Solve problems with Flash which prevents Firefox playing sound (through Flash or Realplayer) and causes Firefox to crash on Flash enabled sites.

Change the monitor bit depth to prevent Firefox crashing on Flash enabled sites.
Change the sound driver used by Firefox to allow audio streaming.

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The hardware environment used for testing was a freshly built and updated Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 laptop.

Imagine my disappointment when my shiny new Ubuntu build not only refused to pipe any streaming audio through Realplayer but also suffered from Firefox crashing whenever I visited a Flash enabled website. A bit of trawling on Google came up with answers that worked for me and I document them here.

Firstly, the Firefox Flash crash. I had installed Flash through Automatix but a manual installation also didn't help. Starting Firefox from a command line produced the following error when it crashed...

The program 'Gecko' Received an X Window system error.
The error was 'BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)'.

As it turned out, simply adjusting the bit-depth of my monitor cured the problem. Edit xorg.conf.....

nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

....and change the DefaultDepth under the 'screen' section to 24 (assuming your monitor supports it). My config was set to 16 but with the setting changed my computer's instability was gone.

Now for the sound problem. I wasn't getting streaming sound out of Firefox which I assume affected all streaming plugins although it was only RealPlayer I noticed the problem with. RealPlayer seemed to be streaming just fine, its just nothing was coming from my speakers.

Ensure you have the latest alsa-oss drivers (they were already on my system):
apt-get install alsa-oss

Open the firefoxrc configuration file for editing:
nano /etc/firefox/firefoxrc

Change the line that reads FIREFOX_DSP="none" to FIREFOX_DSP="aoss" then save changes and close the file.

The above solved the problems for me!