Keep flash maximized on second monitor

This post describes how to allow flash to stay maximized when working in a second monitor on Ubuntu (or any linux, really).

For most of us, flash is a necessary evil, but with the Olympics streaming live online, I’ve found myself watching a lot more flash video than usual. Browsing around online, I found a solution to common problem suggested by Tom in the comments of Ubuntu Root.

The biggest problem with using flash on two monitors in Ubuntu is that if you have flash maximized in one, as soon as you click in the other monitor, it will go back to the normal window size, which is really annoying. Apparently this is due to a simple flag to change in the flash plugin. I’ve done this change and haven’t seemed to have any ill effects from it, besides lowering my work productivity.

  • First, install the ghex binary editor:
    sudo apt-get install ghex
  • Copy the flash plugin binary to a backup in case things get hosed up, you can restore. Make sure to open whichever one your browser uses. On my system, I’m using the Adobe flash plugin in Chrome v22 installed in the default location:
    sudo cp /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/libflashplayer.so.bak
  • Open the flash plugin binary with ghex:
    sudo ghex /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/libflashplayer.so
  • Using the ‘Find’ command, search for “_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW” in the right hand side of the find dialog. Once you have this, replace it with a string of the same length. I used “__ET_ACTIVE_WINDOW”.
  • Save the file, exit ghex, and restart your browser. If everything goes as planned, you should now be able to use full screen flash while doing something else on another monitor. Let me know if this works for you, or you have any questions.

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