Ruffle (software)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Mike Welsh
Nathan Adams
Callum Thomson
Written inRust[1]
LicenseMIT license, Apache License 2.0 Edit this on Wikidata

Ruffle is an emulator for SWF files. Ruffle is freely licensed and developed openly on GitHub.

Following the deprecation and disabling of Adobe Flash Player, some websites adopted Ruffle so users could continue to view and interact with legacy Flash content.


Ruffle is written in the Rust programming language, featuring a desktop client and a web client. Website authors can load Ruffle using JavaScript or users can install a browser extension that works on any website.[2]

The web client relies on Rust being compiled to WebAssembly, which allows it to run inside a sandbox, a significant improvement compared to Flash Player, which had a multitude of security issues.[3][4] The Rust language itself protects against common memory safety issues that Flash Player suffered from, such as use after free or buffer overflows.[5]

The desktop client uses a command-line interface to open SWF files, with a full graphical user interface planned for the future.[6] Downloads are available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

As of August 2023, Ruffle primarily supports older Flash content, which use ActionScript 1.0 and 2.0, with 95% of the language and 75% of the API having been implemented.[7] It also partially supports ActionScript 3.0 (support is at about 70% of the language and 65% of the API). Bleeping Computer reported that all the SWF games they tried in February 2021 "worked flawlessly".[5]



Adobe announced in 2017 that it would stop supporting Flash Player on January 1, 2021, encouraging the use of HTML5 instead.[8] That same year The New York Times began working on archiving old web content so readers could view webpages as they were originally published,[9] and now uses Ruffle for old Flash content.[10]

Adobe started blocking the use of Flash Player on January 12, 2021 using a kill switch.[11] Various websites, including governmental and educational ones, were not prepared for the shutoff and stopped working.[12][2]


Mike Welsh, who worked at Newgrounds until 2012, previously worked on an open source project named Swivel to archive Flash content into videos.[13]

In 2016, Welsh began a project called Fluster. Later renamed Ruffle, this project would morph into a Flash Player emulator written in Rust, with a desktop and web client.[4][14][15]

Websites using Ruffle[edit]

Between 2019 and 2020, some websites announced they would be using Ruffle.

Newgrounds founder Tom Fulp said they realized "the end of Flash was coming" in 2010, but did not know when.[16] In 2019, Newgrounds announced it was sponsoring the development of Ruffle,[17] and would use it for all Flash content, starting with animations and later interactive games.[18] The switch allowed Newgrounds to offer some touch-friendly games on mobile for the first time. Fulp told The Washington Post: "We've been integrating Ruffle with the site and so far, the majority of content [on Newgrounds] from before 2007 is running with Ruffle".[13]

In 2020, Coolmath Games announced that that they would be using technologies such as Ruffle to make Flash content playable.[19]

In November 2020, Internet Archive announced they will be using Ruffle to preserve Flash games and animations.[20] Jason Scott, an archivist at the Internet Archive, said: "I looked into adding it to the Internet Archive system, and it took less than a day and a half because it was so well made".[21]

In December 2020, Armor Games announced that Ruffle had been chosen as their player for Flash content.[22]

Homestar Runner has also announced the implementation of Ruffle for their cartoons and games.[23] Though certain elements of the website itself are currently unsupported by the emulator, most of the site's content has shifted to containment within a Ruffle window at the very least. In addition to the official website, this change was soft announced via Strong Bad's Twitter account.[24]

In July 2023, Neopets announced that the usage of Ruffle was being explored to speed up the process of bringing back broken Flash games and other content to the website.[25] Later that month, Ruffle was implemented for a selection of supported Flash games.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael, Larabel. "Still Have A Use For Adobe Flash? Ruffle Is Working To Safely Emulate It In Rust". Phoronix. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b Salter, Jim (2021-02-02). "Flash is dead—but South Africa didn't get the memo". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  3. ^ "Flash videos and games are resurrected by Ruffles emulator". SlashGear. 2019-08-26. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  4. ^ a b Krill, Paul (2019-08-22). "Ruffle project hopes to resurrect Flash Player". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  5. ^ a b Abrams, Lawrence (2021-02-06). "This Flash Player emulator lets you securely play your old games". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  6. ^ "Ruffle § Using the desktop application". Ruffle. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  7. ^ "Ruffle § Compatibility". Ruffle. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  8. ^ Warren, Tom (2017-07-25). "Adobe will finally kill Flash in 2020". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  9. ^ Wang, Shan (2018-04-12). "Here's how The New York Times is trying to preserve millions of old pages the way they were originally published". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  10. ^ "Some of the most iconic 9/11 news coverage is lost. Blame Adobe Flash". WCVB. 2021-09-11. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  11. ^ Tung, Liam. "Adobe Flash is finally gone: The end arrives as Adobe starts blocking Flash content". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  12. ^ DeBré, Elena (2021-02-05). "These Places Were Not Ready for Flash to Die". Slate. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  13. ^ a b Favis, Elise; Liao, Shannon (2021-04-08). "Flash is dead. These games from the early 2000s hope to live on". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  14. ^ "Update README · ruffle-rs/ruffle@0d9d5fe". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  15. ^ "Initial commit · ruffle-rs/ruffle@b979ac2". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  16. ^ "Newgrounds founder Tom Fulp on Flash and the challenges of preserving two decades of content". 2021-04-08. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  17. ^ "Flash videos and games are resurrected by Ruffles emulator". SlashGear. 2019-08-26. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  18. ^ Macgregor, Jody (2019-08-25). "Flash emulation project aims to preserve gaming history". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  19. ^ "Coolmath Games and Flash". Archived from the original on 23 February 2020. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  20. ^ Jason Scott (November 19, 2020). "Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  21. ^ Chan, Khee Hoon (2021-03-18). "Tracing the Sprawling Roots of Flash Preservation". Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  22. ^ "The Future of Flash on Armor Games". Armor Games. 8 December 2020. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  23. ^ "Ow! My entire website!! - Post-Flash Update". Homestar Runner. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  24. ^ "Did it food?". Strong Bad on Twitter. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  25. ^ Neopets (2023-07-16). "A New Era for Neopets!". Medium. Retrieved 2023-07-26.

External links[edit]