Enable Hardware Acceleration on Intel Graphics Cards in Ubuntu

Last updated on February 11th, 2014

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