Enable Hardware Acceleration on Intel Graphics Cards in Ubuntu

October 1, 2013

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
    Ziggy

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