New to Ubuntu. Need help on how to install Flash and Java.

  • See askubuntu.com/questions/366928/… Oct 8, 2014 at 4:37
  • Welcome to AskUbuntu. Fortunately for you, it's a question that has been asked before and has several good answers . Don't forget you can search the site (see upper right corner).
    – djeikyb
    Oct 8, 2014 at 5:23
  • First, open up a terminal and type uname -p. This. What does this mean? Have no idea Oct 8, 2014 at 10:38

2 Answers 2


Well, I'm going to assume you want Google Chrome, which is the only way to get Adobe Flash 15 on Ubuntu. First, open up a terminal and type uname -p. That will tell you your processor architecture. If you already know it, skip this. If it says x86_64, you have a 64-bit processor (remember that for later). If you get iX86, where X can be 3, 4, 5, or 6, you have a 32-bit processor (remember that). If you get x86, that also means you have a 32-bit processor (it goes without saying, but remember that). Then use any old web browser like Mozilla Firefox or Midori to go to https://google.com/chrome and click the big blue "Download now" button.enter image description here You'll see a box pop up asking you to choose from four different versions of Chrome. You want one of the top two (the .deb files) depending on if you're 32 or 64 bit. Click the appropriate radio button, scroll down, read the license agreement (like anybody ever does) and choose "Accept and Install". In some browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, you will be asked whether you would like to open or save the file. Choose "Save" or something similar depending on your browser. Let it download. Once it has completed downloading, open your file browser (Nautilus a.k.a. Files, Dolphin, Thunar, etc.) and go to your Downloads folder or where ever the file was downloaded to. Right-click on the file, move down in the menu to "Open With..." and choose "Ubuntu Software Center", "Muon", or "GDebi", whichever appears. Click "Install" and follow the instructions to install the file. Once it has been installed, you have successfully downloaded Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player, but Adobe Flash Player will only work in Google Chrome. Now that's taken care of, let's move on to Java.

I'm assuming that by Java, you mean Java Runtime Environment. The only other option is the Java Development Kit and, unless you are a programmer that knows Java, you won't ever need. There are two kinds of Java Runtime Environments. Well, made by two different people. One is Oracle Java. It's hard to install and is proprietary, meaning it has a strict license agreement that restricts your use of it. The other is OpenJDK. It has less bugs, easier to install, and is free and open source software. OpenJDK is clearly the better choice, so I'll help you get set up with the OpenJDK Java Runtime Environment. Open up a terminal again and type in cat /etc/issue and press Enter. This will give you your Ubuntu version. If you get "Ubuntu Trusty Tahr", type the following command: sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre icedtea-plugin -y. If you get "Ubuntu Utopic Unicorn", type in sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jre icedtea-plugin -y. If you get "Ubuntu Precise Pangolin" or something else, update your verison of Ubuntu. When you enter those commands, you will be asked for the super-use rpassword. This is not always your password. For information, contact your system administrator. One last note, the Java plugin you installed (runs Java applets in browser) works in every browser EXCEPT for Google Chrome. Don't worry about it. You probably won't need it.

  • This is the longest answer I have ever written on Ask Ubuntu.
    – John Scott
    Oct 8, 2014 at 3:37
  • P.S. If you're using Utopic Unicorn, installing icedtea-plugin will install OpenJDK 7 in addition to OpenJDK 8. After running the commands, type java -verison in a terminal to see if you're using 7 or 8. If it says 7, type this: sudo apt-get remove openjdk-7-jre -y && sudo apt-get autoremove -y
    – John Scott
    Oct 8, 2014 at 20:56

So here's my new and improved answer. Let me know if this is clear enough and helpful enough.

Rule of thumb, or how installing software works on Ubuntu

When it comes to software in Ubuntu, the Software Center program is you big and bubbly friend. There's , of-course other ways to install software, such as apt-get tool and dpkg tool. But for someone who's just starting with Ubuntu, Software Center should be simple enough solution.

First, Java

When you initially install Ubuntu and go to youtube, you realize that you need flash player, but once you go to install it , the adobe website will tell you that you need java. So the first thing you need is Java (obviously). There's two options here, Java that has been developed by Oracle, or free and open-source OpenJDK. The last one is simplest to install, and sufficient for most users' needs. Simply open Software Center, and type java. Select OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime and click install. Same thing with IcedTea Java Web Start.

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Now, the small problem is that you need to enable Java in Firefox , if that's the browser you prefer. To do that, I use QuickJava add-on (because I'm lazy). Simply type in firefox address bar about:addons, and it will open add-ons page. Search for QuickJava, install it, and once you got it, find it in the Extensions menu, click preferences, and check boxes bellow the things you want to be enabled in Firefox.

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Moving on to flash

So now you are ready to install Adobe Flash player. This can be done in two ways: through their website: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ or through Software Center. Since this is a proprietary type of software, you probably might want to tell your Ubuntu to allow installing proprietary or copyrighted software. To do that go to System Settings -> Software & Updates ( under System ) , and check the boxes next to "Software restricted by copyright or legal issues(multiverse)"

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Once you got that, like I said, you can download Flash through their website, or go to software center.

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The small problem with flash player is that version 11.2 will be last one that Adobe developed for Linux, even though they will still provide support. There are alternatives to Adobe's flash player, such as Gnash and Lightspark. I've never tried them personally, but there's quite a few positive reviews of them. Again, they are in Software Center.

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Chrome and Chromium

Now, installing flash player is a good idea, but if you want to avoid hustle, installing Google Chrome or Chromium is even better idea. They come pre-packaged with their own flavor of flash player. What's the difference between Chrome and Chromium ? Visually - there's no difference. Chromium is the open-source project from which Chrome and Chrome OS took jumpstart. As it is an open-source project, it is community maintained, while Chrome will have all the newest features, but it's controlled by Google.

As far as Chromium goes, it's simple - search Chromium in Software Center and install it. enter image description here

Now, Google Chrome is a bit trickier. You have to go to the website: "https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/#eula" and download installer package.

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Do you see where it says 32 bit .deb and 64 bit deb ? OK. Like FuzzyToothpaste mentioned in his answer, 32 and 64 bit refer to which OS you have. Most likely you know that (after all, for installing Ubuntu you need to decide to install either 32 or 64 bit OS, based on your RAM memory ) , but if do not know that, open System Settings -> Details (same line as Software & Updates), and it should give you a summary for your system, and specifically you are interested in OS Type line.

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Deb packages are sort of like zip for Windows. Once you are done downloading , drag and drop it into Software Center window, and it should open it. Alternatively, when your download starts, click "Open with " and it should have software center already selected.

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What else to know

Ubuntu out of the box works perfectly fine, just needs some small tuning. For instance, on 14.04 LTS version, it ships with muted audio. I've encountered this strange thing with some other members of askubuntu, as well as when I installed Ubuntu on Acer C720 chromebook, and upgrading from 13.10 on my Toshiba laptop. The solution is to open something called Terminal ( Ctrl + Alt +T ) or command line, and open alsamixer, which is like a sound manager. For more info you can refer to my answer here, on another askubuntu question.

Another thing: many codecs are proprietary, which means you have to install some ; so you'd need to get "Ubuntu Restricted Extras" in the . . . .yes, Software Center. Did I say, it's your best friend when it comes to software?

Tweaking Ubuntu's look and feel can be done with one great app called Unity Tweak Tool. It gives you way to tweak theme, cursor, launcher and icon size, etc.

Another app that I really love, is Ubuntu Classic Menu. Basically , it's a drop down menu, similar to Windows XP's start menu, and it lists all software you installed by categories, so you don't need to search for stuff.

While Ubuntu is pretty fast, you might want to make it just a notch faster. Here is a great article that explains some of the methods to improve your boot speed and program start speed.

Linux has pretty much evolved over years, and now it's pretty user friendly. But since this is Linux/Unix type of system, I suggest you start getting acquainted with command line (aka Terminal). Many troubleshootings have to be done through command line, so at least have general idea. If you are a programmer/engineer who is starting to learn Linux - then you just must learn command line. Right now I'm reading Ubuntu Toolbox, which is really a good , general guide to starting out with Ubuntu, and command line over all. Don't be lazy , and invest into some reading, and that should get you started with Ubuntu in no time.

Good luck !

  • How to install chrome. Neither one of the options listed will work on Pogo. Says I need to update and have no idea how to update. TY Oct 8, 2014 at 2:38
  • I'll edit my answer soon. I'm just on phone right now. Oct 8, 2014 at 4:13
  • What's pogo by the way? Oct 8, 2014 at 4:18
  • Pogo is a game website. pogo.com
    – John Scott
    Oct 8, 2014 at 20:53

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