Adobe releases Adobe Flash Player 10 beta for Linux


Adobe Systems is reaching out for Linux desktop users with its announcement today that the first beta of Adobe Flash Player 10, a.k.a. Astro, is now available for Linux, as well as Windows and Mac OS X.

Unfortunately, not all those new features are available in the Linux version. The new release gives Windows and Mac OS designers the ability to create custom filters and effects that can be used with Flash's native effects. To create these custom filters and effects, users need Adobe Pixel Bender toolkit, and this program, which is now a release candidate, is not available for Linux developers.

Adobe promises that some of the toolkit's functionality will be incorporated into Adobe AIR, which does run on Linux in alpha release.

The new beta provides for variable bit-rate video streaming. While this functionality isn't usable today, it's designed to automatically adjust the video quality between the next version of the Adobe Flash Media Server and Player depending on the available bandwidth.

Flash Player 10 also includes native support for 3-D effects to position, rotate, and animate 2-D objects while retaining interactivity. This functionality is already available for developers thanks to the PaperVision3D open source library for Flash Player 9.

Linux users do have another option for Flash viewing. Gnash released Gnash 0.8.2 of its GPLv3 SWF (Shockwave Flash) movie player and Firefox browser plugin in late March. Besides the browser plugin, Gnash also offers standalone players for both KDE and GNOME.

The prerelease version of Adobe Flash Player 10 beta is now available as a free download from Adobe Labs in RPM and DEB binaries. Users must uninstall Adobe Flash Player 9 for Linux before installing the beta.

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