OpenBSD now features better Flash support

September 13, 2007
Viewing Flash content has always been a bone of contention for the BSDs (OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD et al). Mainly because Adobe has yet to release a native version of Flash player for the BSDs. And at present people using BSD are using a Linux compatiblity module to run a Linux version of Flash player - that too version 7.0.

But things are changing for the better - albeit at a glacial pace. Now there are a number of ways of viewing Flash files in OpenBSD (Which should also be applicable to other BSD's too).
  1. Opera Flash player plugin - You can install Opera web browser via the OpenBSD ports. And using Opera web browser is one of the easiest way to view Flash content in OpenBSD.
  2. net/yt - This is a script written by Pedro Martelletto which allows downloading and saving of flash videos from a variety of websites such as Youtube and the likes. The script not only downloads the Flash movies but also converts them to a more open format to be viewed on video players like Mplayer and Xine. You can download this script from the OpenBSD ports.
  3. Gnash - Gnash is a GNU implementation of a Flash Player which is being actively developed in answer to a demand for a purely Free (as in Freedom) GPLed Flash player. This player has been said to show positive results such as for instance, now being able to play Youtube videos. A native version of Gnash can be installed in OpenBSD (Oh the joys of Free software).
  4. There are a number of online services which allow you to convert Flash based videos to other formats, which can then be downloaded to your computer.
[Courtesy: OpenBSD Journal]

So as you can see, there are different ways of viewing Flash content on the BSD's more specifically on OpenBSD. I believe one of the biggest handicaps of the BSD's has been the lack of native support for viewing popular file formats such as Flash on them. But that is fast changing for the better.