I have a deployment of approximately 40 Sun Rays at work that serve as the primary desktops for our scientists. Currently these Sun Rays are powered by Sun servers running Debian Linux, although I intend to migrate over to Nexenta once key pieces of the desktop catch up. One key piece of software is the Adobe Flash player, which sits at version 7 for Solaris, and has just been upgraded to 9 on Linux. This means that all the websites which now require the latest version of Flash are once again accessible to my users. Unfortunately, Adobe has seen fit to only support ALSA, something that the Sun Ray audio library doesn’t support. Flash without audio support is kind of pointless, so I went looking for a solution.

I stumbled across PulseAudio which provides a modified version of Adobe’s libflashsupport library, enabling you to use ESD or PulseAudio. I am using ESD as an audio “bridge” for all applications that don’t honor $AUDIODEV by default, which include those based on gstreamer. By setting FLASH_FORCE_ESD=1 before launching firefox, I am getting sound in Flash on my Sun Rays. Now that sound is working, the only remaining Flash issue is what we call the smurf effect. This is a bug in Flash that needs to be addressed directly by Adobe.

I look forward to the day when Adobe recognizes [Open]Solaris as a viable desktop OS and releases an up-to-date version of Flash.

Edit: It looks like they have released a beta!