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Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Fullscreen performance with flashplugin-nonfree on Ubuntu 7.10 vs Virtualbox + Windows XP

Posted by linuxhappy on April 18, 2008

Something I’ve always hated about my Linux laptop is that I’m not able to stream youtube full screen, or even Veoh movies full screen. Don’t get me wrong, it functionally works, but when it looks like 5 frames per second, it just doesn’t cut it for me. I’ve upgraded to the latest binary version of my video drivers, and installed all the latest updates… no change on crappy performance on full screen flash videos. ok..

I searched the internet and didn’t see any real solutions. So what’s my solution?

Since I’m running Ubuntu, Package management is real easy.

1. Install virtual box, with windows XP.
2. Install the guest additions for virtual box.
3. Install Firefox ontop of windows.
4. Install the flash player on Firefox for windows.
5. Full screen your virtual box (Right ctrl +f)
6. Go to youtube and view a flash video full screen 😀 and view it as if you were running native windows.

What does this mean? Theoretically, this means the code in the Flash-nonfree-plugin was implemented so poorly that it’s worst than doing a hardware emulation for an entire computer AND running Windows XP.. Wait.. is this right? Maybe I should right an equation:

Ubuntu + binary nvidia driver+ Ubuntu Firefox + flash-nonfree-plugin = estimated 5 frames per second full screen flash (unwatchable)
vs.
Ubuntu + binary nvidia driver + Virtual box + Virtual box guest additions + Windows XP OS + Windows Firefox + real version of flash = estimated 25 frames per second (as if i were running windows on native hw)

I guess I could continue the algebra, and solve for which is worst, but I think you get the idea… Okay.. so does this mean that Adobe guys have some sort of incentive not to support full screen Linux? Because honestly, that’s really sad that running an entire Windows OS + emulating an entire computer yields with better performance than an Application running natively on Ubuntu. Another way of saying this *might* be is that the number of CPU instructions in the flash-nonfree-plugin in far higher than the Windows kernel plus virtual box. Yes? no? anyone agree or disagree? Ohwell, time to watch full screen youtube 😀

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5 Responses to “Fullscreen performance with flashplugin-nonfree on Ubuntu 7.10 vs Virtualbox + Windows XP”

  1. CHRISY said

    Hey man your totaly right i just got ubuntu 8.04 and i LOVE IT y was i useing windows for so long ?
    so youtube works for windows but not ubuntu WTF i notice ubuntu = 10x better ADOBE is just being wankers PLz some one come out with FIX maby a web browser made for Streaming videos !!! Just to fix this problem

  2. WindowSmasher said

    I definitely agree with your solution. In-fact I worked this out the exact same way you did. While searching for an actual fix, instead of a work around, your page came up near the top. I figured since this solution seems to be catching on, this issue may go unattended to for a bit longer. To add insult to injury, I’m using ubuntu 8.04 and I recall this happening back in 7.10. Nothing seems to have changed (*cough* Adobe dropped the ball *cough*).

    Hang in there!

  3. Kristofer said

    DO you think we can we write a wine-wrapper around the windows plugin version?

  4. poacheR said

    Hi. I know this is an old post, but since the problem persists and this page comes up quite high in google still, I thought I’d post here.

    Some things have changed since though. Obviously when watching clips in normal mode, it’s fine. When you go fullscreen, it used to be that the video would fill the screen but with awful framerate; what ubuntu now does is go to fullscreen mode but with a non-stretched 640×480 clip which at least runs at decent framerate.

    My solution is: download youtube-dl (sudo apt-get install youtube-dl) and if you want to watch something in fullscreen, just drag the youtube address into a youtube-dl console window (it’s a hack … but it’s only 2 clicks more). You’ll get an flv downloading on your desktop (for instance), which you can start watching immediately using your favourite media player in fullscreen mode (while it’s still downloading, you don’t have to wait for the download to finish first).

    For videos that need a login to view, use -u and -p options (i.e. supply username and password in the console)
    there’s some other neat options too (like -b which downloads the best quality version of the clip available)

    And obviously, you also end up saving the file as a video file if you want it. 🙂

    PS. In fact, come to think of it, I think I’ve seen a Firefox Add-on called youtube downloaded already, which adds a download link under the video in firefox.

  5. Cialis said

    Wn4n7z Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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