Firefox 13.0.1 for Linux Not Working With Flash Plugin?

I’ve been a little annoyed with how Ubuntu has been going lately (even though I think it’s a great distribution for new Linux users), and so I’ve been moving my systems back to Debian. My workstation, whose filesystem originated I think on Ubuntu 8.04 and was running 10.04, was the last one to go.

I had some issues because I run RAID1 for my system disks, and then some issues with crypto and booting, but finally I got it up and running, only to find that the brand-new Firefox 13.0.1. did not work with Flash. At all. I couldn’t even see the flash plugin in about:plugins. My searches were all confounded by apparent problems between the latest Flash and Firefox 13 on Windows. However, I’m partly writing this post to help change that.

This morning, my laptop (already running the same version of Debian) came due for its firefox upgrade, so I decided to see whether the same thing happened on upgrade. Sure enough, it did. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this on Thursday with the workstation, but I checked the filetype of the firefox 13.0.1 binary, and found that it was 32-bit. This is a little funny if you’re an old hand at running 64-bit firefox on Linux, because it used to be the case that none of the plugins were 64-bit and required using nspluginwrapper to run them at all. In this case I had the opposite problem — most of my plugins were 64-bit, but I had a 32-bit browser that couldn’t link to them.

I’m not sure why the Firefox site always gave me the 64-bit download automatically before, and this time gave me the 32-bit download, but I’ll spare you the trouble of trying to find it yourself. Go here (the Mozilla ftp server in the Firefox releases directory), select your release (in this case 13.0.1), and then linux-x86_64. Then select your language (for me, en-US), and finally, the 64-bit Firefox download.

Once I loaded the 64-bit Firefox, sure enough, my plugins came back. Here’s some stuff to help others find this via search engines:

Debian firefox 13 linux 32-bit 64-bit flash plugin about:plugins