Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shockwave content on Linux

Suppose you have the misfortune of having to access a page which only provides its interactive content in Shockwave, not Flash or Java. A stupid, ugly and slow leftover of old Macromedia (just before they released Shockwave Flash) that should not be supported anymore, anywhere, in my opinion.

If you will try to get the Shockwave Player from Adobe, you will have a lame surprise. They don't offer it for Linux. There are only the Windows and Mac OS versions there.

However, do not despair. There is a way to overcome this. It will only work on Firefox, but it's better than nothing. Here are the steps (the following takes place on my Ubuntu machines):

0. If you haven't already, install Firefox.
1. Install wine:
sudo aptitude install wine
2. Now download and install the Windows version of Firefox (from here); I am not kidding; you will be using wine for this purpose.
3. Install mozplugger (a useful tool that allows you to "embed" other applications in your browser):
sudo aptitude install mozplugger
4. Launch the Windows version of Firefox (using wine) and access Adobe's Shockwave and Flash test page. Install the missing Adobe Shockwave plug-in. When done, close the browser.
5. Edit the file /etc/mozpluggerrc – add these lines at the end:

application/x-director: dir,dcr,dxr,cst,cct,cxt,w3d,fgd,swa: Macromedia Director file
swallow(firefox.exe) fill stream: wine "C:\\Program Files\\Mozilla Firefox\\firefox.exe" -chrome "$file"
If you have a recent Ubuntu (from 9.04 onwards) and a decent Firefox version (at least 3.0.14), you should be able to skip the following step; otherwise, do this:

6. Remove or rename the pluginreg.dat file in Firefox's profile directory:
rm ~/.mozilla/firefox/string.default/pluginreg.dat
mv ~/.mozilla/firefox/string.default/pluginreg.dat ~/.mozilla/firefox/string.default/pluginreg.dat.bck
There you go. Now stupid Shockwave content should at least load for you. If it doesn't, have fun at using your colorful vocabulary when referring to the stupid web developers that made use of Shockwave contents.


  1. Once wine is installed and you've installed windows firefox in wine, downloaded the shockwave content and installed it. Wine may throw a "error" - bad format. you need to go to the adobe shockwave test page and once it has loaded - mouse over on the image any where and right click , then untick "allow backwards compatability" check box. than all is well! no need for mozplugger etc and file edits.. Ohh happy days!! your shockwave now runs on linux :)

    1. The adobe shockwave test page doesn't load. It says "'error'- bad format". :\

  2. Oh my goodness, thank you SO much for that workaround Mr. Anon....Been wracking my brain for a solution. Who knew it was so easy? I owe you a cold, frothy one my friend!

  3. On Ubuntu 8.1 use Wine, Firefox 3.5.4; Shockwave 10.1.4r21 (full not slim). After installing these, go to:

    Works well! a hair slow but well! These versions just meshed.


  4. I'm getting the bad format error, but right clicking on the image on the shockwave test page doesn't do anything. Help? =\

  5. Nice post. Great blog. Thanks for the share. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I bookmarked it for continuous visit.

  6. Clicking doesn't help for me either.