I'm using Debian Stretch and would like to install flashplugin-nonfree. My apt/sources.list file contains

deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free

# stretch-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free

deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian stretch contrib
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org stretch main non-free
deb [arch=i386,amd64] http://mariadb.mirror.globo.tech/repo/10.2/debian stretch main

But when I run sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree, I get this error message:

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package flashplugin-nonfree is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source

E: Package 'flashplugin-nonfree' has no installation candidate

I tried to do an update or commenting everything except the first line in my apt/sources.list but still have the same error message.

Any idea on how to install it anyway?

5 Answers 5


The flashplugin-nonfree package is no longer maintained, if you need the Flash plug-in you should install it manually:

  1. Download the latest release of the plugin in tar.gz format from Adobe.

  2. As root, extract the downloaded archive and copy libflashplayer.so to /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree.

  3. Fix the file’s ownership and permissions:

    chmod 644 /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so
    chown root:root /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so
  4. If necessary, install the alternative so Firefox will find the plug-in. If

    update-alternatives --list flash-mozilla.so

    returns /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so, it’s set up correctly (this would be the case if you had the plug-in working in the past), but if it doesn’t, you need to run

    update-alternatives --quiet --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/flash-mozilla.so flash-mozilla.so /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so 50

For future upgrades, you only need to repeat the first three steps.

Alternatively, pepperflashplugin-nonfree still works and will install the Flash plug-in for Chromium. You’ll need to download the package manually and install it using dpkg -i, but it will download the plug-in and set everything up for you. You can keep the plug-in up-to-date by running update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree --install (and check its status using --status).

  • I know flash is really out to date, but sadly some site still ask for it... thanks for the info, I'll do it manually
    – Etienne
    Sep 10, 2017 at 18:38
  • 2
    Alternatively you could use Chromium with pepperflashplugin-nonfree, I’ll update my answer to cover that. Sep 10, 2017 at 18:38
  • @StephenKitt No you can't pepperflashplugin-nonfree can't be installed on stretch (64-bit at least - should I enable multiarch?)
    – 71GA
    Jan 14, 2018 at 19:13
  • @71GA did you see the part where I said you have to download the package manually and install it using dpkg -i? It’s not in the Stretch repositories but the Buster and Sid versions work fine in Stretch. (And you don’t need multiarch.) Jan 14, 2018 at 19:20
  • @StephenKitt That didn't work.
    – 71GA
    Jan 15, 2018 at 19:39

Download the tar file extract it and follow the readme.txt file this will instruct you to mkdir /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin folder then it will instruct you to copy the contents of the extracted file to this new folder.


I did some thinking and found the best solution. Do you people even know what Chromium is?

It is an early state of Google Chrome without all the proprietary addons.

This means it has no proprietary components embedded (including Flash). Now let me get to the point here:

Why would anyone even want to use Chromium which is opensource and then install proprietary components? That is a big nonsense!

So uninstall Chromium together with Flash packages and then install Google Chrome .deb package from the official Google's site. Term official means there won't be any malware or. viruses added like it can happen in unofficial Debian repositories suggested with other answers (check this one out)! Some people even mix repositories from different Debian distributions and they break their system!

If you need proprietary components like Flash just go full way and use Google Chrome instead of Chromium.

That is of course until we get a working open source Flash alternative in Debian stable, but probably that won't happen until Buster reaches stable state.

  • gnash works after a fashion, but it's nowhere near complete it's probably not going to happen berfore 2020, after which it's not going to matter,
    – Jasen
    Mar 23, 2018 at 11:28
  • 2
    The proprietary-or-not angle isn’t the only consideration; some people favour Chromium over Chrome for privacy. Sep 8, 2018 at 8:06

To suceed this easily, you will need to use Firefox.

1. step:

Install the newest Firefox from the official website. When you will download it, you will get a compressed folder. Uncompress it and put the folder in system folder /opt. Then you just create a system symbolic link in /usr/bin which has to point to /opt/firefox/firefox (you must preceed the symbolic link command command with sudo because you are messing with a system folder). Now when we will type firefox into the terminal, operating system will reckognize the command ant execute the /opt/firefox/firefox executable file.

2. step:

Open the Firefox by typing firefox in a terminal. This has to be done, because Firefox will create it's user folders once it is opened for the first time. It will also create a folder ~/.mozilla/plugins/.

3. step:

Download the Flash player plugin from the official website and you will get a file with extension .so (shared object).

4. step:

Put the .so file in the ~/.mozilla/plugins/ and restart Firefox. Woila! There you go!


For my use case it was enough to use /usr/lib/browser-plugin-freshplayer-pepperflash/libfreshwrapper-flashplayer.so, which was installed by browser-plugin-freshplayer-pepperflash package.

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