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I am willing to save an online flash video (.flv) file for further offline watching. I couldn't download this particular video file through a direct link (grabbed with Video Download Helper extension) because of a very slow and unresponsive server, but I could watch it to the end with a webpage embedded player, and now it is for sure saved to cache (as I can rewind it and watch from any place without no more waiting).

I went to


But the file I want is not there (it is to be about 200 MiBs, but the biggest file there is of 22 MiBs and is called "_CACHE_003_").

Where might it be if not in the standard cache directory?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It is there or in /tmp;

Nowadays, Flash Player (starting from some 10.xx version) for linux does unlink on flv files;

ls -la /proc/{PID OF PLAYER PLUGIN}/fd to get an idea;

More info (check the script):

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And thank you for the link. – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:36


Also reachable through WIN+R, then typing %appdata% and then following Local -> Temp.

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OP's not a Windows user. – Sathya Nov 30 '10 at 0:38
Sorry, good catch. I should have read the question better. I'll leave it, in case anyone stumbles across this question looking for an answer from a windows perspective. The OP can use the following URL: "about:cache" to see the default and alternative cache addresses on his system. – Paul Nov 30 '10 at 4:48
I think this shows the clue anyway. From your answer I can figure out that Firefox uses a user's common temporary files directory alongside with its profile cache. – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:28

The OP was looking for a linux solution, but the question is valid for Windows too, so here's an answer for that. Look for fla*.tmp in


Also reachable through Win+R, then typing %temp%, or following Paul's example:%appdata% and then following to Local -> Temp.

Chances are you won't be able to do anything with the files though because they'll be marked as locked or in use. There are a few programs that can work around this for you, just search for "windows copy locked or in-use file" and variations thereof. The ones worth their salt will probably use Volume Shadow Service (VSS). I like hobocopy and here's an example use:

hobocopy.exe /verbosity=2 %temp%\acro_rd_dir D:\Playback\Incoming flaFF7E.tmp
pushd D:\Playback\Incoming
move /y flaFF7E.tmp SomeUsefulName.flv
explorer /select,%cd%\SomeUsefulName.flv 

The relevant part is hobocopy source_dir destination_dir file-to-copy, and the rest sugar. Replace explorer... with start %cd%\SomeUsefulName.flv to start playing the video right away instead of just selecting it.

Recipe last tested with Firefox 18 on Window 7.

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Run locate *.flv to see all your flv files on your system.

However you might need to run sudo updatedb first (to update locate command index database)

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Firefox strips names and extensions of the files it puts in cache, so I suppose looking for *.flv won't help much. Looking for FLV in files contents with a rich search tool of a kind (like Midnight Commander) perhaps... – Ivan Dec 20 '10 at 4:30

I think it is better to use WinRAR and go to C:\Users\youruser\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5 OR \Low\Content.IE5. Then look in each of the folders and look for the biggest file, probably ending in .flv or .avi.

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