Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Gnash is an open source flash movie player which can be used instead of the closed source Adobe Flash Player.

Gnash 0.8.8 was released today, the announcement pointing out that 100% of the YouTube videos are now supported:

100% of all YouTube videos should work. If you have problems, delete all YouTube cookies and refresh.

I couldn't do a real Adobe Flash Player vs Gnash comparison since I don't have a VAAPI capable graphics card, but sq377 @ reddit did some tests, comparing Gnash and Adobe's Flash Player. Interested? Read on!

Here are the CPU and memory usage for both Adobe Flash Player and Gnash:

Adobe Flash Player:

Adobe Flash Player
(Click to enlarge)

Gnash (software acceleration):

Gnash (software acceleration)
(Click to enlarge)

Gnash (hardware acceleration (VAAPI)):

Gnash (hardware acceleration)
(Click to enlarge)

For these tests, Fedora 13 x64 was used and Chrome as the browser. Composite was turned off. You can read a detailed description of these tests @ reddit.

It seems the Gnash announcement is actually not entirely true, as about 70% of the 720p YouTube videos didn't work and using VAAPI, the 420p videos were unwatchable.

So is it worth using Gnash over the proprietary Adobe Flash Player? I would say: not yet, but Gnash is taking huge steps forward and soon we should have a viable open source Flash Player alternative that can do everything Adobe's Flash does, and with some actual Linux support, specially now that Adobe discontinued its Flash Player 10.1 64bit for Linux.

Download and install Gnash 0.8.8:
If you want to try out the latest Gnash for yourself, you'll find Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora repositories @ GetGnash. Or you can download and compile it for yourself.

Apologies for not running these tests myself but I really can't do it with the crappy computer I have at work and the even crappier graphics card. Many thanks (and credits) for the tests to sq377 @ reddit.