Adobe launches Flash Media Server 3 (plus linux install notes)

Adobe have released the next version of their advanced streaming and interactivity server, Flash media Server (also previously known as Flash Communication Server). This release splits functionality between two versions – Flash Media Interactive server and Flash Media Streaming Server.

The entry of new competitors into the interactive flash streaming and server market (such as wowza pro and red5) has meant the new versions are now a lot less restricted in terms of bandwidth and connection limitations than they were previously. The new streaming only version creates a much lower entry point to the technology by providing a cut back feature set focussing purely on streaming without any of the real time interactivity tools of the full Interactive version.

New features include H.264 streaming video for enhanced quality, AAC audio, additional cryptographic and security enhancements, improved performance and flash lite 3 support for mobile applications.

Installation on a windows server is sufficiently straightforward that the included document is more than adequate, however there are a few potential snags in the the linux setup that are worth documenting for those less familiar with a bash prompt. In the example below I use Centos 5 on a xen vps.

Download the package from (you’ll need to log into your Adobe account, so no wget download direct from their server unfortunately)

Extract FlashMediaServer3.tar.gz from the zip and upload to your server. It’s about 50mb and contains documentation and sample files that you can remove if you don’t need them (I’d recommend leaving the sample applications ‘vod’ and ‘live’ though so you can quickly check everythings working ok once you’ve installed).

I created a directory in root for extraction

cd /mkdir
cd fms3

Copy the file into your new directory and decompress with

tar -xzf FlashMediaServer3.tar.gz

Later in the install process you’ll be asked for which user and group the server runs under, create these now if you don’t want to use the default user (nobody)

groupadd fms
useradd -g fms fms

The install requires the ‘netscape portable runtime’ which without you’ll get an error -’Error: Flash Media Server needs the nspr library installed’.

To install:
yum install seamonkey-nspr.i386

you should see a message saying ‘Installing’ with some progress bars displayed, when it finishes it displays ‘Complete!’ and returns you to the prompt.

If you’re using redhat (the only officially supported linux distribution)
To install you now would use from within the extracted directory:


If you’re using centos 5 like me then this would give you an error message and will quit.

./installFMS -platformWarnOnly

There are now a series of prompts to answer.

If you are just installing the developer version just press enter when asked for your serial number.
It will ask you if you like to try again, again just continue with enter unless you have a full licence.

You can press enter when asked for directory,server port and admin port as these can be configured later.
It’ll also ask if you want to run as a daemon, this is the linux version of a background service so enter yes of you want this.

Now navigate to the default installation directory:

cd /opt/adobe/fms

and enter

./fmsmgr server fms start

to initialise. Hopefully after a few seconds (it pauses and thinks for a bit) you’ll be returned to the prompt and the services are running – use top to list running processes. You should see the following processes listed:


If not, things worth trying:

Read this:

You might be missing other required dependencies which you might be able to install using these:

yum install compat-libstdc++-33.i386
yum install seamonkey-nspr.i386
yum install


If you create an application directory via ssh (i.e mkdir myNewApplication), remember to chown to your fms user group else you might not be able to write to the directory. cd to your applications directory then (presuming user fms and group fms):

chown fms:fms myNewApplication

17 comments January 29th, 2008


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