox: delete file "pluginreg.dat" in user's profile directory.

  • Close firefox
  • Go to /home/<username>/.mozilla/firefox/<profile_folder>/
  • Delete file "pluginreg.dat"

Firefox will automatically rebuild this file once it is started again. Make sure to substitute <username> and <profile_folder> with the appropriate information.

Plugins are installed but not working

A common problem is that the plugin path is unset. This typically occurs on a new install, when the user has not re-logged in before running Firefox after the installation. Test if the path is unset:

$ printenv MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH

If unset, then either re-login, or source /etc/profile.d/mozilla-common.sh and start Firefox from the same shell:

$ source /etc/profile.d/mozilla-common.sh && firefox

Gecko Media Player will not play Apple trailers

If Apple Trailers appear to start to play and then fail, try setting the user agent for your browser to:

QuickTime/7.6.2 (qtver=7.6.2;os=Windows NT 5.1Service Pack 3)