Enable Hardware Acceleration on Intel Graphics Cards in Ubuntu

October 1, 2013 — 10 Comments

intel graphics

This tutorial is going to show you how to enable hardware acceleration on Intel graphics cards using VDPAU driver.

VDPAU is an open-source library and API allows to video programs to offload portions of the video decoding process and video post-processing to the GPU video-hardware. If VDPAU available, CPU usage can be significantly lower.

Applications that uses VDPAU:

  • Avidemux as of version 2.6
  • Boxee
  • GStreamer
  • MPlayer
  • MythTV
  • XBMC Media Center
  • XBMC Live
  • Xine
  • MLT
  • Adobe Flash 10.2 Stage Video and later versions (32-bit only presently)
  • VLC media player 2.1

VDPAU is not available on Intel graphics cards. Fortunately, there’s an open-source project called libvdpau-va-gl, which is a VDPAU driver that uses OpenGL under the hood to accelerate drawing and scaling, and VA-API (if available) to accelerate video decoding. You can use it on some Intel chips.

Install libvdpau-va-gl via PPA on Ubuntu

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run below commands one by one (Supports Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04, 12.10, 12.04).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1

To install the VAAPI drivers for Intel HD Graphics:

sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver

To launch an application with the driver, for example, launch firefox:

VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl firefox

To force Adobe Flash to use the hardware acceleration:

sudo mkdir -p /etc/adobe
echo "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg
echo "OverrideGPUValidation=1" | sudo tee -a /etc/adobe/mms.cfg

To enable the driver for system-wide (not recommended):

sudo sed -i "s/^# \[/\[/g" /etc/X11/Xsession.d/20vdpau-va-gl
sudo sed -i "s/^# export/ export/g" /etc/X11/Xsession.d/20vdpau-va-gl

via: libvdpau-va-gl on Github | webupd8

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com

10 responses to Enable Hardware Acceleration on Intel Graphics Cards in Ubuntu

  1. This was working perfectly on Ubuntu 13.04, now on the 13.10 doesn’t… how can I solve?

  2. Install others needes packages..
    For me:
    libvdpau1 (0.7-1) needed! Library call API libvdpau1.
    vdpauinfo (0.0.6-1) = only for informations.

  3. (ubuntu 13.10 64bit)
    i’ve made all steps you write above, but after system restart i can’t login(!?).
    the password i use is correct but after it seems to work it jumps back to login screen.
    any ideas to solve that problem?

    • Sorry beo, I’ve no idea what’s going wrong, but you can follow the below steps to remove previous installed driver.

      1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to command console. Log in with your username and password.

      2. Run below command to remove previous installed driver:

      sudo apt-get remove libvdpau-va-gl1

      3. Remove the PPA:

      sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

      Then restart your computer.

      • Thanks for quick reply Panda!
        Probably that would have been the best and fastest solution, but now i can’t test it, because i have setup the os completely new :(

        But thanks for the time you spent for it. merry christmas from germany :)

    • same problem to me

  4. How can I enable the driver for xbmcbuntu?

    Thnx in advance

  5. Well, I see my commands here but why isn’t there a link back to the WebUpd8 article? :)

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