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2 Gnash: the GNU SWF Player
4 Gnash is a player for animated "movies" in the Macromedia Shockwave Flash
5 (SWF) format. It can be run as a graphical application, as a Web browser
6 plugin, or as a library used by other programs. It is not yet complete;
7 it does not correctly handle every SWF file.
9 This is the README file for the Gnash-0.8.10 release (or snapshot).
11 Gnash is originally based on the code of GameSWF, by Thatcher Ulrich.
12 GameSWF was the most advanced among free SWF players; it implemented a
13 fairly broad set of SWF Format v7 features. In December 2005, Rob
14 Savoye (then one of the GameSWF developers) forked GameSWF to become
15 Gnash. New improvements added to Gnash are copyrighted by the Free
16 Software Foundation under the GNU General Public License. After Rob
17 rearranged the GameSWF code into the GNU project style, he began
18 development on the browser plugins. The Free Software Foundation made
19 Gnash a priority project, and many volunteers started contributing
20 useful improvements. We thank Thatcher Ulrich for the great start,
21 Rob Savoye and John Gilmore for organizing the project, and the Gnash
22 volunteers for making Gnash what it is today.
24 SWF Support:
27 Many SWF movies play fine in Gnash. Many others do not. Occasionally,
28 SWF movies that are used for browser navigation may fail. Almost all
29 SWF-based web-site navigation should work.
31 Gnash supports practically all SWF opcodes and most ActionScript classes up
32 to SWF version 9. There is currently no real support for ActionScript
33 3 (ABC blocks) and AVM2, which were introduced in SWF version
34 9. Despite this, Gnash can play most SWF8 and many SWF9 movies,
35 because not all rely on unimplemented features.
37 All unimplemented opcodes and ActionScript methods should print a warning
38 when using -vv with gnash or gprocessor. Running gprocessor -vv is often an
39 easy way to see why a movie isn't playing correctly.
44 The plugin can play SWF files in cooperation with the browser.
45 It works with any browser that supports Mozilla's NPAPI plugin interface.
46 Gnash is know to work with Mozilla, Firefox, Iceweasel, Icecat, Konqueror,
47 Epiphany, Galeon, Opera, SeaMonkey, Midori and Chromium.
48 Gnash runs equally well in 32-bit and 64-bit environments.
50 Configure with --with-plugindir= to set the directory that "make
51 install-plugin" will install the plugin in. By default it will be installed
52 in the user's .mozilla/plugins directory, even if you install using
55 Platforms Supported:
58 Gnash has been ported to a wide variety of hardware and operating
59 systems. Primary platforms that get the most support are most of
60 the GNU/Linux distributions, but Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian primarily.
61 Gnash is known to run on most BSD derived systems as well. There are
62 also ports to Beos, Haiku, OS/2, Irix, Solaris, Sylllable, and
65 There are also ports of the standalone player to Darwin and
66 Win32. Both require adding the dependent libraries Gnash needs. Work
67 has started on a native Darwin (Aqua/Carbon/OpenGL) GUI so most of
68 these packages won't be required. The win32 player can be built with
69 Mingw32 and ought to be compilable with VC++ (but this has not been
70 confirmed recently).
72 Gnash has also been ported to a variety of embedded devices, most
73 running variations of OpenEmbedded. These include several custom
74 hardware platforms aimed at educational software for children. Better
75 known devices are the Sharp Zaurus family of PDAs (reflashed to run Open
76 Zaurus), the Nokia Internet Tablets (770 / 800 / 810), the OLPC and the
77 Pepper Pad 3, the latter two running a trimmed down Fedora.
79 Gnash has been known to run on these 64-bit systems: the Itanium,
80 UltraSparc, PowerPC, AMD64, MIPS. Embedded processors include several
81 ARM variants, MIPS, and the Geode LX/GX.
83 Building Gnash:
86 See the generic installation instructions in the file called "INSTALL".
87 (If you are building from a fresh git checkout, first see the file
88 "README.git" for additional instructions.)
90 Depending on chosen functionality, CPU architecture, and OS the temporary
91 files needed when Gnash compiles require as much as 1 GB of storage space.
92 Approximately 400MB of virtual memory(RAM + swap) is also needed for linking.
93 After installation, the temporary files may be removed with "make clean".
95 Gnash has three main options: choice of renderer (graphics library used
96 to render the SWF movie), choice(s) of GUI toolkit (gtk, qt4, etc), and choice
97 of multimedia backend (audio and video decoder).
99 Gnash supports multiple renderers. By default it'll build them all in
100 the rendering library, or you can select which ones you want:
105 or --enable-renderer=all (default)
107 Gnash can use different multimedia back-ends for sound and/or
108 video. By default it'll build both FFmpeg and Gstreamer, which you
109 can select at runtime. To select only one media handler use:
111 --enable-media=GST Gstreamer (default)
112 or --enable-media=ffmpeg FFmpeg
114 In some countries, the codecs needed to display audio and video are patented.
115 The FFmpeg library implements these codecs. If you link them directly into
116 Gnash, you will create an executable which contains patented software and
117 requires a license for redistribution in those countries. If, instead,
118 you build using gstreamer, the user installs the codecs of their choice.
120 Gnash supports multiple graphics toolkits, and will build multiple
125 or --enable-gui=gtk,qt4 (default)
127 Other guis: dump, raw framebuffer, fltk, kde3, qt4, gtk, sdl, qtopia,
128 hildon, alp, riscos, aqua. Some guis are very specialized (dump writes
129 out raw frames to a disk file). Other guis are not very well supported
130 and may not even compile (aqua).
132 Different options will cause gnash to require different libraries. The
133 configure script does a good job of telling you how to get these libraries.
135 The GTK support is the most developed and featureful, while the SDL
136 support has fewer dependencies on other packages. The AGG backend
137 gives better quality results, and works on devices with only a
138 framebuffer. Performance is better with the OpenGL backend, but
139 only if an accelerated graphics driver installed. This may require the
140 use of a non-free driver, so it's not for everyone.
142 Other required packages are libjpeg.
144 If gettext support is installed, or is present in the standard C library,
145 gnash will support translation of its messages into other
146 languages. Boost is also required, as Gnash uses it for portable
147 mutexes and threading.
149 If you select gstreamer as the media backend, gnash requires version 0.10
150 because earlier versions wouldn't let you insert clips into an existing
151 sound stream, as Gnash needs to do. If you compile gnash to use
152 Gstreamer, users who want to view Flash videos while running gnash
153 will need to install the FFmpeg plugin for gstreamer. Flash uses
154 MPEG4, MP3, FLV, ACC, and Sorenson primarily. Gnash supports any codec
155 supported by FFmpeg and Gstreamer.
157 Building the Gnash plugin for browsers:
160 The plugin is automatically built, but is installed only when you
161 say "make install-plugins". Installation target is controlled
162 by a configure switch: --with-plugins-install=system|user|prefix.
164 By default, the policy is 'user', which means the plugins will
165 be installed for the sole user running 'make install-plugins'.
166 Keep this in mind as you likely don't want to install plugins
167 only for the root user...
169 To build Klash, the Konqueror plugin, you need to have the KDE
170 development packages installed. This now installs a Qt executable
171 called "qt4-gnash" that is used by this plugin.
173 The Gnash Community:
176 Gnash has three mailing lists hosted at gnu.org. Archives of these
177 lists are stored at http://mail.gnu.org/pipermail/:
179 * email@example.com is for discussion of gnash development,
180 porting to new platforms, ideas for the future. This is where
181 the nitty-gritty gets discussed about Gnash, and is the best
182 list for technical questions. To subscribe, go to
184 * firstname.lastname@example.org is a moderated list for announcements. New releases are
185 announced here. To subscribe, go to
186 http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnash and register. Volume is
187 typically very low.
188 * email@example.com is where summaries of changes commited to
189 the git repository are automatically posted. Register at
190 http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnash-commit to be informed of
191 these changes as they happen. Volume may be high.
195 * #gnash on irc.freenode.net The #gnash channel on irc.freenode.net is
196 where many of the developers hang out.
198 If you would like a new feature to be included in future versions of
199 Gnash, please send a request to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. You can also
200 submit patches at https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?group=gnash.
202 Please remember that development of Gnash is a volunteer effort.
203 You can contribute to its development. The Gnash project would like to
204 find volunteers to focus on win32 and Darwin support, as well as help
205 us fill in missing functionality. Offers of help can be sent to
208 For information about contributing to the GNU Project, please read How
209 to help GNU at <http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html>.
211 If you think you have found a bug in Gnash, then
212 you should file as complete a report as possible at
213 https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=gnash. Please include the operating
214 system name and version, and which gnash version you are using, in your
215 bug reports. Please try to reproduce your bug reports with the most
216 recent version of Gnash in git, as bugs are fixed there that may be
217 broken in a standard release.