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Gnash: the GNU SWF Player Gnash is a player for animated "movies" in the Macromedia Shockwave Flash (SWF) format. It can be run as a graphical application, as a Web browser plugin, or as a library used by other programs. It is not yet complete; it does not correctly handle every SWF file. This is the README file for the Gnash-0.8.8 release (or snapshot). Gnash is originally based on the code of GameSWF, by Thatcher Ulrich. GameSWF was the most advanced among free SWF players; it implemented a fairly broad set of SWF Format v7 features. In December 2005, Rob Savoye (then one of the GameSWF developers) forked GameSWF to become Gnash. New improvements added to Gnash are copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation under the GNU General Public License. After Rob rearranged the GameSWF code into the GNU project style, he began development on the browser plugins. The Free Software Foundation made Gnash a priority project, and many volunteers started contributing useful improvements. We thank Thatcher Ulrich for the great start, Rob Savoye and John Gilmore for organizing the project, and the Gnash volunteers for making Gnash what it is today. SWF Support: -------------- Many SWF movies play fine in Gnash. Many others do not. Occasionally, SWF movies that are used for browser navigation may fail. Almost all SWF-based web-site navigation should work. Gnash supports practically all SWF opcodes and most ActionScript classes up to SWF version 9. There is currently no real support for ActionScript 3 (ABC blocks) and AVM2, which were introduced in SWF version 9. Despite this, Gnash can play most SWF8 and many SWF9 movies, because not all rely on unimplemented features. All unimplemented opcodes and ActionScript methods should print a warning when using -vv with gnash or gprocessor. Running gprocessor -vv is often an easy way to see why a movie isn't playing correctly. Plugin: ------- The plugin correctly installs itself into Mozilla, Firefox, or Konqueror. It can play some SWF files in cooperation with the browser. It should work with any browser that supports Mozilla's NPAPI API plugin SDK. Gnash is know to work with Mozilla, Firefox, Iceweasel, Icecat, Epiphany, Galeon, Opera, and Chromium. Gnash runs equally well in 32-bit and 64-bit environments. Configure with --with-plugindir= to set the directory that "make install-plugin" will install the plugin in. By default it will be installed in the user's .mozilla/plugins directory, even if you install using sudo. Platforms Supported: -------------------- Gnash has been ported to a wide variety of hardware and operating systems. Primary platforms that get the most support are most of the GNU/Linux distributions, but Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian primarily. Gnash is known to run on most BSD derived systems as well. There are also ports to Beos, Haiku, OS/2, Irix, Solaris, Sylllable, and OpenEmbedded. There are also ports of the standalone player to Darwin and Win32. Both require adding the dependent libraries Gnash needs. Work has started on a native Darwin (Aqua/Carbon/OpenGL) GUI so most of these packages won't be required. The win32 player can be built with Mingw32 and ought to be compilable with VC++ (but this has not been confirmed recently). Gnash has also been ported to a variety of embedded devices, most running variations of OpenEmbedded. These include several custom hardware platforms aimed at educational software for children. Better known devices are the Sharp Zaurus family of PDAs (reflashed to run Open Zaurus), the Nokia Internet Tablets (770 / 800 / 810), the OLPC and the Pepper Pad 3, the latter two running a trimmed down Fedora. Gnash has been known to run on these 64-bit systems: the Itanium, UltraSparc, PowerPC, AMD64, MIPS. Embedded processors include several ARM variants, MIPS, and the Geode LX/GX. Building Gnash: --------------- See the generic installation instructions in the file called "INSTALL". (If you are building from a fresh bzr checkout, first see the file "README.git" for additional instructions.) Depending on chosen functionality, CPU architecture, and OS the temporary files needed when Gnash compiles require as much as 1 GB of storage space. Approximately 400MB of virtual memory(RAM + swap) is also needed for linking. After installation, the temporary files may be removed with "make clean". Gnash has three main options: choice of renderer (graphics library used to render the SWF movie), choice(s) of GUI toolkit (gtk, kde, etc), and choice of multimedia backend (audio and video decoder). Gnash supports multiple renderers. By default it'll build them all in the rendering library, or you can select which ones you want: --enable-renderer=opengl --enable-renderer=cairo --enable-renderer=agg or --enable-renderer=all (default) Gnash can use different multimedia back-ends for sound and/or video. By default it'll build both FFmpeg and Gstreamer, which you can select at runtime. To select only one media handler use: --enable-media=GST Gstreamer (default) or --enable-media=ffmpeg FFmpeg In some countries, the codecs needed to display audio and video are patented. The FFmpeg library implements these codecs. If you link them directly into Gnash, you will create an executable which contains patented software and requires a license for redistribution in those countries. If, instead, you build using gstreamer, the user installs the codecs of their choice. Gnash supports multiple graphics toolkits, and will build multiple executables: --enable-gui=gtk --enable-gui=kde4 or --enable-gui=gtk,kde4 (default) Other guis: dump, raw framebuffer, fltk, kde3, kde4, gtk, sdl, qtopia, hildon, alp, riscos, aqua. Some guis are very specialized (dump writes out raw frames to a disk file). Other guis are not very well supported and may not even compile (aqua). Different options will cause gnash to require different libraries. The configure script does a good job of telling you how to get these libraries. The GTK support is the most developed and featureful, while the SDL support has fewer dependencies on other packages. The AGG backend gives better quality results, and works on devices with only a framebuffer. Performance is better with the OpenGL backend, but only if an accelerated graphics driver installed. This may require the use of a non-free driver, so it's not for everyone. Other required packages are libjpeg. If gettext support is installed, or is present in the standard C library, gnash will support translation of its messages into other languages. Boost is also required, as Gnash uses it for portable mutexes and threading. If you select gstreamer as the media backend, gnash requires version 0.10 because earlier versions wouldn't let you insert clips into an existing sound stream, as Gnash needs to do. If you compile gnash to use Gstreamer, users who want to view Flash videos while running gnash will need to install the FFmpeg plugin for gstreamer. Flash uses MPEG4, MP3, FLV, ACC, and Sorenson primarily. Gnash supports any codec supported by FFmpeg and Gstreamer. Building the Gnash plugin for browsers: -------------------------------------- The plugin is automatically built, but is installed only when you say "make install-plugins". Installation target is controlled by a configure switch: --with-plugins-install=system|user|prefix. By default, the policy is 'user', which means the plugins will be installed for the sole user running 'make install-plugins'. Keep this in mind as you likely don't want to install plugins only for the root user... You no longer need the Mozilla or Firefox development packages to build Gnash. All the required files are now included in Gnash, so the plugin can be built whenever the main gnash program can be built. To build Klash, the Konqueror plugin, you need to have the KDE development packages installed. This now installs a KDE executable called "kde-gnash" that is used by this plugin. The Gnash Community: -------------------- Gnash has three mailing lists hosted at gnu.org. Archives of these lists are stored at http://mail.gnu.org/pipermail/: * firstname.lastname@example.org is for discussion of gnash development, porting to new platforms, ideas for the future. This is where the nitty-gritty gets discussed about Gnash, and is the best list for technical questions. To subscribe, go to http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnash-dev * email@example.com is a moderated list for announcements. New releases are announced here. To subscribe, go to http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnash and register. Volume is typically very low. * firstname.lastname@example.org is where summaries of changes commited to the git repository are automatically posted. Register at http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnash-commit to be informed of these changes as they happen. Volume may be high. IRC: * #gnash on irc.freenode.net The #gnash channel on irc.freenode.net is where many of the developers hang out. If you would like a new feature to be included in future versions of Gnash, please send a request to <email@example.com>. You can also submit patches at https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?group=gnash. Please remember that development of Gnash is a volunteer effort. You can contribute to its development. The Gnash project would like to find volunteers to focus on win32 and Darwin support, as well as help us fill in missing functionality. Offers of help can be sent to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. For information about contributing to the GNU Project, please read How to help GNU at <http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html>. If you think you have found a bug in Gnash, then you should file as complete a report as possible at https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=gnash. Please include the operating system name and version, and which gnash version you are using, in your bug reports. Please try to reproduce your bug reports with the most recent version of Gnash in git, as bugs are fixed there that may be broken in a standard release.