3

My hardware:

  • Intel® Celeron(R) CPU J3455 @ 1.50GHz × 4
  • Mesa Intel® HD Graphics 500 (APL 2)
  • 7,4 GiB RAM
  • Ubuntu 20.10 64-bit, X11

According to several articles on the internet, Firefox v81 / 82 enables vaapi hardware video acceleration on Linux by default.

Looking at about:config via Firefox, I can confirm that media.ffmpeg.vaapi-drm-display.enabled is set to true and media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled is set to false.

I successfully installed the necessary drivers for my gpu via sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver vainfo, but Firefox still lacks hardware video acceleration when browsing Youtube (VP9). In addition, I also tried running Firefox via the terminal with the command MOZ_X11_EGL=1 firefox, which indeed starts Firefox, but without video acceleration (Youtube is still dropping a lot of frames).

vainfo:

MrSmith@MrSmith-NUC6CAYH:~$ vainfo
libva info: VA-API version 1.8.0
libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/dri/iHD_drv_video.so
libva info: Found init function __vaDriverInit_1_8
libva info: va_openDriver() returns 0
vainfo: VA-API version: 1.8 (libva 2.8.0)
vainfo: Driver version: Intel iHD driver for Intel(R) Gen Graphics - 20.2.0 ()
vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           : VAEntrypointEncPicture
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileVP8Version0_3          : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileHEVCMain               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileHEVCMain10             : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVP9Profile0            : VAEntrypointVLD

I read that it is necessary to switch to the new webrender in order to actually fully activate and use vaapi video acceleration. Is this true? If so, which about:config entry do I modify?

What am I missing here? How do I enable vaapi hardware video acceleration via Firefox for my Ubuntu 20.10 X11 installation?

2

After a lot of trial and error, I was able to enable and verify that 4k/60fps vaapi video hardware acceleration is working via VP9 and X11 on my system.

Step #1:

  • Ubuntu should already ship with all the necessary Mesa gpu drivers by default (Intel / Radeon)
  • In my case, I performed sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver vainfo just to be sure
  • Usually sudo apt-get install vainfo should suffice

Step #2:

  • Open a terminal and type vainfo in order to see what codecs your gpu supports (see my initial question further above)

Step #3, launch Firefox and set the following to true via about:config:

 - gfx.webrender.all
 - gfx.webrender.compositor.force-enabled
 - media.ffmpeg.vaapi-drm-display.enabled
 - media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled

Step #4, set the following to false, if your gpu supports the VP8/VP9 hardware acceleration:

  • media.ffvpx.enabled

Step #5:

  • Close Firefox
  • Open a terminal and launch Firefox via MOZ_X11_EGL=1 firefox

Step #6:

  • Browse Youtube, for example, and right-click a video -> stats for nerds
  • Check viewport / frames for dropped frames (ideally, you should have zero dropped frames)

Step #7 (optional):

  • Create a shortcut with the env set to MOZ_X11_EGL=1 firefox
  • See here for more infos

That's pretty much it. Have fun!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.