One of the first things that many users do after installing a web browser is to install Adobe Flash as it is needed to display many websites and most of the hosted video sites on the Internet.
Google Chrome developers have decided to include the Adobe Flash Player plugin into the latest dev version of the web browser "so that [users] don't have to install it or worry about keeping it up-to-date".
Update: Flash is integrated in Google Chrome natively. Users don't need to enable it with a parameter anymore. Google calls it Pepper Flash to distinguish it from the classic NPAPI plugin version of Adobe Flash.
The Flash player plugin needs to be enabled with the startup parameters --enable-internal-flash and Google has announced plans to bring that functionality to all Google Chrome users as soon as possible.
What's the benefit of integrating Adobe Flash into Google Chrome? The main advantage is that Flash is now integrated with the Google Chrome auto-update mechanism. This means that Google can push out Flash updates to all Chrome users using the update mechanics of Chrome.
This in turn reduces the time between updates of Flash on the system, and therefore also the period in which user systems are vulnerable to attacks.
But this also means that Flash is integrated in the Chrome browser and it is likely that the devs at one point will activate it automatically for all users.
This adds weight to the web browser, especially for users who prefer not to install Adobe Flash. On the other hand, it may mean that Chrome users are left with an insecure version of Flash if Adobe or Google don't put out patches quickly.
Considering that you cannot update the internal Flash version of Chrome manually, you have to wait for Google to release an update to patch the vulnerability.
The latest dev version of Google Chrome includes a basic plugin manager as well that can be used to disable plugins from loading on all websites.
Simply load chrome://plugins in the browser's address bar to display all loaded plugins and their state.
There are still a few bugs to be sorted out:
On Windows, if you have Adobe Flash Player for Windows Firefox, Safari, or Opera installed, the Flash plug-in will still work in some cases even if you decline the license agreement (when using --enable-internal-flash) or disable the Flash plugin from about:plugins. We're working on it.
If you disable (or enable) a plugin on about:plugins, your change does not take effect until you restart Google Chrome.
There is no bundled Adobe Flash Player plug-in for 64-bit Linux.
The latest dev version of Google Chrome can be downloaded from the Getting Involved page over at the Chromium project.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.