mac flash switch

I recently had the need to be able to switch player versions on the mac, and was very grateful to have found Mike Chambers‘ “Flash Player Switching on Mac” entry. Following the instructions in that entry may well be all you need. Be sure to read comments IV and V – they are important!

In my own set up I made a couple minor alterations to ease things in my own mind (to be read in conjunction with Mike’s article)…

  1. With respect to setting up the ‘soft-link’ or alias to “Internet Plug-Ins” I find an alias name of “InternetPlug-Ins” less likely to cause confusion than the more generic “plugins”. (Norton utils for example creates a “Plug-ins” folder within /Library)
  2. Similarly to avoid any confusion within the InternetPlug-Ins folder which in my case contains loads of files, I created a sub-folder “flashplayers” into which I placed the version folders.

So my resulting folder/file structure is as follows…

/Library/InternetPlug-Ins/
  Flash Player Enabler.plugin
  Flash Player.plugin
  flashplayer.xpt
/Library/InternetPlug-Ins/flashplayers/7
  Flash Player Enabler.plugin
  Flash Player.plugin
  flashplayer.xpt
/Library/InternetPlug-Ins/flashplayers/8
  Flash Player Enabler.plugin
  Flash Player.plugin
  flashplayer.xpt
/Library/InternetPlug-Ins/flashplayers/9
  Flash Player Enabler.plugin
  Flash Player.plugin
  flashplayer.xpt

The idea being that the three files currently in /Library/InternetPlug-Ins represent the currently active version of the player.

As my folder structure is different to that of Mike’s, my script is slightly modified…

#!/bin/bash
#
# Script to change the flash player
#
if [ $# != 1 ]; then
  echo "Usage: $0 name-of-player-version-dir"
  exit
else
  plugin_dir='/Library/InternetPlug-Ins'
  np_dir="$plugin_dir/flashplayers/$1"
  if [ ! -d $np_dir ]; then
    echo "$np_dir does not exist."
    exit
  fi
  cp -rv $np_dir/* $plugin_dir/
fi

Finally if you are not familiar with writing and running scripts via the terminal, two things to bear in mind…

  1. Placing your script file in a folder picked up by the path, will ensure it is available to you whatever is your current working directory. In my case I use the default tcsh shell and cfp is placed in my /Users/username/bin directory. This is added to the path in my via my .tcshrc file with the line
    setenv PATH "$PATH":bin
  2. Make sure you set the executable flag on the script file:
    chmod +x cfp

2 Comments

  • Thanks for posting. I would really like to get this working. I keep getting a command bad message when I run the shell script. Wondering if you have any suggestions about that.

    Wordering if maybe this could be set up into an applescript or something?

  • @Matthew
    This post is quite old now, and I must admit to not using the technique in quite a while. Primarily because I don’t feel the need to support player versions less than 9. That said ability to switch is potentially important if you are working against beta players such as Flash Player 10 beta. For that, you may find the “Flash Switcher” extension for Firefox an easier method than modifying the above article for current OS and Player versions. See Ryan Stuart’s notes on Running Flash Player 10 beta and Flash Player 9 Side By Side.


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