If you’ve been getting blue faces when watching YouTube clips, or any other Adobe Flash videos, the cause can be hard to pinpoint. When faces and flames, and other red/orange elements, turn varying shades of blue, it can be due to a buggy Flash update (especially for 64-bit users), or it can be due to video card driver issues (currently it seems to be affects a few Nvidia users after upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 – read more at the bottom). Whatever the cause, this issue usually drives people to uninstall Flash, then reinstall an earlier version.
But hopefully the following fix will correct the colours in the movies you watch in Firefox or Chrome (and any other web browsers) without having to resort to such drastic measures. All you need to do is create a text file and paste a line of text into it, but since saving it will fail unless you create the folder first, do so by running the following in the terminal:
sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/
Now to create the file and open it for editing:
gksu gedit /etc/adobe/mms.cfg
When it opens, paste in the following:
Close the file, and confirm you want to save the changes. Now, all you need to do is restart your browser and your clips should look fine. If not, you may need to reboot, and hopefully all is fine when you return.
The EASY WAY: Now that you understand what’s needed, you could cheat and just do the whole process with one command:
sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/ && echo -e "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg > /dev/null
If you also want to force the Flash player to bypass its GPU validity checks (GPU validation – see below), then the command would be:
sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/ && echo -e "OverrideGPUValidation=1\nEnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg > /dev/null
That Didn’t Work, or Caused Problems? In some cases, you might find you need to disable GPU validation in addition to, or instead of, telling Flash to use vdpau hardware acceleration. If you’re experiencing trouble at some sites but not others (like YouTube videos are now fine, but at Vimeo the Flash plugin crashes), you may want to play around with the settings. For example, to enable the acceleration but bypass GPU validation, the text in mms.cfg would be:
… or the following to just bypass GPU validation:
To Revert Back: If these tweaks have caused you more headache than it was worth, just delete the entire folder you created with:
sudo rm -r /etc/adobe
Or you can just edit the file with:
gksu gedit /etc/adobe/mms.cfg
… and set EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode= to 0 if you prefer to keep it.
Nvidia users: Apparently the issue (which Adobe reportedly won’t be fixing) is caused by having hardware acceleration enabled, so right-clicking a Flash video, choosing Settings… and disabling “Enable hardware acceleration” can often fix this. However, the above fix is perhaps more elegant since you’re allowing Flash to use vdpau hardware acceleration, rather than just disabling it altogether.