Finally, finally, FINALLY! The Sun Java plugin now works on Firefox amd64 in native 64-bit. It has already been included in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, but the packages work just fine on Hardy as well, and probably on Intrepid.
Just download and install the Jaunty versions of sun-java6-bin, sun-java6-jre, sun-java6-fonts, and sun-java6-plugin. Install them, and remove the old icedtea plugin if you have it:
sudo dpkg -i sun-java6-bin_6-13-1_amd64.deb sun-java6-fonts_6-13-1_all.deb sun-java6-jre_6-13-1_all.deb sun-java6-plugin_6-13-1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get remove --purge icedtea-gcjwebplugin
Then restart Firefox and Sun java will load natively 64-bit. Check it:
tyler@baal:~$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_13"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_13-b03)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.3-b02, mixed mode)
I’ve included them in the repository.
Update 2009-07-16: A more recent version is now available in the hardy-updates repository. I have removed the above copy from my repo. Intrepid users should upgrade to jaunty anyway, but can still download packages directly.