Installing Flash® Media Server on Ubuntu Linux

by Markus Bertheau, last updated on February 6th, 2013 Leave a reply »

Run the following commands to install Flash® Media Server on Ubuntu:

markus@ubuntu:~$ wget
markus@ubuntu:~$ bash ./install-fms-3.5.3-ubuntu

These commands download and run the install script.

Ubuntu version support

Ubuntu version 32 Bit 64 Bit
10.04 LTS Server Supported Supported
Desktop Supported Supported
9.10 Server Supported Supported
Desktop Supported Supported
9.04 Server Supported Supported
Desktop Supported Supported
8.10 Desktop Supported Supported, but*
8.04 LTS Server Supported Supported, but*
Desktop Supported Supported, but*
6.06 LTS Server Supported Supported, but*

* Files will be installed bypassing the package manager. That means these files won’t be kept up-to-date by the package manager.

What will happen?

The script

  1. checks whether your Linux version and architecture is supported
  2. downloads Flash® Media Server 3.5.3 from this page on, if it doesn’t find it locally
  3. unpacks the archive and checks its version
  4. installs dependencies for the running version and architecture (32 or 64 bit) of Ubuntu
  5. downloads and applies a patch for the Flash® Media Server installer that allows it to run on Ubuntu
  6. runs the Flash® Media Server installer

Starting and stopping, manually and automatically

To restart, stop or start Flash® Media Server use the commands:

markus@ubuntu:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/fms restart
markus@ubuntu:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/fms stop
markus@ubuntu:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/fms start

Flash® Media Server starts automatically at startup. You can disable automatic startup:

markus@ubuntu:~$ sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d fms remove

You can later change Flash® Media Server to start automatically again:

markus@ubuntu:~$ sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d fms defaults


You can later uninstall Flash® Media Server:

markus@ubuntu:~$ cd /opt/adobe/fms
markus@ubuntu:/opt/adobe/fms$ sudo ./uninstallFMS


Things to look for if something doesn’t work:

  • Virtual Server limits: If you run Flash® Media Server on a virtual server, see if you have the file /proc/user_beancounters. This file exists if the server is virtualized with Virtuozzo or OpenVZ. It contains a list of resource parameters with their current values, maximum allowed values and the number of times the maximum value has been reached (failcnt). If the failcnt number increases for a resource when you try to start or use Flash® Media Server, increase the limit for the corresponding resource. This can only be done from outside the virtual server.

I will add to this section whenever I find out about other causes of trouble.


When you try to install Flash® Media Server without the script, a number of warnings and error messages appear. I list them here so that people who search by the error message can find this article.

If you’re on 64 bit and haven’t installed 32-bit-support, this error message appears:

./installFMS: 172: ./fmsini: not found

And then:

./fmsini: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Then, regardless of architecture, a warning from the installer:

WARNING: Your distribution, unknown, is not supported by this
         Adobe Flash Media Server installer.

An error about the group nobody not existing, if you accept the default group:

Please enter a valid user group for the "nobody" user: Default group [nobody]: 

ERROR: "nobody" is not in the user group "nobody"

If you solved that problem by entering nogroup, next is a syntax error:

[: 1: ==: unexpected operator


[: 1: nobody: unexpected operator

Then installation starts, but a number of errors appear:

Proceed with the installation? (y/n/q): y

Installing Adobe Flash Media Server files...
Configuring Adobe Flash Media Server...
Adding "fms" service.
Setting default admin to "fms".
chgrp: invalid group: `nobody'
./installFMS: 1348: /sbin/chkconfig: not found
Setting autostart for "fms".
Server:fms command:start
ulimit: 30: Illegal option -u
[: 35: 32768: unexpected operator
NPTL 2.7
./server: 56: Bad substitution
Admin server:fmsadmin command:start
./adminserver: 41: Bad substitution

The Adobe Flash Media Server installation is complete.

If you see one of these error messages, see the top of this article.

Background article

There is a background article About running 32 bit programs on 64 bit Ubuntu and shared libraries that explains in detail what needs to be done and why to make Flash® Media Server work on Ubuntu and how the patch and install script achieve that.


I’m interested how everything worked out for you. Especially when it didn’t :) , so I can fix whatever is wrong. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your experience.


Optional payment

If you found this article useful, maybe it saves you time or money, and you would like to pay for it, have a look at the paying page.



  1. jason says:

    Thanks for the script. Good idea.

  2. Philipp Reichart says:

    Thanks a lot, your script saved me the trouble of manually fixing the install script for FMS 3.5.2 :)

  3. Who says:

    Thank you very much for your cool script. Worked without a problem on Ubuntu 9.04. I was wondering whether you will be creating a version for Ubuntu 9.10 in the near future too?

    Thank you.

  4. Markus Bertheau says:

    Yes, as soon as it’s out :)

  5. Who says:

    Great, let me know if you need a beta tester. I have installed Ubuntu 9.10 on two machines, a 32 bit Intel and a 64 bit AMD.

    Thank you

  6. Who says:

    Just downloaded and installed fms using your cool script on an Intel 386 and an AMD 64 machine, both running Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop. The script ran without any problems and fms is up and running on both machines. Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear friend, you saved me a lot of time.

    Where is your donation button? Why don’t you have a donation button? I want to donate some money in order to thank you for the time you saved me.

    Thank you once again, my dear friend.

  7. Who says:

    Oh, and by the way, for people who are new to Flash Media Server, here two links where one can get cool audio, video chats, instant messengers and live video broadcasters for free (limited versions) in order to test and play around with Flash Media Server.

  8. Thanks says:

    Mark, Thanks for this script, saved me a lot of time and worked perfectly. First time setting up an fms server, so I was at a loss.

  9. Niek says:

    Awesome! Indeed, where can i find some donate button? I tryed to install fms, though i almost needed to install some crappy redhat server. Thank god, i can install this on ubuntu now.

  10. Markus Bertheau says:

    I’m setting it up right now, but with all the legal obligations in Germany it’s not that easy. I’ll let you know :) Thanks

  11. radman says:

    that was soooooo helpful.
    thank you indeed Guys

  12. Diego Álvarez says:

    Thanks a lot.
    It has saved me a lot of time and i have learned very much.

  13. MP003 says:

    Very helpful site! Thanks for all your work.

    Do you have any plans to rescript to include support for Ubuntu 10.04?

  14. Markus Bertheau says:

    That’s nice to hear. I will absolutely look into supporting 10.04. :)

  15. Hi Markus,

    Great post! Do you know if Flash Media Interactive Server can be used in conjunction with MogileFS? We store our files over multiple hard drives / servers and are all accessible via HTTP. As far as I can tell, FMS can only access files locally…?


  16. Markus Bertheau says:

    No idea :)

  17. Thank you for posting this. :)

  18. Ho Tuan says:

    Thanks for the script. It made installing FMS on Ubuntu a breeze. If I had the money, I’d pay you (maybe sometime soon).

    Have you tried getting in touch with Adobe to share it with them? Ubuntu and Flash are so popular, it seems obvious that they should be using this for Ubuntu compatibility.

  19. Jason says:

    Thank you so much for this.

  20. Victor says:

    Does FMS 4.0 need a similar patch? I installed FMS 4.0 on 64 bit Ubuntu without any error messages but couldn’t get anything to work (NetConnection.Connect.Rejected). Then I installed v3.5 with your script, uninstalled it, installed v4.0 again (entered fms for user and group) and got it to work.

  21. It would be great ig you could update your script to download and install FMS 4.0.1 because there are several security bugs (included the 3.5.3 that your script is downloading right now). Thank you very much.

    More info:

  22. Alex says:

    I would also appreciate if you could update your fantastic script to use with the las FMS 4 version.
    Thanks in advance

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