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I am able to use Firefox to watch videos on some sites such as Youtube or Dailymotion (perhaps these are HTML5?) but I cannot watch video or listen to streaming audio on sites such as cnn.com, cbc.ca or a whole bunch of other broadcast media sites. (Adobe Flash?)

I find it very annoying that I need to watch these with Chrome.

I tried installing browser-plugin-freshplayer-pepperflash and pepperflashplugin-nonfree but got nowhere.

I tried following the instructions here:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2236146

but when I run the command sudo update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree --install I get the following error:

ERROR: failed to retrieve status information from google : W: There is no public key available for the following key IDs:
1397BC53640DB551

I try the instructions here:

http://www.webupd8.org/2014/05/install-fresh-player-plugin-in-ubuntu.html

but the instructions tell me to "create a symbolic link for Pepper Flash to /opt/google/chrome/PepperFlash/libpepflashplayer.so", but they do not say where to put this symbolic link! I copied the file named "freshwrapper.conf" to ~\.config and nothing happened.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Your best bet is to just use the Firefox (NPAPI) version. To install the version for Firefox, run:

sudo apt install flashplugin-installer

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